Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I still have my voice… barely

December 16, 2006

I do a lot of talking at my Present Job. Pretty much, most of my time is spent on the telephone. I drink a lot of water, but despite this preventative measure, last night I found myself with a sore throat that continues up until now. Dang. Hopefully, it will clear up by Monday. I have always been prone to throat problems. I will need to be more vigilant about those. Throat lozenges and tea with honey and lemon, here we go!

On to better news: it is official. My name appears on the List of Nebraska Supreme Court Certified Court Interpreters, which was updated on November 29, 2006. My profile in has been updated to include a link to that, so that prospective contractors can verify that.

It is entirely possible I am bragging too much about that. I just woke up my husband to show him a printout of that list.

Things I need to worrry about, things I don’t

October 13, 2006

Things I worry about that I probably shouldn’t:

  • The conclusions to which other people arrive when they see me.
  • The prospect of nerves overcoming me at the oral interpreter test and making me vomit all over the judging panel.

Things I don’t worry about even though I should:

  • Making sure I take the time to study for the test.
  • Doing the laundry so that not a single member of my household is forced to go to work/school wearing a Halloween costume even though it is not Halloween.
  • That my larder contains food that could actually be used for cooking a meal. No, chips and salsa do not count.

The InTrans Booth at the NATI conference

August 12, 2006

Today was the last day of the NATI conference. Despite all my fears and burning myself with the iron, I managed to find myself a suitable outfit. There will be further posts about the activities, as soon as I have had some time to collect my thoughts.

But I must discuss InTrans Book Service. They were hosting a booth and displaying some of their fine translation books, including my friend, the DHPD. I ended up buying a Spanish style guide and almost bought another book. First of all, Freek Lankhof, the owner was an absolute sweetie and very helpful. Second of all, if you find yourself talking to him, or about him, don’t embarrass yourself by mispronouncing his name. It sounds like “Frake”, NOT “Freak”.

Accessing the Future

July 13, 2006

I just signed up for “Accessing the Future: Technology in Language Access Education & Services”, a 3-day conference sponsored by NATI. I plan to attend workshops on consecutive interpretation and interpreter certification exams.

Last year’s conference at Omaha was a very valuable experience. I got to meet other translators (most of them in the English-Spanish language pair) from Nebraska, chat about our experiences, pass out my business card. It is not often that I get to demonstrate what I learned at last year’s workshop on sight translation, but I have no regrets about attending.

The DPHD saga continues

July 12, 2006

All through this week, my mind has been occupied with my upcoming trip. What to pack, what to wear and how to pack it. You name it.

And to top it off, I recently got a notice from the online retailer in regards to my Diccionario Panhispánico de Dudas. Or to be exact, why I am not getting it yet.

I need to know. Is there some sort of dictionary crisis that somehow manages to escape unnoticed by the press, ATA, etc? Do I need to buy one in the black market? Is there even a black market for this? What is going on?

My translations for CFWW

May 24, 2006

Today I received notice that Cystic Fibrosis Worldwide has published translated versions of some of its newsletter articles.

Both my translated pieces, Mensaje de la Editora (From the Editor’s Desk) and Mensaje del Presidente (From the President’s Desk) are up.

I can’t exactly claim I did it for purely altruistic reasons. But I am glad I did it. I often translated newsletter articles for my current employer, but the subject matter is limited to our particular industry. This pro bono assignment showed me that it is OK to step out of my little translation box and gave me a confidence boost.

Hopefully, they’ll contact me again when they need translations for edition 8.

DPHD, you will be mine

May 19, 2006

At my day job, I am working on a lengthy translation project. I am using this as an opportunity to make some necessary corrections to the TM.

In other news, since Monday, we have had to reset our passwords for the e-mail accounts TWICE. We suspect the presence of a Trojan virus. Darn.

However, not everything is bleak. I finally broke down and ordered the DHPD. Mind you, the RAE has an online version (see my collection of links). But I still prefer having a hard copy. I can be rather tough on my reference works, though. The dictionary I use at work is bruised and battered and held together with Scotch tape.

Güeras have more fun. So do catires

May 11, 2006

My ATA Chronicle arrived this weekend, along with my copy of Entertainment Weekly.

Instead of a cover featuring a larger-than-life Tom Cruise and his inescapable smile, the Chronicle had a cover I can’t remember. Probably something pretty and tasteful.

But the appeal of the Chronicle is not the cover, but rather, the contents. There was a dictionary review by a Puerto Rican translator. How often does anybody discuss the slang terms for “blond” such as catire and güero? And more importantly, proper usage.

The author mentions how the former is unknown in Puerto Rico. I concur; when I was living there, I never heard that term. The first time, I was in El Salvador and a colleague commented how catire my daughter is. I stood there with a blank face until my colleague kindly explained she was talking about my daughter’s blond hair.

Translating songs and the National Anthem.

May 8, 2006

When my brother JC was in his teens, he started a band with some classmates. It evolved from a “hey, let’s gather in Camacho’s (there was another kid with his same name in his class, so he went by our surname around his friends) house to bang on drums!” to a Christian music ministry. At one point, he asked me for some help in translating a song.

What exactly were my qualifications at the time? Back then, it would never have occurred to me that I would become a translator. I cannot play any instruments. I have no sense of rhythm and can’t even play the palitos or shake maracas in tune for a parranda. And while I have performed in school and church choir, I am not likely to record a solo album. Trust me: you do not want to hear me sing.

Apparently, however, I was good in English, and that was sufficient.

There has been a lot of controversy lately about the Spanish translation of “The Star-Spangled Banner”: how it is not really a translation, but a rewriting. Let’s set aside the politics (and my own personal opinions) for one minute. As hard as it is to translate poetry, translating songs is no picnic. I suspect it would have been extremely difficult, if not impossible, to write a translation that:

  • did not reflect the particular translator’s biases and opinions;
  • still managed to work with the meter of the national anthem;
  • accomplished both objectives above and came across, not as a translation, but as rendition of patriotic sentiments.

I wish I had the answer.

Membership renewal time

March 27, 2006

It is time to renew my membership at Oddly, I have to justify an investment on my career to myself. I am holding animated debates on my head on whether I should spend $70 dollars on the six-month membership, or $100 dollars on a year membership. A bigger up-front expense, or a worthwhile expense that will pay off?

Unfortunately, while both sides of my brain argue their valid points, they have zero presentation skills. No PowerPoint slides. No natty suits. Not even a laser pointer.