Opinion & features

A debate on name order highlights an old translation issue

By: Catharine Cellier-Smart

Minister of Defense Taro Kono is back on Twitter asking for the English media to use his desired name order, Kono Taro. In the process, he stirred up an 150-year-long public debate on how Japanese names should be rendered in Western languages.

Last fall, Japan embraced a policy to swap the order and write the surname first on all official documents, recommending capitalization to emphasize which name is the family name. Accordingly, Shinzo Abe would become ABE Shinzo and, it follows, Hayao Miyazaki would be MIYAZAKI Hayao, and Naomi Osaka, OSAKA Naomi.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2020/09/15/language/japanese-name-order/

Kuwaiti publisher Takween releases Arabic translation of Persian novel “Prison for the Criminals”

By: Andrea Capuselli

The book was originally published by the Persian publishing company Cheshmeh in 2018 and soon became a bestseller.

It has been rendered into Arabic by prominent Arab translator Ahmad Heidari who has translated several other books by Iranian writers including Sadeq Hedayat’s “Isfahan, Half of the World” and Bozorg Alavi’s “Her Eyes”.

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US author’s manuscript on Japan’s invasion

By: Andrea Capuselli

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the victory in the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1931-45), which falls on Thursday. A manuscript, collected by a translator from Shandong province, uncovers facts buried in the fierce war.

Now being carefully restored by the translator and writer Wang Jinling, the manuscript by US novelist Irving Wallace, reveals the Japanese army’s atrocities and Chinese people’s struggle in the most desperate condition.

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You May Not Know Ann Goldstein. But Without Her, You Might Not Know Elena Ferrante Either

By: Andrea Capuselli

Behind every world-renowned author is a largely unknown translator. Yet in the case of Elena Ferrante, Italy’s reclusive literary phenomenon, the translator has emerged from behind the curtain of quiet stewardship to become a quasi-celebrity in her own right. Ann Goldstein, a celebrated translator of Italian and the longtime chief of the copy department at The New Yorker, began translating Ferrante in 2004, when she won a contest to take on the translation of The Days of Abandonment. In the years to follow, Ferrante’s Neapolitan Quartet became a global sensation, selling over ten million copies in forty countries. All the while, the pseudonymous Ferrante has fiercely guarded her anonymity, saying, “I can say with a certain pride that in my country, the titles of my novels are better known than my name. I think this is a good outcome.”

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FinTech translations advantages and best practices

By: Loie Favre

If you are looking to do FinTech translations, whether it be for a broker, trading company, bank or other, it has its own particularities that make it different to other types of translation. Here we explore what to pay attention to, best courses of action, and some data that will help companies know in which demographics they should be localizing their services:

https://www.smartcat.ai/blog/fintech-localization-for-trading-companies/

A tribute to Manabendra Bandyopadhyay

By: Andrea Capuselli

He was a recognized poet and a novelist too, but his prominence as a translator overshadows his other identities. He always stayed in touch with the latest publications in Spanish and English. It is safe to say that through his masterly translations, he almost single-handedly brought the gems of Latin American and Indian literature to our doorstep.

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Court interpreters’ priorities: Their health and to interpret

By: Andrea Capuselli

Although we are still in the middle of a world-wide pandemic, I have heard from several colleagues that some courts in the United States, and elsewhere, are back in session and they are asking court interpreters to attend in-person hearings. Courts may have their reasons to reopen, but I think is a bad idea for interpreters to answer the call at this time. Covid-19 is very contagious and continues to spread all over the United States and many other countries. This is not the time to risk our health, and perhaps our future, to make the not-so-good court interpreter fees. Technology is such that courthouses can hold virtual hearings, or distance interpreting if they want to have in-person sessions. There are solutions for all judicial district budgets, from fancy distance interpreting platforms, to Zoom, to a simple over-the-phone interpretation with 3-way calling and a speaker phone. Federal courts have provided over the phone interpretation in certain court appearances for many years.  Most hearings are short appearances that do not justify risking the interpreter. As for more complex evidentiary hearings and trials, just as conferences have temporarily migrated to this modality, distance interpreting can happen with a few adjustments. If in-person court interpreting is a bad idea right now, in-person interpreting at a detention center, jail or prison, is out of the question. At least in the United States, detention facilities are at the top of places where more Covid-19 cases have been detected.

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Is It Worth It for You To Do an MA in Translation Studies?

By: Andrea Capuselli

This article by Gwenydd Jones looks at the pros and cons of doing an MA in Translation Studies. It’ll help you think ahead and figure out whether doing an MA is the right choice for you.

With the cost of university study continually rising, you’re probably asking yourself whether doing an MA in translation studies is worth the investment. The answer will depend on your own circumstances and goals, as this article will explain. By the end, you should have a better idea of whether or not doing an MA in translation studies is worth it for you.

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Reading with kids: Chinese picture book translator is on a mission

By: Andrea Capuselli

Reading with kids is one of the best ways to bond with them and teach them about life. CGTN talked to Wang Zhigeng, who’s known in China for translating picture books, to find out about his own personal story.

Wang started his career in the National Library of China in Beijing. In over 17 years, he has translated over 100 picture books.

