Last November-December, I spent most of four weeks editing the English translation of an Italian colleague’s dissertation. It was intensive work, not only because I was working with a 300 page academic work of historical and literary analysis but also because we were under a tight deadline. Fortunately my colleague’s research is very interesting and I enjoyed reading his work as well as the writing/editing process. When his dissertation was completed and submitted, my colleague gave me a choice — he would pay me cash for the work or give me an all-expenses paid trip to Italy hosted by him and his wife. It was cold, dark February in Lithuania at that point — hmmm, what choice do you think I made?
It took a while to get our schedules figured out and I finally went to Italy for a 4 day trip this past weekend. We crammed a lot of sightseeing into a few days — Verona, Padova, and medieval towns in the Veneto region — and it was all amazing. Yet the best part of the trip was hanging out with their friends in the evening at someone’s home, at a local pub, and at a favorite restaurant. I really enjoyed the opportunity to talk to “real Italians” and be a part of local life.
So if anyone else in a beautiful European country has an English-editing job, payment can be negotiated…
P.S. With my own departure deadline hanging over my head, I did use travel time, one morning and the last evening in a B&B near the airport to do some of my own work. I started planning my Europe in World War II course for the fall — lecture topics, readings, and assignments. I also took with me a full print out of all 100 pages of my dissertation so far. I’ve drafted four sections which represent various parts and are at various levels of completeness. It was very useful to read through everything a couple of times and get a handle on what I have actually written. I now have extensive notes on revising these sections, a more detailed outline for the sections that need to be written and a clearer vision of the big picture.