Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

On the other side

November 30, 2009

Through my work at the SGN agency, I have had an unique opportunity. Instead of providing interpreting services, I have participated in exchanges where an outside interpreter has been hired to ensure impartiality.

I never realized how difficult (yet necessary!) it is to remember to speak slowly and articulately, while also making sure to avoid grouping several sentences together.

I have learned am trying to learn to minimize my natural tendency to be verbose, as well as to avoid using jargon just so others can admire my knowledge. It is not a competition.

It is a rare opportunity to watch a colleague at work, and I am going to make sure I learn as much as I can from it.

My parents are here!

July 22, 2009

After much threatening to do so… my parents have finally come here for a visit.

Oh, the conversations! I should take notes for future “Conversations” posts. While my father is now retired, he remains brilliant, witty, and organized. As fas as my mother… I’ll announce it for my whole readership to know: the woman scrubbed out my refrigerator. And this was only one of the tasks she has undertaken.

Seriously. The woman came to my apartment with rubber gloves and scrubbing sponges in her purse. She asked me where my apron was. I stared at her blankly, because in my eight years in that apartment, there has been no apron in my apartment. If I was a better person, I would have said, “Mom, please, you are on vacation!” In fact, I think I said it. But the woman was adamant.

“There. Don’t you feel better with a clean fridge?”
“MAMI! Ok, I do.”

You probably knew this, right?

December 7, 2008

My workload at the SGN agency has increased geometrically. By the time I get home, all I want to do is collapse in my bed. When I come home, the only thought in my mind is “eatsleepeatsleepeatsleepzzzzzzzzzz”.

Doesn’t matter. I have learned that I can’t wait to have a so-called proper mindset to do my freelance. Sometimes I just have to sit in front of my computer and go throught. If I am lucky, my brain will switch to that work mode that allows me to forget to eat, sleep, etc.


October 31, 2008

Today is Halloween. My daughter came home from daycare with a bagful of candy, none of which she cared to share with her mommy. 

As I constantly mention, I grew up in Puerto Rico, in a culture full on American influences. I vaguely remember going around the neighborhood with my siblings and other kids, to go tricotrí. Actually, it was several years before I figured out that tricotrí was derived from the phrase trick-or treat.

And of course, we would go out in the neighborhood, in our little costumes, chanting “¡Tricotrí, Jalogüín, dame chavos, no maní!” (Trick or treat, Halloween; give me money, not peanuts!).  This was followed by a similar rhyme: “¡Tricotrí, Jalogüín, no te escondas que ya te vi!” (Don’t you hide, ’cause I saw you!)

Why, you may wonder, am I sharing these mundane memories about my childhood? First of all, because it involves the interaction of two languages, both of which occupy equal portions of my brain. Second, because there is a tiny chance somebody at this very moment, encounters the word tricotrí and wonders what the heck it means and how to translate it.

This I can tell you. It involves Halloween in Puerto Rico (perhaps other places, but this is the only one I can talk about, and children, and costumes, and eating too much candy.

My mom wonders as to payment practices

October 10, 2008

The usual disclaimer applies to this conversation.

Scene: My usual weekly conversation with my beloved Mami, who calls me every week to check on things:

Mami: So, have they given you any trabajito [little job]?

Me: No, just the Major Group Project? But the people from this agency sent me a payment through PayPal.

Mami: What’s that?

Me: [at a complete loss as to how to explain the concept of Paypal] Uh, well, they send money electronically.

Mami: Why can’t they send a check?

Me: Um, most of my clients do, but other clients prefer to send payments electronically.

Mami: That is kind of weird. I love you!


Look what I found: Another translator’s blog

September 18, 2008

I was curious as to my blog’s visitors (both of you hold a warm place in my heart), and somehow landed on Jill Sommer’s blog, Musings from an Overworked Translator.

Why I recommend: it contains a good mix of practical and entertaining content. You can justify visits to this blog because you are bound to find something actually beneficial (such as her post on 10 top rules for working from home). And because it offers glimpses into her life outside of translation. Well-rounded individuals make for better translators, don’t you think?

Edited to reflect the actual title of the blog. Thanks, Jill.

A tale about my workstation

April 20, 2008

As I write this words, I am sitting on a folding chair that is held together with electrical tape.  The consensus is the way I sit warped it to the point where a slight shift in body postion will cause it to collapse. It has nothing to do with my weight, because my husband is bigger than me, and somehow the chair doesn’t collapse. 

I am Jo-Hanna, destroyer of chairs.

My other alternative is to sit on the fitness ball. Why not? It’s actually confortable, My Gaiam catalog sells a product called a BalanceBall Chair, which basically consists of a fitness ball on a base. Ahh, but that’s the ticket. Without a base, the ball is just the equivalent of a too-short stool. An ergonomic situation, it is not.

I keep wondering if a new chair is a justifiable business expense.  It should be; after all, I would be more productive if I didn’t have to worry about my chair collapsing. Then again, would I have to prevent everybody else in my household from using it? Would I have to hang a sign on it reading, “SIT HERE ONLY IF YOU ARE WORKING, AND NO, VISITING Stuff on My Cat DOES NOT QUALIFY AS WORK”.

This one is for little George

April 7, 2008

My local paper, the Lincoln Journal-Star, featured an article on its Sunday edition about George, a little boy with Cockayne syndrome, and his loving family.

It also contained a smaller article from the perspective of the medical interpreter who assisted the family in their doctors’ visits.

I made the letter’s page…

February 5, 2008

So that letter I refer to in my previous post? It made the paper after all on February 2nd. You will need to scroll down to the bottom of the page.

 And I found out my accident. One of my co-workers was transferring a call to me, and she asked me, out of the blue, if I had written a letter to the paper.

On one hand, it is great to be recognized. On the other one… I am curious as to whether there will be an aftermath.

Swearing-in and more righteous indignation

January 29, 2008

On Friday, I attended the swearing-in ceremony of Nebraska’s newest certified interpreter, Alex Perez. It was a joyous occasion, and I am not saying this just because all the of the certified interpreters (myself included) got a certificate honoring their contributions.

On Sunday, I was still giddy from the whole experience, when I read the Sunday edition of the Lincoln Journal-Star.  And more importantly, the letters to the editor. And my giddiness vaporized at reading one of that day’s letters from a reader who is appalled that legal forms are being translated into Spanish, Arabic, and Vietnamese (scroll down to the letter titled “Translations violate rules”).

But this time, I found a proper use to my righteous indignation. I wrote a heartfelt letter to the editor myself. On Monday, I got a call from somebody over at the S-J, who wanted to verify the spelling of my name.

Now, perhaps my rant was nothing but “sound and fury signifying nothing”. But I think I had a point. Let’s see if it sees the light of day.