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Persian translator Mahumd Gudarzi picks Gothic fictions “Dracula”, “Gulliver’s Travels”

By: Andrea Capuselli

The Persian translations of the books will be published by Borj Publications in Tehran.

The term Gothic fiction refers to a style of writing that is characterized by elements of fear, horror, death, and gloom, as well as romantic elements, such as nature, individuality and very high emotion. The literary genre originated in England in the second half of the 18th century.

“‘Dracula’ is considered to be one of the best examples of Gothic literature, which makes these types of books different from other genres. A girl in danger, a hero, a protagonist, a dark room, old buildings and a deep feeling like love, fear or anger are usually observed in these types of novels,” Gudarzi told the Persian service of Honaronline on Tuesday.

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How WTO Translators and Interpreters Enable International Trade

By: Andrea Capuselli

The World Trade Organization (WTO) translates 43 million words and interprets more than 1,500 sessions annually. Overseeing multilingualism at the WTO and the publication of content in its three official languages (English, French, and Spanish) is the Language and Documentation Services Division.

The Division provides interpretation services at WTO meetings, translates official and administrative documents, publishes these documents in print and on dissemination platform Documents Online, registers notifications of trade measures by Members, and provides graphic design support for publications and events.

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Indigenous Languages Report Released in Australia

By: Andrea Capuselli

Last week, the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) in Australia released its third National Indigenous Languages Report (NILR). Following the United Nations Year of Indigenous Languages, this third indigenous languages report provides essential information regarding the state of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages in Australia, and aims to maintain or revitalize languages under threat. As COVID-19 exposes some glaring flaws in multilingual engagement in Australia and worldwide, the report will provide invaluable information moving forward.

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Conclusions of the Results of the Translation Qualifications Survey

By: Andrea Capuselli

After an overview of the initial results in part 1, in parts 2 and 3 we focused on comments made about the main survey questions.

Specifically in part 2 we examined whether the respondents were thinking of doing any of the four surveyed qualifications (MA/MSc, Diploma in Translation, ATA certification and ITI exam) and which of these four they thought was better.

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INN Launches Translation Collaborative Project in Chicago

By: Andrea Capuselli

INN’s Amplify News Project has launched a pilot initiative to improve the amount and quality of content available to Spanish-speakers in Chicago and to extend the audiences for INN members. It also provides for translation of some content from Spanish to English.

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Impact of the Port Explosion on the Translation Industry in Lebanon

By: Andrea Capuselli

The Covid-19 pandemic in Lebanon is a crisis within a crisis. It occurred amidst a broader socio-economic meltdown that has shaken the country in recent months. This has affected all sectors, including the translation industry. Although the translation sector was already not in its prime, it was doing quite well compared to other industries during this sensitive period in Lebanon. I would also be remiss if I did not mention that translation services do not necessarily relate to any specific location, and therefore it has remained an active sector even during the worse of times. Freelance translators have, for the most part, kept busy.

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Translation firm offers free service to communicate COVID messages

By: Andrea Capuselli

Translation services firm PAB Languages has translated almost 10,000 words from English into foreign languages as part of a free service to help businesses and organisations communicate key COVID-19 messages with their staff and associates.

The East Midlands-based company, which works nationally and internationally, stepped up to support communities during the Coronavirus pandemic by sharing its expertise – helping to ensure that critical health and safety messages weren’t lost in translation.

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From doctor to janitor to translator

By: Andrea Capuselli

Arturo Aceves is Governor Ricketts’ translator, but this isn’t his first important role. He was as a doctor in Mexico. When moving to the United States he hit the job market. Arturo Aceves: “I did a lot of interviews and I didn’t get any job. The only job that I could get was cleaning bathrooms, which is a decent job; it’s a job at the end of the day.”

His work as an interpreter for the governor earned him an important recognition.

Watch his interview here.

Save us from this hell: Afghan military translator who is trapped in Greek refugee camp begs to come to Britain

By: Andrea Capuselli

A former British military translator and his sick wife have pleaded to come to the UK after being trapped in the ‘worst refugee camp on Earth’ on a Greek island. Nesar, who served alongside UK troops for almost two years in Helmand in Afghanistan, fled for Britain with his wife after facing Taliban threats. But he is now ‘stuck in hell’ with 19,000 migrants in the squalid Moria camp on Lesbos and is facing deportation back to Afghanistan. There is no electricity and little sanitation – there are 210 people per toilet and 630 per shower in the camp.

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The Evolving Role of Linguists in the Language Ecosystem

By: Andrea Capuselli

In a map of the “language ecosystem,” where do linguists belong? According to Ann Carlisle, CEO of the UK’s Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL), they are at the heart of the industry.

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Emails asking for translation or interpreting rates: Here’s how I respond

By: Andrea Capuselli

I often get requests for my rates from organizations that are trying to build a database of individual translation or interpreting service providers. An individual provider is a person who does their own work, also known as an interpreter or translator. Keep in mind that prime contractors (large language companies) can’t provide services without a sufficient number of subcontractors (individual translation and interpreting providers). We as the practitioners have a responsibility to steer this conversation.

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