Encompassing the pharmaceutical, medical and healthcare areas, medical translation can be very challenging, to say the least. Every foreign medical device, brochure and label needs to be translated before it can be used by either medical professionals or patients.
Red T, the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC), the International Federation of Translators (FIT), the International Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters (IAPTI), Critical Link International (CLI) and the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI) have started a petition to protect translators and interpreters around the world who have to put their life in danger in order to carry out their jobs.
Language is powerful. The terms and structures you use to talk about a particular subject can alter the effects, repercussions and opinions of people reading about a topic, particularly if these people are caught off guard.
Preaching about the power of language has become second nature to me. However, there are many who are still surprised at the thought of language influencing opinions and even actions. A couple of days ago, a friend of mine shared this article with me entitled “How Texas Teaches History”, and I have got to say that my friends know me too well, because I found it fascinating.
Today, hours before International Translator’s Day finishes everywhere in the world, I’d like to write down some personal thoughts about this profession that I am so in love with.
I like to think of Saint Jerome translating the Bible into Latin because he wanted to bring knowledge to the people. And yes, I know this may or may not be true, as it was Pope Damasus I who commissioned this huge job, but I like to think of Jerome as the essence of what, in my opinion, translation stands for: a bridge between knowledge and people.
Few books have shaken me in the way Lolita did when I read it. Nabokov’s work plays with the reader’s emotions and sympathies, as well as their understanding of sexuality, relationships and love. There is so much going on in the book, that choosing a cover for it should be excruciatingly hard. Yet, based on what I could see in Dieter E. Zimmer’s gallery, entitled “Covering Lolita“, a great number of editions from all over the world have chosen to go with the portrayal of Lolita as a temptress, many of them featuring the iconic heart-shaped glasses which have come to characterise her.
Making money out of war has long been a controversial issue, so much so that terms like “war profiteer” have been coined to refer to individuals or companies getting rich from selling weapons and goods for the troops. And, if you are a linguist, you will surely agree with me in that, if the situation got lexicalised into the language, then it must be real and worth looking into.
Today I came across an article published in a Bollywood news and gossip website about the character of a female translator in a new movie called ‘Singh is Bliing’. The character’s role is to help the main characters communicate with each other. When describing the translator she is impersonating, actress Lara Dutta stated: “It’s funny but also quirky. I had to make an effort to look geeky and frumpy. My look was decided upon between the director, the producer and me and was executed by the film’s stylist Arun”. No translators involved in that decision, of course.