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The most difficult translation ever...
Thread poster: Nuria Navarro

Nuria Navarro  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:22
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jul 4, 2007

Hi everybody!

I am currently translating a text about slavery in Mauritania and I am really having a bad time. Not because of the translation, but because of the content. I really feel like crying every 2 minutes because now I understand why people from that country risk their lives to come to Europe in tiny weak boats.

Have you ever worked with texts that made you feel sad?


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:22
Member
French to English
+ ...
Happened once to me Jul 7, 2007

Translating a document concerning an air crash, my research led me to some horrific photos, accompanied by a transcript of the cockpit flight recorder; reading the latter made me cry.

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lingomania
Local time: 10:22
Italian to English
Maxillo dental surgery Jul 7, 2007

It was my second semi-pro translation for the established Berlitz School of Languages. I remember I had been teaching English there for 2 years when the late director handed me the "neat" translation of a maxillo dental surgery from English into Italian (!). It was a nightmare to search for the terms and we didn't have the use of a 'decent' computer at that time...all paper work. I remember I got "glitched" on whether to call a jaw bone an organ or not. A real terrible experience even because it was my first official work for a third party.
There was another 'tough task' before that...the summary of a 300 page book from Italian into English, but that was nothing compared to the maxillo dental surgery translation.

Rob

[Edited at 2007-07-07 10:02]


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Francesca Battaglia
Italy
Local time: 02:22
English to Italian
+ ...
environment Jul 7, 2007

I had a horrible time when translating material about environmental issues. Reading about deforestation, global warming melting arctic ice and then pictures of dead animals, struggling to littlerally attempt climbing out of the water, unable to find any stable place...And then reading how it is all and only about money and power..
not to mantion that time when i was involved in an animal right campaign, against fur coats, and i got to se those terrible, TERRIBLE images of these scared creatures slaughtered for (again) some richmen pleasure..

all of this came to my eyes way too often. Images are now print into my mind forever, you just can't forget. Nor forgive, i guess.



[Modificato alle 2007-07-07 12:36]


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NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 20:22
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
Peacekeeping Jul 7, 2007

Last year alone, I translated over 70,000 words on peacekeeping missions in Africa.

Like Tony, I shed tears over the fate of the faceless people discussed in these documents - so many children, so many senseless deaths.

Nancy


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lingomania
Local time: 10:22
Italian to English
Slavery? Jul 7, 2007

Nuria Navarro wrote:

Hi everybody!

I am currently translating a text about slavery in Mauritania and I am really having a bad time. Not because of the translation, but because of the content. I really feel like crying every 2 minutes because now I understand why people from that country risk their lives to come to Europe in tiny weak boats.

Have you ever worked with texts that made you feel sad?


That slavery still exists is already hard to accept..and translating documents about it is hard too I guess.


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Mihaela Ghiuzeli  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:22
Romanian to English
+ ...
Human Trafficking ? Jul 8, 2007

I translated testimonies of victims of sexual and physical abuse with all the frightening details and I also interpreted for them. As an interpreter, it's hard to listen and watch the victims fall apart and not to shed tears yourself. It was a cluster of cases that left an indelible memory. I am also about to start interpreting for a three week project revolving around the same issue and I am having chills in anticipation.

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Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 21:22
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
+ ...
Post-mortem Jul 13, 2007

Actually a difficult experience as an interpreter. To face a death and its aftermath.

I was in Southern Spain, camping. More than 10 years ago. Next to us a German pair had just arrived. The lady fainted. I was involved for about 12 hours trying to help: the poor man didn't speak Spanish, the Spanish doctors and janitors didn't speak German or English, and I had to do a terribly hard consecutive interpretation of everything happening. The lady never recovered...

The harshest part was: after the man phoned to tell his sons that mom was dead, there came a very "nice" man offering things... and only after he had asked the 5th or 6th question, we realized that he was an undertaker ready to make business! Of course I sent him packing! But it was most unpleasant.

So I spent the rest of the night accompanying the poor widower, telling him stories in German to get going - and awaiting the next day for his sons to come and face the new reality.


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