What does “Qabiria” mean?

Qabiria’s origins

The name “Qabiria” derives from the female name Cabiria, which first appeared in the 1914 Italian silent film of the same name, directed by Giovanni Pastrone. The film, besides being one of the first epic productions in the history of cinema, innovatively introduces camera movements for narrative purposes (the so-called “tracking shot”). The poet Gabriele D'Annunzio took part in the film as the author of the captions, apparently inventing the names of “Cabiria”, a priestess from the Roman imperial era, and “Maciste”, the strongman hero.

The name Cabiria was then taken up in 1957 by Federico Fellini for his film Le notti di Cabiria (Nights of Cabiria), starring Giulietta Masina. The film won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

We chose this name to hark back to a golden age of Italian success, with a touch of nostalgia, but also of self-irony. We should not forget that the work of a translator is often referred to as the “second oldest profession in the world”. Calling ourselves Qabiria establishes a certain continuity with the former, as well as a (thinly) veiled declaration of intent: we are mercenary professionals.

And the car, what about that?

The graphic part of the brand consists of a car, precisely a FIAT 500, which enters (or reverses out of, depending on your point of view) a garage. The car also has a key, thus it is actually a toy.

Qabiria logo

What are the reasons that led us to choose this image?

  • The FIAT 500 and SEAT 600 are very similar when seen from the rear. Positioning the car in this way achieves easy recognition among both Italians and Spaniards, which were Qabiria’s two target groups when we started the business.
  • Both models have characteristics that can also be applied to Qabiria as a company:
    • a strong national connotation (the 500 was the car of the economic “boom” in Italy, as was the 600 in Spain)
    • reliability (in spite of its compactness, the 500’s engine, air-cooled and with simplified mechanics, was extremely durable)
    • easy to reach (the affordable car for everyone)
    • a 'pleasant', up-to-date appearance and a design - for the time - that was truly innovative (especially in the case of Dante Giacosa's 500).
  • The addition of the wind-up key is intended to play down the excessive seriousness that often characterises the language services sector (no doubt a legacy of its philological-literary origins) and to express the importance of enjoying oneself while working.

Basically, Qabiria’s brand combines the concepts we wanted to convey at the beginning of the project:

  • wit
  • creativity
  • reliability
  • technology
  • culture

Over the years the outlook, especially on the market, has changed slightly, but we have become rather attached to the brand and have maintained it to this day.

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