Film: Un Traductor

On the film <br> Un Traductor

I’ve recently seen Un Traductor here in Washington, D.C., about a professor of Russian literature at Universidad de La Habana turned into a medical interpreter where Chernobyl’s nuclear disaster’s victims are being treated in Cuba.

Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro is compelling, intense and spellbinding (did you hear #crush?) as Malin, who gradually detaches from his own family, as he becomes emotionally and physically depleted by the pain and agony of watching children perishing from radiation before his very eyes.

In a conversation with director brothers, Rodrigo and Sebastián Barriuso, it becomes clear that they took many liberties in turning autobiography (based on their dad’s story) into elements of the seventh art – philosophically, about a man’s growing pains.

While the plot has a few weak elements, the film is still a win to bring visibility to Cuba, Chernobyl, languages and translation and interpretation. First, let’s talk language: Santoro learned (Cuban) Spanish and Russian phonetically in two months and then took a deep dive into Stanislavsky’s method acting of complete emotional identification with the part. Then, let’s talk profession: unless you’ve not been reading my blog, you know that translators write and interpreters speak, but the director duo specifically chose The Translator because “interpreter” could be confused with “singers” or “actors”.

Here’s the trailer:

New York-based Marie Iida, consecutive interpreter for Netflix's Tidying Up with Marie Kondo

Why Marie Kondo’s interpreter is <br>the true star

7 reasons why Marie Iida’s interpretation sparks joy

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard about Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix. The 2019 reality TV series on Netflix is about Japanese organization consultant, Marie Kondo, as she transforms untidy homes into order. But there’s another Marie you may or may not have noticed in the cluttered sets: Marie Iida, Marie Kondo’s interpreter.

1. Born in Japan and having moved to the United States at the age of 6, Iida is bilingually flawless in English and Japanese. In Japanese, she hears the verb only at the end of the sentence, so she needs to be good at predicting what is coming when she’s interpreting from Japanese into English. This is a given for professional interpreters, and yet Iida’s English persona gives Kondo a voice without bringing undue attention to the interpreter or the interpretation.

2. Iida understands that the interpretation is not about her, or her linguistic prowess, and never upstages Marie Kondo. Rather, she makes the difficult task of mirroring Kondo’s intention, energy, and feelings easy while making the nuances in Japanese seem idiomatic.

3. And although she is not a trained interpreter, Iida recommends in an interview that those interested in a career in interpreting do get the proper training. Having learned consecutive interpretation by shadowing interpreters and having worked as a translator, she earns the public’s respect by understanding that both translation, simultaneous and consecutive interpretation all require different skills.

4. Marie Iida credits shadowing as a good practice exercise for interpretation: while listening to a recording, an interpreter should repeat what the speaker or the recording says, word for word, in the same language as the recording. She also suggests reading extensively in both languages as a way to expand one’s active vocabulary beyond the basic 700 words.

5. This star interpreter invests at least 2 weeks researching clients and topics she’ll be interpreting. Not only has she searched for any videos of Marie Kondo’s lectures to get a sense of diction and style, but she has also read Kondo’s books:

6. The audience will often see her quickly jotting down notes on a notepad, which aid her memory to give Kondo a voice in English. She also understands that these notes are not particularly helpful after the interpretation.

7. (And my FAVORITE reason!) Her Vocabulary Notebook of Shame: as an interpreter, she has enough self-awareness/down-to-earthness to keep a list of every term that she couldn’t interpret at all or well enough and creates a better translation for next time. Though she may cringe every time she looks at it, the list serves as excellent preparation for future assignments.

Check out this fun interview of Marie Iida talking shop about translation and interpretation:

Viva – A Vida É Uma Festa! Transcriações para o Brasil

Hoje, dia 5 de janeiro, estreia no Brasil Viva – A Vida é Uma Festa. A animação narra a história de Miguel Rivera, um garoto mexicano de 12 anos, que sonha em ser músico. Ao longo da história, Miguel visita o mundo dos mortos, onde se conecta com o tataravô para realizar o grande sonho do garoto de ser músico… Bom, até aí, tudo MUITO meigo, certo? Errado!

A grande sacada é que a Disney, distribuidora do filme no Brasil, tomou a decisão radical de mudar o nome da animação (que faz alusão à bisavó de Miguel, figura central na trama) para evitar as piadinhas linguísticas do brasileiro. Em português brasileiro, o aparentemente inofensivo nome Coco tem duas acepções: côco (com o circunflexo na primeira sílaba) é o fruto do coqueiro; no entanto, cocô (com o circunflexo na segunda sílaba) é “o produto final da digestão”. E, mesmo sem pronunciar a palavra e-xa-ta-men-te como o nome da bisavó de Miguel, o som ainda poderia causar constrangimentos, afinal, os “brasileiros brincam com tudo”, segundo a Pixar. Imaginem os memes! Para você que ficou curioso, a avó de Miguel acaba se chamando Lupita no Brasil.

Mais uma prova de que não basta traduzir  tem que fazer sentido na cultura onde a língua é falada! Este recurso é chamado de transcriação, pois é metade tradução, metade criação.  A transcrição é essencial para fazer com o que o filme venda bem e que o filme tenha o mesmo efeito na língua de partida que na língua de chegada.

Segundo o colega e amigo, João Vicente de Paula Júnior, “tradutor é que nem músico: tem que ter bom ouvido”. A meu ver, este cuidado com a eufonia (bom som, som agradável) se torna ainda mais importante em comédias e animações para o público infantil.

Confira o alto astral do filme na música I’m Alive, do cantor e compositor Michael Franti:

Coolest nationality in the world? You betcha!

Beating Singaporeans, Jamaicans, Turks, Belgians, Nepalese, Botswanans, Chinese, Japanese and a few others, Brazilians were awarded the title of coolest nationality in the world by CNN Go.

Surely enough, “Without Brazilians we wouldn’t have samba and Rio Carnival; we wouldn’t have the soccer beauty of Pelé and Ronaldo; we wouldn’t have the minuscule swimwear and toned bodies of Copacabana Beach; and we wouldn’t have certain eye-watering procedures performed with wax”.

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Feliz aniversário, São Paulo!

Hoje é dia 25 de janeiro e a minha cidade completa 463 anos!

Os seus quase 20 milhões de habitantes a tornam a 7a maior cidade do planeta e com isso, ela é não só a referência comercial no Brasil, mas também na América Latina. Esta megalópole lidera o 10o PIB mundial e cerca de 12% do PIB brasileiro.

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Aconteceu na ABRATES 2015

A ABRATES, a Associação Brasileira de Tradutores e Intérpretes, acaba de lançar uma pesquisa feita recentemente em 2015, mapeando o perfil de tradutores e intérpretes no Brasil. Afinal, os tradutores no Brasil são formados em tradução, em sua maioria?

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