Why I Hate Interpreting and Translating: multilinguals are not “natural” interpreters and translators
Just because somebody speaks two languages, he/she is not a natural, automatic interpreter and translator. A multilingual person can’t translate anything anybody wants, and can’t do simultaneous interpretation. I have received many requests and demands to translate and interpret on the spot from monolingual people and from multilinguals who aren’t used to being in situations where they have to interpret or translate. The idea that just because somebody is bilingual that they should make a career as a translator and an interpreter or do it for friends and family as favors is absolutely faulty.
f you fashion yourself Ernest Hemingway or Jorge Luis Borges’ incarnate and therefore exempt from learning an “inferior” tongue, let’s do a reality check. Where’s your Nobel Prize for Literature? Where are the bookshelves of tomes in your name worthy of mention?
For a limited time, until December 31, 2014, Saved by Language is on pre-sale. You can buy it here. The DVD comes with English, Ladino, Spanish and Bosnian subtitles. Choose from PAL and NTSC formats.
Alas, my TEDx talk on why we need to learn foreign languages and save endangered languages via music has been posted online.
Minde, a Portuguese village of 3000 people, has its own language, Minderico. DSCN1304Minderico developed as a secret language of the textile merchants in the town of Minde. When I heard it, I couldn’t understand anything even though the language has Latin roots.
Next week will be a bonanza week for me in terms of presentations on learning languages via music and preserving endangered languages with songs and technology.