Wishing you a very Happy New Year 2022 from the Luxembourg Expats team. In our Featured Story Series (FSS), we highlight the personal and professional lives of expats in Luxembourg. We have a particular fondness for entrepreneurs, and today we would like to introduce you to one, Davide Cavanna, a certified translator and interpreter.
It's no secret that Luxembourg is a highly multilingual society. A typical Luxembourg resident speaks at least 3 languages including English. Given that many EU institutions are here, the Grand Duchy has a large number of translators working for the EU and other organisations, but there are also translators and interpreters like Davide who are freelancers based in the country. Let’s get to it and learn more about his journey.
Hi Davide, welcome to FSS LuxExpats. You are our New Year’s first interview. Let’s get started.
How would you introduce yourself?
My name is Davide Cavanna, I hail from Italy. I am a self-employed freelance certified translator and interpreter not only in Luxembourg, but also over the border in Germany, France and Belgium.
We love to learn about everyone’s Luxembourg story, what’s yours? What brought you to Luxembourg, and how has life in Luxembourg been?
I came to Luxembourg in 2013 to work as an in-house translator for Amazon. Later I
switched to a German fund management company, before going solo in 2016. I lived in various nooks of the capital city and then in 2021 I settled in Bonnevoie, the same area where I lived when I first arrived in the country.
What's your entrepreneurial journey? How did you get started with your career as translator and interpreter?
I started translating in 2008 and I never really stopped. First as an employee and since 2016 as a freelancer.
What services do you offer? Who is your target?
The main services I offer are conference and business interpreting, certified (sworn) translations, financial and legal translations as well as proofreading. I do one-off as well as retainer work. My clients are a complete hotchpotch with companies of all kinds, from financial and legal professionals to other sectors, as well as private individuals who need their papers or qualifications translated for the authorities. I have five working languages: my native Italian, French, German, English and Spanish. Currently I am working to improve my Portuguese and Catalan. Mastering languages is great fun!
What does Luxembourg Expats Network mean to you?
It's a great opportunity to get in touch with other expats, explore common interests and potentially develop business collaborations.
What are your hobbies and interests?
I have a weak spot for (beach) volley, the court in Cessange Park is a great place to practice in the warmer months. I enjoy reading in any of my working languages, some swimming and I'm a budding film buff, that's why I enjoy the Cinémathèque so much!
What's your favourite spot in Luxembourg?
I would say the lake of Esch-sur-Sure and its many beaches, a full immersion in nature.
What's your favourite quote?
One of my favourite quotes is from a Ray Bradbury book. It may sound pretentious, but I like its empowering idea: "Evil has only the power that we give it. I give nothing. I take back". What do you think?
LuxExpats: It's absolutely an amazing quote and it's true. If we do not give evil the power, it has no control over us. True in every situation.
Anything else interesting we should've asked?
At the moment I am studying law to improve the quality of my translation
and proofreading. Keeping those 'little grey cells' busy is like the proverbial apple a
day. As an example: some of my teachers at interpreting school are getting on a bit, which goes to show that when you love what you do and keep on learning, age is really but a number. Curiosity killed the cat, the saying goes, but I would argue that that very same curiosity keeps it alive and kicking.
LuxExpats: life-long learning is indeed the only way to go about it.
What would you say would be your recommendation to people who want to start their business today?
At first it might seem a daunting enterprise not to be an employee on a regular income, but if you like what you do and keep on learning, you'll do great things for sure. Take on tiny projects when you have time, get a reputation and those projects may pay back manyfold with larger and much more profitables ones.
LuxExpats: This has been an amazing talk with you, Davide, thank you for taking the time. I hope everyone enjoyed and some of you got even inspired to take the next entrepreneurial step in your life.
If you like to reach Davide, here is where you can do just that:
I am your contact