TRANSLATION AND ETHNOGRAPHY:
ETHNOCENTRIC
OR NON-ETHNOCENTRIC?

Two disciplines, common goals: understanding cultural codes, discovering order in “the foreign,” rendering through language an appreciation of “the unknown other.”

BY MEHDI ASADZADEH AND ALI ABBASI

To an ordinary reader, translation might mean finding “equivalents” for the words of the source text in the target language, thereby making the words of one language understandable in another. But for a translation researcher, it denotes a broader phenomenon where the strangeness has to be found out, decoded and incorporated into the rendered text. → continue reading

BRING THE SOUND OF HOME TO…

Voice Acting hopefuls take the plunge during an organized day trip to Medialocate. Do they have what it takes? BY ANA ISABEL BELTRAN AND NOEMI GONZALEZ

Voiceover artists, those disembodied voices we hear in audio books, commercials and public announcements can conjure laughter, relief, mystery, awe, respect and sadness. In audio books, voiceover artists may make imaginations soar. In commercials, they may sway a consumer’s perception on a bank’s trustworthiness, an insurance company’s reliability or an automobile’s safety. What about movies? → continue reading

MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY BOOTCAMP

Considered a “dead language” by some, Latin continues to flourish in the world of Science and Medicine. Bootcamp attendees get the breakdown. BY MIKE KARPA

Marlene V. Obermeyer guided interpreters and translators through the lingo of medicine and the human body in an eight-hour medical terminology bootcamp held June 30, 2012, six floors above Market Street at the San Francisco State downtown campus. Obermeyer, a long-time registered nurse with a Masters degree, offers online training in medical interpreting and terminology from her base in Kansas through Culture Advantage and Virginia College. She also gives a handful of medical terminology bootcamps annually around the country through the IMIA. Carlos Garcia of the IMIA has been trying to schedule a bootcamp in San Francisco for some time, and he and NCTA organizer Sarah Llewellyn were delighted to be able to jointly host Obermeyer. → continue reading

BOOMERANG-TRANSLATING
ON THE INTERNET

Auto-translation tools are increasingly used for quick translations; but once thrown, will the boomerang return to its originator or spin wildly off into an incomprehensible back translation?

An abundance of free translation services are available online; but what do you get for free? Will a simple sentence auto-translate cleanly across multiple languages? Or will the end result bear little resemblance to the original language? BY SARA GREENWALD

Most translators are all too familiar with the “free instant translation” services available online. I tried boomerang-translating, first using a translation website to translate from English to a target language, and then back-translating to English. Doing this shows what happens when the peculiarities of English are stripped away. If an English phrase or construction doesn’t have an exact counterpart in the target language, the translator has to make decisions based on meaning. When the translator and back-translator are making decisions based on words and phrases in their databases, the result can be pretty odd. → continue reading

LOCALIZATION UNCONFERENCE

In the absence of a predetermined agenda, participants create their own event, and a learning experience that continues beyond the conference.

BY RAFFAELLA BUSCHIAZZO

It’s April 27, we are in one of the spacious conference rooms on the salesforce.com premises in San Mateo; breakfast ranges from bagels with cream cheese to slices of fresh fruit and, of course, coffee and tea. It’s 8:30 am, people are arriving for the third annual Localization (l10n) Unconference in Silicon Valley. → continue reading

LEARNING HOW TO “FISH”

March workshop attendees learn about the techniques, standards, risks, drive and passion required to excel at conference interpreting. BY STELLA HECHT

It was late winter—March 31st—the date of the Introduction to Conference Interpreting workshop. Driving to San Francisco in rain falling non-stop, I was a little apprehensive, imagining whether attendance would be affected by the weather. My colleague and I arrived at SF State ahead of time and were warmly greeted by the presenter and Sarah Llewellyn. Everybody in the packed room wanted to hear what Jacki Noh had to say! → continue reading

BREAKING THE HABIT

Carlos Garcia, NCTA member and California Chapter Chair of the International Medical Interpreters Association; Elizabeth Stokkebye introduces herself as a new member.

Word-for-word, General Meeting attendees learn to conceptualize translation and deliver a meaningful product. BY ELIZABETH STOKKEBYE

Let me start with some background: I am now a happy member of NCTA, thanks to my dear friend Sonia Wichmann. Sonia and I shared an office in the Department of Scandinavian at UC Berkeley during the years 2007 to 2009. We quickly became good friends as we taught Reading and Composition to undergraduates. In particular, we talked about the non-happy endings to most Nordic literature and film, and how the Nordic sensibility is difficult to convey to a group of American and international students. A frequently asked question was: “How come somebody always dies at the end?” → continue reading

NCTA SUMMER PICNIC!

NCTA friends enjoy a beautiful day in Paradise Park.

BY NINA KUNG

Before I decided to join NCTA, I had read everything on the association’s Web site and thought I would check out the group before joining. I was looking for a professional support group that saw the world through the lens of more than one language and from a global perspective. Also, I needed to find out about freelance translation as a career option. NCTA’s picnic at “Paradise Park” on Saturday, June 24, provided just the perfect opportunities for both things. → continue reading

WHAT MAKES AN INTERPRETER?

Our profession was up for interpretation at the 2012 Summit. Is it a matter of education? Certification? Organization? Conversation? Or is it something much, much more?

BY MARILYN LUONG AND EDURNE CHOPEITIA

If someone were to ask you: What makes an interpreter, and what does an interpreter make, how would you answer? Is there such a thing as “the interpreting profession”? We all agree that interpreters work to bridge the language barrier in communication between parties who would otherwise not understand each other. But how interpreters perform this noble task is not the same: some interpret without previous training; others have a masters degree in it. Some are conduits, while others contribute as cultural brokers.  → continue reading

THE TRANSMUG REPORT – THERE’S A NEW LION IN TOWN

Unless you have built a wall against all sorts of Apple® marketing, you cannot ignore that the new version of OS X® is out. The Lion has lost its mane, changed latitudes and is now a Mountain Lion! Version 10.8 of our favorite operating system comes with more than 200 new features, or so they say. This count includes many tweaks and also major enhancements. → continue reading

THE TRANSLORIAL TOOL KIT

The Tool Kit is an online newsletter that comes to its subscribers’ mailboxes twice a month. In Translorial, we offer a quarterly digest of Jost’s most helpful tips from the past season. BY JOST ZETZSCHE © 2012 INTERNATIONAL WRITERS’ GROUP, COMPILED BY YVES AVÉROUS

Refactored memoQ
Rather than just looking at the new features of recent tools and versions of memoQ, I chatted with the developers to get some of the background story. I met with István and Gábor to hear them out about version 6. → continue reading