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Translation sensation

The Department of Foreign Languages held a Translation Week from Sept. 27 to Oct. 1 for those interested in studying or pursuing a career in translation and localization. Events included open Q&A sessions with guest speakers from Weber State University and from other countries to speak about professions in the field of translation, with some face-to-face and some virtual options.

Topics included literary bilingual readings, internships, audiovisual translation, medical translation and exploring careers in the language service industry. The “Bad Translations” photo submission contest also returned.

Marta Chapado Sanchez, academic director for ISTRAD and coordinator of the Master in Audiovisual Translation at Instituto de Superior de Estudios Lingüísticos y Traducción and the University of Cádiz in Cádiz, Spain, spoke about the audiovisual translation career field through a virtual presentation.

Sanchez explained that translation is saying “almost the same thing.” Translation is taking the ideas, feelings and what was said in one language and converting it to another. It may be word for word; however, it’s mainly the big idea.

Marta Chapado Sanchez opening the translation week zoom session by defining "translation" and
Marta Chapado Sanchez opens the Translation Week Zoom session by defining "translation" and allowing all, no matter the language, to be able to feel every story. (Bella Torres / The Signpost)

In the audiovisual field, translators have different ways to translate a piece. In Sanchez’s opinion, dubbing is the hardest but most fun.

Dubbing is matching the words of the new language to the lip movement of the original language. Sanchez explained that sometimes the words or phrase must be moved around so it looks right but also means the same thing.

There is also a translation presence in the medical field. Vicent Montalt, associate professor of translation and communication and academic director of medical translation at Universitat Jaume I in Castello, Spain, also did a virtual presentation about this career field.

“Medical translation refers to medical context from healthcare — in a hospital, in a health center — to research in the biomedical sciences,” Montalt said.

Medical translators must know medical terminology, interdisciplinary communication between specialists in the same field and the ethics of the language. They’re not only communicating to specialists or researchers in the field, but also to the patients.

Montalt explained he wants to take the notion of medical translation away from focusing only on highly specialized texts, like research papers, and include texts that are non-specialized.

Translators have a critical eye on them. Those who speak multiple languages may criticize them for not including part of a translation or messing one up.

As a way of beginning to wrap up the presentation, Marta Chapado Sanchez touched on work opportunities for members of the translating world. (Bella Torres / The Signpost)
Marta Chapado Sanchez touches on work opportunities for members of the translating world. (Bella Torres / The Signpost)

Sanchez said that sometimes in films, especially those with subtitles, the script can be condensed in order to keep the original meaning and not ruin the film. When that happens, some will be annoyed that one version says one thing and the other doesn’t include it.

Translators may go over the texts multiple times to make sure everything makes sense in the new language and that it doesn’t offend the culture or ideology of the new language.

Similarly, in medical translation, translators have to find a uniform way of translating texts.

Montalt explained that specialists may use different words than others, so translators have to look at each text with a critical eye to find those issues and correct them.

Localization is a field that not many know the full extent of, but it’s a field that is important and still growing.

“Localization is the largest industry you’ve never heard of,” Kacy Peckenpaugh, associate professor of German and French, said in a WSU video about localization and translation. “It’s part of a $50 billion language service industry that includes translation and interpretation. So localization itself is translation plus region-specific cultural, technical or regulatory adaptation.”

WSU offers an Introductory class in localization. Related programs include a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Translation, an associate degree in localization and a minor in localization.

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