Susana Galilea is an accredited translator with over 25 years of experience in bilingual communications. She collaborates with businesses and organizations seeking to connect with the Spanish-speaking community in the U.S. and across the globe. A versatile linguist, she takes pride in delivering compelling work that is rooted in accuracy and cross-cultural awareness.
A native Spaniard, Susana graduated with high honors from Lycée Français de Barcelone. She went on to earn a Diploma in Translation from Escuela Universitaria de Traductores e Intérpretes, a pioneering translation studies program at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.
Susana started her language career in New York City, as Spanish copyeditor and proofreader for some of the leading translation agencies in the area. For over a decade, she developed meticulous writing and research skills, while gaining an insider’s knowledge of the translation industry.
Since relocating to Chicago in 2003, Susana has been a contributor to Contratiempo, a Spanish-language arts and culture magazine published in the Windy City. She has authored articles on translation-related topics for The ATA Chronicle and La linterna del traductor.
Beyond the written word, Susana can be found exploring the virtues of movement and meditation. With personal ties to Spain as well as Mexico, she visits both countries periodically to keep current on language and culture trends.
In my twelve years working in the Translation industry, I’ve encountered very few individuals who do such impeccable work as Susana. She is an excellent writer, translator, editor and proofreader. Most of all she is an excellent person!”
♦ Ann-Marie Bumbalo-Moreno
Senior Implementation Specialist, Language Line Solutions
I have experienced the magical properties of language since before I existed. After all, it was my dad’s desire to spruce up his conversational French skills that led him to meet my mom, a young mademoiselle visiting Spain for the holidays.
My siblings and I were fully bilingual from day one, effortlessly switching between our paternal and maternal languages as each situation required. I grew up with the intimate understanding that attached to each language is a lively universe of culture, tradition, and even temperament.
As a translator in training, I learned that all those factors had to be grappled with when conveying a message from one language to another.
During my years in translation school, I immersed myself in another pair of languages (hello, English! ciao, Italian!), and my world became even livelier. The subject of patterns, rhythm and meaning held endless fascination for me, and I voraciously examined any bilingual content I came across—record liner notes, translated poetry, subtitled movies.
I can trace my aversion to translation snafus to a viewing of Visconti’s classic Death in Venice. On the screen, a vendor is hollering “Fragole!” (Italian for strawberries) as he walks the beach carrying a basket of luscious berries—a scene of lyrical beauty wrecked by subtitles that had him yelling “¡Frijoles!” (Spanish for…beans!).
Cut to New York City circa 1985. I’m reviewing a translation about vintage bed furnishings, and my dictionary is proving useless with the old-timey terminology. There is no Internet, no social media, no peer forums to turn to. Translation projects are delivered in hard copy by a squadron of bike messengers zooming at breakneck speed up and down the avenues, decked in colorful spandex.
At a total loss, I decide to place a call to my grandmother in Spain for an informal consult. Sure enough, my yaya has the right answer and gets me out of a bind from across an ocean.
In today’s digital environment, a targeted online search would have likely done the trick. Still, what hasn’t changed over the years is my drive to track down and conjure up the word that fits just right.
What’s Dance Got to Do With it?
While language has always been a major focus in my life, it was not always the main pursuit.
For the better part of two decades, I combined my work as a linguist with a rich involvement in dance and performance. To this day, movement continues to be a favorite means of expression and inspiration.
Even as I sit at my desk, my approach to a sentence focuses on rhythm, impulse and a sense of proportion.