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A dream April 29, 2011

Filed under: unrelated and odd — Lucila Soto @ 11:01 am

The kettle’s high pitch was audible all through the house. She left the bedroom and walked briskly to the kitchen. This night dinner would be instant coffee with a dash of milk and a toast. She needed to watch her weight as her right hip and leg had been achy the past couple of weeks and her doctor advised taking some weight off her small frame was a good idea.

Well, maybe she could have 2 vanilla cookies, her favorites since forever. They were thin and small so they would satisfy her craving for some sugar and, at the same time, her doctor’s requests.

Dinner in hand she returned to the bedroom and placed the tray into her night stand. Then she sat on the far edge of the right of her now way too big king size bed. She started to search for the T. V. remote when a sens of misplacement took over her.

– Hi! said his voice.

She felt goosebumps and turned to the left side of the bed slowly. He was there, he seamed fine, healthy, a bit younger even. And he was smiling, a sneaky ear-to-ear one, like when he was enjoying some mischief he had just done.

– What are you doing here? She said a bit surprised. – Where have you been all this months?

– Where do you think? was his answer. Again he smiled and after letting a minute go by so the thought could sink on her he added, – Look at what I can do now!

With no apparent effort nor pain he reached his right hand to touch her without moving any other part of his body. So his arm got longer and  longer and longer, until he could caressed her cheek softly. Meanwhile his left hand mirrored the sudden elongation and was almost falling out of the bed.

– You know you shouldn’t be here. It is no longer a place for you, and as much as I miss you, you need to go. Go and find rest and peace. She then told him.

Then, she turned around just a second so she could wipe a tear from her eye and heard him say: – It’s fine, I’m going then.

And he was gone again. And she felt once again the sense of loss and that now familiar pain in the center of her chest.

And she took a sip of her instant coffee. No mood for cookies now.

Translating & Localizing March 3, 2008

Filed under: unrelated and odd — Lucila Soto @ 3:07 pm

“In general, little things are a big deal when it comes to translation, because the end-goal, according to experts, is invisibility. Dialogue – written and spoken – should flow so well that viewers forget that it was translated at all.” Elena Barcia for

I’m a very lucky girl so I have many loves in my life. I have my dogs, I have my jelly-bean, I have my beloved family and a couple of really good friends. I was even lucky enough to find a job that really fulfills my life: translating.

I have always had a love for words, I try to express myself properly and I truly believe that language was created an intricate and humongous collection of expressions in order to let us express what we really mean to say in order to avoid conflict and misunderstanding. I don’t believe any word should be used lightly or when lacking knowledge on its meaning.
And, as I love meaning of things, I have always enjoyed reading, art, culture and basically had a need to see, apprehend and understand my surroundings, being they places, things or people. This, I think, lead me into having the ability and gusto of translating not only words but thought & concepts from one language to another, not by using directly translated words but making a clear distinction between the different meaning and use of words.

I do trust in the power of words, I do think that for every human action, feeling or thought there is, for each language an exact word to describe it, it is only our lack of knowledge of the vast and rich world of words that forbids us to properly make ourselves understandable.
And of course, there exists a precise equivalence between words, phrases and sayings, between Countries and traditions. I speak of equivalence, not of a mere translation, I refer to it more like a localizing process and not of an equivalence for words, let’s have some examples:

Yes, while walking on the red carpet we had an argument which resulted in him going out of the party.
If I were to only translate from English to Spanish using what I call a “babelfish style”, the result would be something like:
Sí, mientras caminábamos por la carpeta roja tuvimos un argumento que resultó en que él saliera de la fiesta.
Which is, in short, bad Spanish, a word by word translation. In contrast a good translation taking into account a neutral Spanish localizing would read:
Así es, mientras caminábamos por la alfombra roja peleamos, es por eso que él dejó la fiesta.

Words are part of a living code: language. Language is an always evolving structure, Mexican Spanish from late XVII century is as equal to Mexican Spanish from this time as Italian, references and roots are there but meanings and uses change as societies do. When translating or localizing this should always be kept in mind.