From Your Cheerleader in the Field

By Shawna Stevenoski During the  seminar, the bilingual presenter required all attendees to have audio equipment to hear the simultaneous interpretation. Initially, the equipment was used simply to aid the non-English speaking attendees. When the session turned to a question and answer segment, English speakers had to use their headsets to hear the interpretation of the non-English responses. The discomfort level of the English speakers was growing, but was still manageable. Can…

Localization Series: Localization Kit

To ensure a clear understanding of the overall localization project, it is necessary to put together a Localization Kit, or LocKit (it needed a shorter name, of course) for localizers, engineers and testers to properly plan ahead. It should contain tools, instructions and resources that will allow a software product to be localized. Nadine Kano defines it in her book Developing International Software (Microsoft Press, 1995) as: A subset of…

Localization Series: Internationalization

By Rick Dudgeon What is internationalization? If you do a search of the web, you’ll find that internationalization, or i18n, is often used interchangeably with localization (L10n). You might view them as two parts of the same process. They are really two distinct processes, requiring different skill sets. Localization is typically done by translators, while internationalization is normally done by software engineers. You might compare this to the example of…

What Our Language Means

I’m participating in a holistic program intended to promote health, fitness and wellbeing through self-discovery, empowerment and a shift of perceptions of what those concepts mean for each one of us. Because I’m New Age like that. One of the exercises consisted in creating personal and positive affirmations that would eventually turn into our reality by means of our subconscious mind. Bear with me. Somebody in the group whose first…

Volunteering Without Borders

Last weekend I attended the Northern California Translators Association’s General Meeting. Besides mingling with old and new colleagues, during the meeting there is always a presentation that usually involves industry related topics. This time the speaker was Val Swisher from Translators Without Borders, a non-profit association set up to provide pro bono translation services for humanitarian non-profits. She started by sharing some stories from people in Africa who in spite…

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,…