We’ve come a long way, baby.

2020 has been a year of special days.  Yesterday was one of them.

Many decades ago, in my Intro to Conference Interpreting class at Georgetown University, one of the moments that sticks with me to this day was when I learned about the origins of simultaneous interpretation during the Nuremburg Trials in 1945 and its lasting impact on global communication.

Seventy-five years ago, on November 20, 1945, the historic Nuremburg Trials began in order to charge members of the Nazi regime for crimes against humanity that they committed during World War II. The trials were truly groundbreaking. Yet another little-known groundbreaking event started on that exact same day, in that exact same place: the birth of modern simultaneous interpretation as a profession.

With the four languages of the 4 Allied powers—English, French, German, Russian—to be used at all times during what was going to be thousands of hours of trials, one question quickly became apparent:  How? 

How to tackle this potential linguistic nightmare in the most efficient and accurate way possible?

What was required was military-precision logistics and cutting-edge technology. So said, so done.  Enter Colonel Leon Dostert, a foreign language expert for the US Army, who would later become a pioneer in machine translation, tasked with this monumental challenge. He suggested using simultaneous interpretation instead of the traditional consecutive interpretation method used in courts.

So, in collaboration with IBM, he put together a system of microphones and headsets that was developed to transmit all 4 languages at once, thus complying with the mandate of holding “fair and expeditious” trials. 

Well, yesterday, November 20, 2020, the date didn’t even register with me until I was heading to bed.  Why?  Because I had just spent 10 hours working behind the scenes of 2 remote simultaneous interpretation events back-to-back, from my laptop and the comfort of my home (cause, you know, pandemic).  Thanks to massive advances in technology, what was once a relatively cumbersome mix of cords and legions of manpower has now been reduced to a laptop, a smart phone, and an interpreting platform.

So, even though Lingovox Translation Studio didn’t “actively” celebrate this auspicious day, I am happy BEYOND WORDS to have inadvertently commemorated the birth of simultaneous interpretation with a historic moment of our own:  using the latest in remote interpreting technology to provide our record number of simultaneous events in a single day.  We’ve come a long way, baby.

5 Tips for Finding the Best Translator

5 tips for finding the best translator

Need to find a professional translator but don’t know how to choose the best  one? Here are 5 quick tips to help you find a translator or translation company that is right for you.

There are hundreds of thousands of professional translators and translation companies in the world. So, how do you sort through all of them to find the best one for you?

  1. Start by asking a friend
    Odds are, you’ve already asked a friend or two (or maybe your entire list of Facebook pals) if they know of a good translator. As with hairdressers, mechanics, dentists, and doctors, personal recommendations from acquaintances (i.e. word-of-mouth) continues to outrank all other modern advances in marketing as a means for customers to find a translator/translation company is right for them. While this is a good starting point to help filter down your search, there are other steps you should take to make sure you will get quality work.
  2. Do a little background check on the qualification of the translation company or translator. 
    No, you don’t need to know the person’s criminal record, but you should have some idea about a translator’s training and experience in order for you to reach the right decision. A professional translator will be happy to let you know about their training, so feel free to ask.

    In the U.S., there are many forms of qualifications specific to translation, ranging from graduate studies in Translation, certification from the American Translator’s Association (ATA), or state or federal court certifications. A master’s or Ph.D. in Translation and the ATA Certification are very good indicators that the translator will do a professional job. It is important to note that ATA membership and ATA certification are two different things.

    You can use the ATA Directory online to find out who is an active member certified by them.

  1. Experience also counts
    There are some extremely good translators out there who have honed their craft without the need for training and certification. And that is perfectly fine, too. Most likely, the curriculum vitae of translators with years of experience speaks volumes to the kind of work they have done and the clients they have worked with. Again, don’t be afraid to ask them for their CV or any samples of their work you can look at.
  2. Don’t use Google Translate. DO google your translator.
    If the translator has an online presence, you may find 90% of the above information by just googling them. Check out their LinkedIn page or their listing on PROZ, an online community for translators. Most likely, their very own website will describe their qualifications and experience.
  3. Ask Key Questions
    So, you have now used the first four tips to filter down to some very good translators. You can still find a professional translator who is right for you by asking some key questions. First, ask them about their quality control process. Choose translators who have a strict quality control process that either involves another translator editing the work or—in the case of solo translators—those who at least schedule enough time to review their work properly before turning it over to the client.

    Also, ask them about their specializations. Some translators are very good at legal translation or medical translation but not necessarily literary translation, and vice versa. Find out what the specializations of your prospective translator are in order to make sure they are a good fit for the project you need translated.

    One characteristic of professional translators is that they are not afraid to let you know they are NOT the best person for a specific project if it is beyond their area of expertise. More often than not, they will gladly point you in the right direction of a colleague who is qualified in the subject matter you need.

    If you have more questions about finding the best translators, inbox a message to us and we will happily answer them for you, or call 787-800-9903 anytime.

Si va a “correr”para la alcaldía, más vale que sea en un maratón.

jonathan-chng-751342-unsplash (1).jpg

Dentro del contexto político puertorriqueño, es común el anglicismo innecesario correr con el sentido de aspirar a un puesto electivo. Así, se puede ver en los medios titulares como los siguientes:

“Le pide a Yulìn que avance y diga si correrá para la gobernación en 2020”

https://www.primerahora.com/noticias/gobierno-politica/nota/lepideayulinqueavanceydigasicorreraalagobernacionenel2020-1299803/

“Bathia eligió en qué papeleta correrá para las elecciones”

https://www.elnuevodia.com/noticias/politica/nota/bhatiaeligioenquepapeletacorreraenlasproximaselecciones-2130738/

“Bathia trabaja para correr para gobernador”

https://www.metro.pr/pr/noticias/2018/10/18/bhatia-trabaja-para-correr-para-la-gobernacion.html

 

El verbo en inglés run, en efecto, recoge la acepción de convertirse en candidato o candidata a un puesto político:  Be a candidate in a political election. (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/us/run)

Sin embargo, dentro de las más de cuarenta acepciones que tiene el verbo correr no se recoge la que aplica a candidaturas (http://dle.rae.es/?id=Ayuz2t0). Si una persona desea convertirse en candidato o candidata a puesto electivo, lo que hace es postularse (http://dle.rae.es/?id=Tqj4Rok), que es una mejor opción que “quien aspira”, cuyo sentido de candidatura es figurado, pues quien se postula “desea o quiere conseguir lo expresado”, que, en este caso, sería el puesto político.

Se trata de un anglicismo innecesario, pues ya hay una palabra en español que recoge el significado de run en este contexto.

Nuestra recomendación:

Debe evitarse el uso de correr con el significado de convertirse en candidato o candidata a un puesto electivo. Para este caso, se recomienda usar postularse.

Así, los titulares quedan mejor si leen:

“Le pide a Yulín que avance y diga si se postulará para la gobernación en 2020”.

“Bathia eligió en qué papeleta se postulará para las elecciones”.

“Bathia trabaja para postularse para gobernador”-

 

Aspiremos a una mejor redacción, así no nos corremos el riesgo de tropezones innecesarios.

Anda, ven y destrábate, en exclusiva para Lingovox.

Por: Alejandro Álvarez Nieves, PhD