About me

About me: photo of Oliver Lawrence, Italian-to-English marketing translator

Not “About us”, you’ll notice, but “About me”. Incisive English is Oliver Lawrence – independent language artisan at your service. I’ve been crafting smooth, rhythmical translations from my studio just south of Rome since 2008.

I’m British but EU-based, although I return often to England (pandemics permitting) to keep on intimate terms with my native language and culture. And to stock up on Darjeeling and Marmite.

Excellence every time

But really it’s not about me; it’s about you.

You need a professional who continually hones and cultivates their writing and linguistic skills. Someone who reads widely to keep on top of their game. Someone with a beady eye for quality control who’ll ensure your English copy is fresh and persuasive, fluid and precise.

Someone, then, like me.

Peace of mind

If you read English at a high level, you can appreciate a finely tuned translation for yourself. But if your English is a little rusty, it’s not always easy to know what you’re getting. What you can trust are credentials and experience.

I have translated or edited well over 5 million words. I am a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Linguists (the most senior membership grade); I was Highly Commended for the John Hayes Award for Excellence in Translation; I’m the first Italian>English translator to attain prestigious Chartered Linguist status. And I often speak about translation and writing at conferences and courses (and you can’t fake it in front of your peers).

Oh, and my contribution has helped clients win 2 awards for their Facebook and Instagram content.

So you’re in safe hands.

What you can expect from me

I’ll communicate clearly with you without wasting your time. (Just fancy a chat? No problem.)

I may need to contact you with queries – if a phrase can be interpreted in more than one way, or to ask for your preference where alternative terms exist.

If you like, I can help you polish your original Italian text by pointing out any typos or ambiguities, free of charge.

And of course, I’ll deliver the finished copy promptly to the standard you expect – or better.

Clients

My translations have been used by a top yachting group, an exclusive chain of luxury hotels and 2 Italian regional tourist boards. Not to mention a multi-award-winning holiday resort, numerous small tour operators, several universities, publishers, marketing agencies and various colleagues. I have a portfolio of work available on request.

Selected projects

  • Luxury yachting – a high volume of website, social-media and direct-mail content for several of Italy’s leading superyacht manufacturers
  • Tourism and culture – 2 full-length published guidebooks (on Venice and Verona), an e-book on the Via Aemilia, the wall text for the major exhibition “Numbers” at Palazzo delle Esposizioni (Rome), selected travel articles for visittrentino.info, cruise brochures, spa hotel promotions, Covid-19 health protocols, a holiday-home development prospectus, audio guides, menus, etc.
  • Marketing and commercial – presentations, newsletters, social-media guidelines, brand books, Facebook campaigns, leaflets, slogans, website copy, Instagram messages for fashion brands …

Accreditations, qualifications and memberships

  • Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Linguists (FCIL)
  • Chartered Linguist (CL)Oliver Lawrence: Chartered Linguist no. 0024
  • Diploma in Translation from the Chartered Institute of Linguists – 2 Distinctions and a Merit in the 3 papers
  • Institute of Translation and Interpreting qualified member (MITIAndy Maslen copywriting academy logo) – Highly Commended for the John Hayes award for excellence in translation, rated excellent on all criteria
  • Official ITI Assessor and mentor
  • Also a member of: Professional Copywriters’ Network, Plain Language Association InterNational (PLAIN), the Italian Association of Translators and Interpreters (AITI), Mediterranean Editors and Translators (MET), Architecta (the Italian information architecture society), the International Luxury Hotels Association, the Poetry Society
    Plain Language Association International logo
  • Certificato di Italiano come Lingua Straniera, level 4 (Università per Stranieri di Siena)
  • Cambridge University graduate

Publications, training and speeches given

  • “The sweet sound of writing finesse” – a 3-hour workshop on writing with musicality and rhythm
  • “Righting your writing” – presentation at the BP19 and CIOL20 conferences
  • “If you mean business, become a better writer” – BP17 conference presentation
  • “I had to swerve before I hit him: the perils of ambiguity and how to avoid them” – presentation at the METM16 and METM20 events
  • “Creativity in commercial translation: what it is and why it’s important. A practitioner’s perspective” – presentation at the Creativity in Translation conference, 2016
  • “Best practices in translation for the travel industry” – workshop for the 2015 ITI Media, Arts and Tourism network
  • “Translating for the travel and tourism industry” – presentation at the 2014 ProZ conference, also given as a webinar
  • “Clarity – serving our clients by serving their readers” – presentation at the 2013 IAPTI conference
  • “Clear writing, clear benefits” – a 3-webinar course that ran for 7 editions (and will hopefully return soon)
  • Various articles published in The Linguist magazine, the ITI Bulletin (including on writing style vs taste, writing with musicality, and an original CPD project “The Back translation slam”) and Editing Matters, official magazine of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading

Carbon neutrality

My business is carbon-neutral. I’m pleased to support Carbon Footprint and their projects to reduce emissions while aiding communities in developing countries. For transparency, here’s my latest carbon-offset certificate.