Delivering the Best of Both Worlds

Two years ago I became a mom in the United States. Although everything is new for a new mom, being a foreigner often makes me feel like I’m missing stuff everybody else knows, like I frantically described in my previous Oh, boy! This feeling might just be a self-defense mechanism to justify the truth: I have no idea what I’m doing. Here, there and everywhere. The positive side of this feeling…

Teen Language Brokers – A Bad Idea

By Stephanie Luengas, Student participant 21GATASHAKE in Jefferson, WI The chances of a noncertified interpreter misusing medical terminology are exceedingly high. Imagine how high the odds would be for a bilingual eight year old. I began to interpret for my mom early on in my childhood. It never occurred to me how much of an impact it made. It sort of crossed my mind (in one of the sessions of…

Las Posadas

Growing up in Mexico, December was always my favorite month. Besides being a birthday marathon for my family, we also had the posadas. During the nine days before Christmas, from the 16th to the 24th of December, people celebrate the holidays with these traditional parties. In Catholic terms, they consist of a Rosary novena that represents the nine-day journey of the Holy Family from Galilee to Bethlehem as well as…

A Chilanga in San Diego, Part 3

I knew I was in the right place when I heard out loud many of the questions that normally come up when I’m writing in Spanish. Like a supportive group therapy, Capitalization in English and Spanish with María Barros was both useful and comforting. It sounds like it should be simple, doesn’t it? I headed to Take Back Control: Getting the Work You Want to learn that probably nobody has…

Calaveras [En español]

Mientras planeamos disfraces y armamos la reserva de dulces para Halloween, en esta casa además celebramos el Día de Muertos. Entre las hermosas tradiciones mexicanas para esta época del año, las calaveras (literarias) son probablemente una de las expresiones más divertidas y creativas que reflejan el espíritu de esta celebración. Como mencioné en mi artículo anterior sobre el Día de Muertos, las calaveras son poemas con rimas cortas en “memoria”…

Calaveras

While we’re crafting costumes and stocking up on candy for Halloween, we’re also looking forward to celebrating the Day of the Dead in this household. Among the beautiful Mexican traditions around this time of the year, the (literary) Calaveras are probably one of the most fun and creative expressions that really capture the spirit of this holiday. Like I mentioned in my last post about the Day of the Dead,…

A Chilanga in San Diego, Part 2

We arrived in San Diego Wednesday afternoon. It was really sunny as they promised. I could feel the friendly vibe from the first step into the Hilton and I was talking to people before I could get my badge and tote. The welcome reception was held on the beautiful Promenade Patio while the sun set over the Coronado Bay. It exceeded all of my expectations. At first, I shyly sat…

A Chilanga in San Diego, Part 1

The American Translators Association’s 53rd Annual Conference in San Diego is next week. This will be my first time as an attendee and to say I’m excited is an understatement. Over 1,800 linguists will gather to be part of this four-day grandiose learning experience and networking extravaganza, including many celebrities within the industry. It is both thrilling and intimidating. After all, these are the movers and shakers in the business…

Happy International Translation Day!

International Translation Day (ITD) 2012 Theme: “Translation as Intercultural Communication” The International Translation Day, as it is officially called and celebrated all over the world, originated as a tribute to St. Jerome, a biblical translator, hence the date of September 30th. It has been celebrated since 1953, although the FIT (International Federation of Translators) launched the International Translation Day only in 1991. This day requires much promotion in the US…

Bilingual Etiquette

Last week I took my one-year-old for our evening walk. A smiling neighbor walked by us and stopped to chat. He introduced his dog and I introduced my baby. “Hey Ricky, do you want to pet the doggy?”, he kindly asked my son. The response: an awkward blank stare. To the rescue, I came up with my first honest thought: “Oh, he’s never seen a dog this close”, which sounded…