Monday, 30 January 2017

The Sounds that Confuse X

I was having a conversation with a fellow who has just started in T & I and a secretary: The secretary mentions that she knows of the existence of Cuckoo, an e-mail service. The fellow who was just starting had very strong connections to the Asian peoples. I then point at my own head and say, Cuckoo, you mean? Oh, well, I say something to that extent. The secretary then says yes, but the young fellow says that it isn't so. That it was Q for Quebec. I think that the girl is probably misspelling and they meant Cuckoo, as the secretary assumed. I then say KuKu, in an attempt to guess what should be, not believing that it was Q. The secretary then completes: She means Q for Quebec indeed. I go, OK, then QuQu. 

Some apparently thought that what I did was an offence, like I could not have rejected the Q as in Quebec that the young fellow said. The young fellow didn't. I think that we don't really have a very convincing explanation as to why we would have Cuckoo and not Kukoo, for instance, in the English language, and sounds do confuse quite a lot. I wrote about K for Kappa before. Whoever read will understand. 

Fellows, regardless of what the others tell you, always bear in mind that mistakes, especially in language, are common, and it is very rarely the case that those that claim to be experts do not commit them. First of all, we do not have a Universal Grammar yet, even though some people, like myself, are trying to put the idea out there (Research Gate, my paper). The rules, if ever making sense, should be the same. It obviously does not make sense to write a comma before because in English when in Portuguese that is a crime of no dimension. It either makes sense or it doesn't. 

We are not walking lexicons, and as such should not be seen. I was just conversing with a client and we ended up talking about a famous Brazilian book, which is apparently still considered mandatory reading in Brazil, secondary school, a book that won many awards. This book has been written by a man and the first pages are absolutely unbearable. She agreed with me that they were. The guy seems to have used the entire lexicon in the first chapter, basically. It is all descriptions and things like that. It is an extremely boring book, nothing pleasant. I told her that I think they got prizes just because a man wrote it. Were it a woman, it would never leave the shelf. What is good about a book? That the author is incredibly eloquent? We want to be able to read the damn thing, first of all. I could never leave the first chapter, since I was feeling like killing myself by the fourth page or so. In Interpreting, mistakes are expected. We get context in translation, like most of the time, but not in Interpreting. When we get the context, the time to interpret has already passed, so that we will have to come back if we got the wrong river, basically. That has to be expected. In the example I mentioned in this blog, on a recent post, a post involving the sigmatoid dummy, it was all very hard: Certain things belong exclusively to the personal lexicon of those who speak, first of all. We are not only allowed to ask questions for clarification, we must do that whenever we have doubts. People do have to accept that. We may think that the person is from overseas and said something wrong, such as a Q for Quebec when she meant K for Kilo or C for Charlie, and we may think it is like that from being tired of seeing people from overseas doing that sort of thing. It may then be a necessity to clarify, to even assume that what they meant is something else, even because in my case the secretary said something different. 

Never feel ashamed of what you have done in those regards: You are not a machine. Sometimes you will decide for the wrong option, but it is precisely because you are not a machine that things can be fixed by yourself on the spot. The machine would have committed many more mistakes, and it does do that, but it fixes nothing, remember that. Each, and every, time you fix a mistake that you have committed, think that you are proving that a human interpreter is way more valuable than a mechanic one. That is the difference: You can notice your own mistakes. You can fix them. You can get to those conclusions and fixings completely on your own. You have beaten the machine once more, basically. 

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Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Basement and Attic

Basement should mean porão in Portuguese, but, in certain situations, it doesn't. Just today I was taking a police report. The female cop said she went to the basement of the nightclub in order to get to the toilet or something to that extent. Well, if there is a toilet there, and the environment is a nightclub, that place, where the toilet is, must not be accessible through only one door, and it must not be a place where people usually don't go. Instead, it must be a level like any other in the nightclub. In this case, we say parte de baixo (bottom part) in Portuguese or andar abaixo do térreo (level below the ground level). 

Attic attracts the same issues: It should be sótão, but that is if we rarely access it or if we are not supposed to access it, so say it is where we keep our wine bottles in order for the wine to age. If we have an entire bedroom there and it is accessible by more ways than one door, then it should probably be called parte de cima (upper part). 

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Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Australian Baby Shower

Be prepared for the world where a dummy cannot ever be a doll in a car: Australians do use the sigmatoid dummy to mean anything that can be put in the mouth to occupy the teeth of the babies. It is hard to imagine what Brazilians would use in place. I was just discussing that with Adrian, a fellow from Spanish, and the conclusion is that perhaps we would have to use several sigmatoids to replace that one, so say coisa macia para morder. Pacifier is more commonly seen applied to chupeta, but it can be anything that calms down the baby and is of the type. Again, coisa macia para morder would be OK. 

Cots are caminhas feitas de tecido grosso em estrutura que pode desarmar or simply caminhas suspensas. The most common decision for interpreters that I have seen is Cyril's: In doubt, repeat in the original language. In this case, you can say cot. You could also say pacificador in Portuguese for pacifier, of course. It is just that it is not everyone who will understand this. Cot and crib are the same thing according to the dictionary (freedictionary). 

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Series Exotic Animals

Have you ever had to translate Raccoon into Portuguese? Don't laugh at others, since one day it may happen to you. Despite what we see in (Infopedia), Raccoon is Guaxinim. 

This is a guaxinim: Movie

And this is a raccoon: Picture

I dare disagreeing with, even though this is not my research area, and I little like animals, especially wild ones, just because the images are really clear, aren't they? Got the suggestion from Linguee, and I am thinking that we all must support it. It is definitely it. 

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

The Art of Glossary Making

This is an extract. It came from source.

As an exercise, I ask you to dedicate some time of your life to the art of contemplation. Use the extract. 

What could be improved?

1) We must try to stay as close as possible to the original words, and that must include things like size and shape if possible. The Portuguese language has APELO  and that is a sigmatoid the Brazilians use at the courts for the same situation. In this case, apelo would be a better choice than recurso;

2) In interpreting, we must try to be simpler, what may mean simplifying words if that is possible. We need the person to understand things in an instantaneous manner if possible, something very different from the intentions we have with translation. Apelo would be understood by many more people than recurso, which is, by default, a sigmatoid with possibly blurred meaning. For starters, its different possible senses point at very different places (um apelo na TV para pegar dinheiro refers to appealing to people's feelings; apelar de uma decisao refers to contesting a decision. The senses are practically conflicting, so that this is the worst choice as possible); 

3) Judicial normally has the same meaning as its equivalent in writing in English, like I would like to define similarity via writing, similarity via sound, similarity via sense, similarity via meaning, similarity via length, and so on here, and Judicial is a sigmatoid that exists in the English language. Why contencioso instead? We must choose what is most similar, especially when the similarity is obvious. Contencioso has to do with contesting, so that it is really not appropriate. A judicial procedure is something that may not refer to contesting, first of all;

4) Judicial Circuit being the same as circulo, which is circle in English, is an atrocity. This one is possibly a misprint. Circuito Judicial, fellow, for Christ's sake!