lucila soto

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The rhythm of the wind within March 13, 2008

Filed under: Heartfelt — Lucila Soto @ 10:17 am

The morning is cold and the sun is down, each breath I take makes me cold inside, but I know that in a while the shivers won’t matter at all as my soul will be above my body and its mundane
I’m prepared for this, for months, even years now, I have been thinking of nothing more. My mind, body and soul are ready for the deed and I will leave behind all other link, all other thought, all other feeling that forbids me from leaving for a while my former self.
I start moving, my heartbeat, my breathing change in rhythm, my temperature rises and my mind focuses. First I’ll think of the pains, aches and every small sensation I’m physically feeling but it will fade away and I’ll start paying attention to my surroundings, the people I pass along the way, the people that pass me, the landscape, the smells, the light and the wind that blows.
Problems at work, arguments with people, recent events and the ever-recurring-thoughts-of what will become of me, what will happen with my life, which path to follow, will then come to mind, this is a third stage of being in motion.
Time passes but suddenly I gain conscience only to notice that 5 minutes have elapsed, I’m still moving and I have arrived to some other landmark from where I was 5 minutes ago. I know I have reached runner’s heaven when this happens, usually after my 10th kilometer.

This is my 8th year as a serious runner but I believe I was born one. Some people are born to swim, some to play golf, some to dance, some to climb, some to box or hike or bike. Some are not prone to sports -or at least they say so.

My thoughts are that a human being is brains, soul and body and for that fulfillment should come as a whole for those 3 areas, so every one of us has abilities and capabilities within that should be explored along those lines. And being realistic, very few selected ones are to become first rate athletes in the style of my heroes Haile Gebrselassie or Oscar Pistorius, so in the common case we will only compete with ourselves which turns out to be the most challenging competition of all, as competitive beings who love challenge, we specially love to challenge ourselves. Be better than your former self, don’t age but upgrade!

So, running is my thing. Specially long distance, specially at the forest, specially if it’s a cold morning. No other sport I have practiced, no other stuff I have done has ever left me with the sense of achievement and well being as crossing the finish line of my first 15k race, my first half-marathon and latter my first marathon. I think it has to do with the self imposition of this path I have chosen, which, in the end is set by my own pace, rhythm and internal wind.

As the Penguin says: Waddle on friends!

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.