OSTI starts the year with a guest from Argentina

– Can we leave? I want to get there early to find a place to park…-

To start 2015 with a bang, the first translators and interpreters meeting was held on January 2nd on a cold and rainy typical Oregon´s afternoon. While we thought we would learn something of interest, we found that the evening there was fun, and a delicious dinner with warm soup helped us overcome the weather.

The inspiring words of Clelia Chamantropulos, a master in the art of language who turned those hours of conversation turn into seconds, left us with an appetite for linguistics. Colleagues and friends were very happy and enthusiastic since it was Friday.

We went through issues right away:

– Neutral Spanish or Neutral Castilian?
– We must not to get into unnecessary trouble: Avoid local jargon, slang, idioms and go from classical words to classical terms.
– Warning! Phrases like “Una mujer es como capullo de aparador” where the word “capullo” (rosebud) could be interpreted in different ways.
– The interpreter/translator must be multicultural and take the time to learn what the meaning of the word is “From here to Timbuktu”.

Well, we went from the colloquial oral and/or written language to the medical language, where the “Libro Rojo” (Red Book) by Fernando Navarro made its triumphant appearance and each one of us held it for a few moments… Even the “mulas” (mules) were subject of conversation and the language is not sexist!
Words kept coming, one after another.
The first ruling was made:
“People that are seeing a text think that the same number of words needs to be there to know the text is correct”.
And the game of confusion begins:
“Asesoría vs Consultoría” (Advice vs Counseling).
“El Suscrito vs Yo” (The undersigned vs I).
“Consideración vs Consideration”.
“Español vs Castellano” (Spanish vs Castilian).
“Empoderamiento vs Facultar/Atribuir” (Empowerment vs authorize/attribute).
“Sufragio efectivo no reelección” (“Effective suffrage, no re-election”)

So we had to go back to what we already know, and Sergio Viaggio, interpreter and Argentine UN translator, says: ”Depende del Contexto” (It depends on the Context)

At the end of the day we are guilty of “the social circumstances of the moment” with which we will respond to an unknown number of goof-ups (as Paty would say) that we deal with day in and day out.

The interpreter/translator needs a daily dose of updating in any manner that he wishes to take it: training, conferences, movies, magazines, general reading. “The meaning does not reside in the words but what the idea that is being transmitted with words”.

– Can we leave? I want to go to bed early because I work tomorrow…-

Guest post by Laura Orozco