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:

How Interpretation (and Interpreters) Work!

How Interpretation Works

Ever wondered what it’s like to be a professional interpreter? WIRED will show you!

Barry Olsen
and two other members of the International Association of Conference Interpreters, Katty Kauffman, and Adnane Ettayebi go behind the scenes on a series of videos that explore real-life scenarios as interpreters.

The video spells out what simultaneous interpretation, consecutive interpretation, bilateral interpreting, chuchotage, and décalage mean and allows viewers to take a peek at what it takes to be a professional interpreter.

I appreciate the light-hearted tone to explore the skills used in note-taking or the difficulty (or impossibility) of translating humor. And, due to the educational nature of the video, I find it brilliant to say that interpretation’s “real-time translation.”

ATA Conference in Chicago, THE annual event for translators and interpreters

The American Translators Association Annual Conference is THE can’t-miss-it event for translators and interpreters in the United States and all over the world. This year, the Association celebrates its 55th Conference and 1800 attendees are expected in Chicago.

Please join me and attend my presentation on tools and technology for interpreters.

I-1 Tools and Toys for ‘Terps
Cristina Silva
(Thursday, 11:00am-12:00pm; Intermediate; Presented in: English) Tools for translators have long taken center stage on translation lists and discussion groups as the Holy Grails of productivity. As technology arrives on the interpreting scene, new tools, apps, and toys are also being developed for interpreters. Want to organize your glossaries? There is a tool for that! Want to record yourself and measure your voice pitch? We have got you covered! Want to take notes and record speakers? You are in luck! This session will explore tools, toys, tips, and tricks for today’s interpreters. Participants are encouraged to bring smart phones and/or tablets to this interactive technology demonstration.

A tip from the United Nations forworking with interpreters

Today, September 24th, is the 68th annual U.N. General Assembly of the United Nations. World leaders are in New York and among the chiefs of state speaking today are Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff.

As an interpreter, I was truly happy to find this gem the transcript: “Delegates are being reminded to speak at a calm pace so that translators can do their work easily“.

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(No) Interpreting on Days 6 and 7 of 28: Rest Time!

I’m taking a well-deserved break and resting my throat, voice and brains. This down time allows me recover my creativity, stamina and coping as an interpreter and gives me a chance to “breathe” outside of the conference – yes, there’s life outside of the event :).

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Interpreting on Day 5 of 28: The Fine Art of Interpreting Small Talk

In many events where interpretation services are needed, interpreters are called to become specialists on the main topic of the conference: government and narcotics, defense and national security, agriculture, aviation, medicine, business, etc.  These are just some of the events where I’ve interpreted, but that’s what I’m going to call the hard side of the interpreting. Not that the conference topic is difficult, because the topic could truly be very mundane. And then, there’s the soft side of interpreting.

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Interpreting on Day 4 of 28: Field Trip Day

We took a break from our classroom and went into a field visit today. We’ve talked and walked the whole day. After many hours walking and talking, there are 5 things that I’ve learned to make my life easier:

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Interpreting on Day 2 of 28: It’s Show Time!

As an interpreter, you have to learn how to REALLY listen to people and convey EMOTION. And you start paying attention to speaker’s quirks and eccentricities. Some speakers are nasal, some are funny. Some have a thick, unintelligible accent, others have amazing voices and personalities and stories to tell and can pack the house. And because you’ve learned how to listen to people, you slowly start learning how to produce different vocal effects and mimic people. There is a bit of acting in interpreting, that’s for sure. Until you really have to DO IT:)!

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Interpreting on Day 1 of 28: First Day Jitters

No matter how experienced an interpreter is or how adept he or she is at simultaneous or consecutive techniques, the first day of an assignment is always scary, exciting and totally unique, to say the very least. So, here I am, with my client and booth mate, at the breakfast table in our hotel. It’s all about regular pleasantries and the simple things of life: how the trip had been, the weather, the hotel room, the Brazilian Delegation…

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