Eleven translators worked in an underground bunker-like office in Milan for two months since February 2012 to translate Dan Brown’s new book, Inferno, which will be released on May 14, 2013. The security measures to avoid any leaking of information into the press were strict, and translators from many different nationalities found themselves working almost non-stop, seven days a week. The aim of the project is to release Brown’s Inferno in several languages at the same time, instead of losing sales during the following months spent translating the original English version of the book.
Intense Translating Conditions
Professionals working on the French, Italian, Spanish, German and other translations of the book have no access to their phones, personal notebooks, and without free Internet access. Instead, they had to share one supervised computer if they wanted access to the web. They were driven to and from work, where they stayed in partial lock down until around 8 p.m. Each time they decided to go out of the bunker for some air, clearing of the mind, break or a cigarette, they had to check out and write down the reason for their leaving. They were required to check in when they came back as well. Each translator was given a cover story that would explain their behaviour and doings in the bunker if anyone should ask.
For translators used to working from the comforts of their homes and in solitude, the experience felt strange and very different indeed. Annamaria Raffo, one of the Italian translators, stated that even though they all started the experience with feelings of reserve and distrust, it was not long before they fell into a “playground atmosphere”. With such security measures, translators could easily feel like they were in an espionage movie. Other translators considered the experience a once in a lifetime opportunity to get fully immersed into the book they were working with.
More about the Dan Brown’s Inferno
Inferno is Brown’s latest book featuring the doings of the Harvard symbology expert, Robert Langdon. Once again, the author uses a formula similar to that seen in his previous best-sellers, The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. This time, the book will have many references to Dante Alighieri’s Inferno, written in the 14th century. The story is set in Italy and has the traditional riddles that need to be solved in order to avoid a permanent change in the world as we know it.