Background in translation

Translating fiction is Leah’s lifelong passion. With 25 years of experience, she has been published by Macmillan, Random House, Disney, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins, among others, and for international book fairs has translated samples of literary works by some of Italy’s leading authors. See a list of some of her many satisfied clients.

Leah loves translating creative content for readers of all ages, from comics to novels, from children’s poems to screenplays. She particularly enjoys coming up with clever adaptations for jokes, rhymes and invented names—a skill she honed for two decades working closely with Disney Italy.

Having lived in Milan for 30 years, Leah speaks excellent modern-day Italian and fully understands its nuances. She is faithful to the author’s style while also taking great care to make the final English text as natural as possible, keeping both the writer and the reader at heart as she works to connect them.

All of Leah’s translations are personally handcrafted; she uses neither computer assisted translation applications nor other translators to do her work for her. Nevertheless, after decades of experience she’s become remarkably fast at her craft.

Her professional training includes:

Essays residency (2022), a month-long summer residency organized by CEPELL (the Center for Books and Reading, an independent institute of the Italian Ministry of Culture) and the Fondazione Ugo Da Como in Lonato del Garda. Project: The translation and promotion of works by Roberto Piumini.

ViceVersa Italian/English (2019), a week-long residential peer-to-peer workshop in Switzerland bringing together ten literary translators (half working into English, half working into Italian) organized by the Translation House Looren. Translation presented: The novella  L’amorosa figura by Roberto Piumini.

Business Negotiations & Negotiations for Editorial Translators (2018), a workshop held in Italian by business coach Arduino Mancini and organized by AITI, the Italian Association of Translators and Interpreters. 

Storytelling Tools, a 15-hour course taught in Italian by scriptwriter Riccardo Secchi, exploring the fundamentals of storytelling in literary texts and scripts for cinema, television and comics. 

Leah was shortlisted for the Italian Prose in Translation Award 2020 for her translation of Rosella Postorino’s award-winning novel Le assaggiatrici. Read about At the Wolf’s Table.

She also works directly with Italian authors who want to self-publish or find a publisher abroad. Read about Leah’s services for authors.

To businesses of all sizes she provides a range of creative services. Read about Leah’s services for businesses.

She recently began writing song lyrics and helping Italian bands who perform in English. Read about Leah’s services for musicians.

Leah is a brilliant translator: precise and dependable and utterly respectful of the authors’ voice.

Vicki Satlow

President, Vicki Satlow Literary Agency

Leah is a like a many-faceted precious gem. When she translates a literary work she knows how to delve into the writer’s spirit and render the same thought in the target language.

Marina Migliavacca

Author and former Editor-in-Chief of Disney Italy’s monthly magazines

To her, translating is a focused, joyfully furious act of “wrestling with the angel” – both when the text to be translated is angelic and when, poor thing, it needs to be saved from itself.

Roberto Piumini

Author, recipient of the 2020 Rodari Lifetime Achievement Award and nominee for the 2022 Hans Christian Andersen Award

A real translator. And I’m not kidding. Skilled, fast, friendly (even gifted with a sense of humor!) and full of constructive ideas.

Sauro Ciantini

Cartoonist and author of Palmiro

Leah Janeczko uses her creativity, passion
and expert knowledge of Italian and English
to help others express their authentic voice
in a language not their own.