Category Archives: Terminology

When experience is your only dictionary

by James Kirchner

A few months ago, I did a pro bono translation job for an organization called Traducteurs sans frontières, whose name translates as “Translators Without Borders”. The assignment I was given was a sheet of general local information for people arriving to attend a conference on gender violence that was being held in the Congo.

Everything went smoothly until I reached the section on money. Continue reading

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Keep your reader’s level in mind!

by James Kirchner

One occasionally fatal assumption of many translators is that the materials they are writing will be used by people with an advanced, native command of the target language.  However, especially if you’re translating into English, this may not be true. Continue reading

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Best practice: Introduce yourself to the interpreter

by Franco Gamero

Earlier this year I attended a Brake Colloquium in southern Brazil and assisted on a seminar on Heavy Truck Braking Systems at a local manufacturer. This conference was organized by the Society of Automotive Engineers of Brazil.

English was the main language used. I was pleasantly surprised that most of the attendees and staff were fluent in English. There were, however, two interpreters English< >Portuguese.

I introduced myself and MiTiN prior to the conference as they needed to know the contents of the presentations. This is a very important practice because it prepares the interpreter. It also gives a chance to the presenter to clarify some terminology that might be unknown, as was the case with these very highly technical presentations. They did an excellent job and I was pleased to “rate” their interpretation.

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“Probation” in every language, part 2

More of Franco Gamero’s thoughts on the term probation and its international use.

After the experience in Argentina, I began to do Research on Probation. It is an accepted method by the United Nations and was initially accepted by many countries as far back as 1959.

Conclusions of my research: Continue reading

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“Probation” in every language, part 1

Last year, MiTiN vice president Franco Gamero regaled those of us at a legal interpreting study session with a funny story about a court defendant who kept talking about his being sentenced to “provecho”. That is the Spanish word for “benefit” or “advantage”, making the situation amusing, because he meant to use the English word “probation”, which he was mixing into his Spanish.

The big surprise, however, came when it was later discovered that the poorly educated defendant was using the correct terminology, while, for years, educated interpreters have been using the wrong term for probation.

Franco first found this out on a trip to Argentina earlier this year and then researched it on his own.  Click to see what he has written on the matter. Continue reading

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Filed under Terminology