Friday, August 27, 2004

Translating Fund Raising document

I have been very busy with the translation of a fund raising document of an NGO here in Barcelona. It's full of reference about the Philippines way of raising funds.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Interpretation job on Sunday morning

I was awakened by the ring on my mobile phone. It was the agency calling for an interpretation job at the Barcelona court. I was a bit reluctant to get the job because it's a long way here in Cornellá to the center of Barcelona. And the thing is it's Sunday! However, when I heard that there was a big compensation of almost the double I usually get from my other regular-job-providing agency, my mouth just uttered the word yes.

The job was about (again) child abuse. This time around the father of the child charged his wife of maltreatment. The funny thing though is that his wife filed a few days ago a lawsuit for abuse. It seems that his wife is a battered person not only his daughter.

The only problem I have had with this work was with the word "denuncia" (report/file a complaint) in Spanish. I was a bit hesitant to translate into "reklamo" (claim - it may mean only verbal claim without any formal complaint) since the term in Spanish implies more serious action. So I decided to use the near equivalent "naghain ng demanda" (filed a complaint/lawsuit). It was indeed understood by the father.

Thursday, August 19, 2004


My new blog.

I've been busy with translation work of the essays though I should be on vacation. Anyways, the new blog will be tackling the theme of dreams, my dreams. So folks I would be sharing my "deepest being." Don´t be scared...

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Translation of a book

Today I was offered a job to translate Ashok Gollerkeri's essays, which will be compiled to complete a book. The language will be in Tagalog. As excited as any translator can be, I am now flexing my muscles to commence this work. It's a very profitable one taking into consideration that 25% of the royalties will be given to me, the translator. But there's a catch since I have to look for the publisher myself. So friends out there, is there anyone who can lend me a helping hand regarding this? Any Filipino publisher out there?

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Silver lining

Yes, the two checks for translation and editing job from Merrill Corporation are here! They always pay on time though someone seems to forget to change my new address in their database because the checks arrived at the former house I was staying.

And my friend Shirley is now recuperating from lung surgery. Things to be glad about after the stormy Friday the 13th. Thank God!

Friday, August 13, 2004

Lies and more lies

What supposed to be a 30€ an hour interpretation job at Barcelona court turned out to be a 0€ all-day-charade-lie game for me.

I was summoned to appear at the court today (with only 30 minutes notice) to interpret on behalf of a Filipino accused of a crime. So excited to go there, I forgot that I had to do another important thing - collect the payment from a flatmate. I missed the train and metro. I wouldn't arrive on time... Worried about the bad omen this day offers, Friday the 13th, my instinct told me to go after her and abandon the idea to go do the interpretation job. She was in the bank taking out money when I called her. Then, after an hour of waiting she still hadn't showed up. There was no money after all. The check she issued bounced last week. Obviously, there was no funds in her account. Spain, Spanish bureaucracy, Spanish siesta, Spanish mañana habit... Grrr!

All morning we were arguing, going back and forth to the bank with no success and eventually I lost the assignment at the court. "Killed" 2 jobs in one day!

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Interpretation on child abuse

Filipinos are known for being caring, loving and patient breed of people. However, like every other human, we err and sometimes we hurt the ones we love. Discipline out of love (more often it leads to abuse) is the subject of my interpretation job today.

She is a typical Filipina mother who works so hard to give all the best for her child. For 9 long years she bore all the hardships life has given her just to bring up her son (deaf-mute)in more than a normal way. The great barrier between them over these years being away with her son while working abroad was ended when she finally got the chance to petition him. Her husband died a year ago. She now has the custody of the child. What she thought would be a paradise being with her son turned out to be an everyday headache. Problems with communication emerged and she had to look for ways to learn to understand him. She started attending sign language classes but that was not enough because her son has even deeper problem - a psychological one.

Spanish people are not accustomed to seeing their child beaten rather parents are beaten verbally by their children. That's the sad reality. They protect children here in a way that you cannot even pinch their ear because its tantamount to abuse and they can sue you for it.

The interpretation job was fairly easy, it was in Spanish<->Tagalog. One thing I was a bit uneasy was when I tried to explain and elaborate what the mother had exactly exposed and elaborated about the alleged beating of the child, the caretaker didn't give the time to finish all I had to interpret. Parang naiintindihan niya yung sinabi ng nanay ng bata kahit hindi! The caretaker was obviouly biased with what the child had declared to her. She was so sure of the abuse because the neighbors always hear the mother shouts at her deaf-mute son. So I asked permission to end interpreting the version of the mother because there was a lot of juicy and crucial information in there. Valuable information is already lost when you don't hear attentively to someone but even more in terms of "translating" if that particular information is not shared and expressed. Finally, the caretaker told the mother to focus on her deficiencies (communication, housing, etc.) and should try to be more patient and understanding with her son. They will be under surveillance and if one incident of abuse is manifested again then her son will be under the custody of the center for good.

From my point of view and based on the evidence I saw, there was no abuse only misunderstading. Discipline is quite different here in Spain or if I can generalize it, in Europe.

I protest, we protest

When 11-M in Madrid happened everybody was aghast by the horror it caused to Spain and Europe. Everybody was wondering if it was the equivalent of 11-S in New York. Indeed it was after Spanish authorities (some of them tried to manipulate the information so to stay in power longer-Aznar and Co. blaming erroneously ETA for it) found out that the culprits were the terrorist group Al Qaeda. However, the Spanish people as well residents (let's not forget there was a Filipino victim there too) fed up with the lies of the former Spanish government officials decided to end this brazen maneuvering by sending messages to their friends and families to rally against these liars. Some went to the headquarter of the PP (People's Party) in order to air their disgust and blame the officials for their secrecy regarding 11-M. Thus, massive mobilization through text messaging in Spain started. And the end of Aznarism began.

Now on the other side of the Atlantic, as Americans prepare for the crucial November elections the effect of massive text messaging trend is just starting to be felt:
Text Messages for Critical Masses. Here's wishing that Americans utilize this new tool to save their government from liars in the present administration just like Spanish people accurately have done recently.

Anyone want to join me for a peace rally in Barcelona? I'll massive-text you for the venue! Better go to the beach myself - alone!

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Hoax hate letter

Internet is a worldwide success as well as hoaxes sent through this means. In a flash a message whether it is true or not can travel around the world and spread whatever information it carries with it. This afternoon I was "lucky" to be a recipient of a hate letter against the Filipinos. I reacted stubbornly without a second thought resending the letter to my Filipino friends around the world. A few minutes passed and I tried to look for the accused person who allegedly wrote this hate letter. To my surprise, the person did not have anything to do with it and few other articles even a lawsuit were confirming the lies behind this missive. I was so naïve! I felt perplexed and ashamed when I figured out that this hoax has been circulating since 2001! A major and widely read newspaper in the Philippines was sued for printing it. The much respected Philippine Daily Inquirer was, as I was today, a victim of this e-hoax. Fearing that my email to friends might trigger an unstoppable chain letter therefore collapsing some net traffic, I followed up my email by expressing apology to all the recipients of my recent e-hoax turned e-spam.

So friends be careful on the false information circulating on the net. Investigate first before making a stand.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Dreams and translation

It was daytime, afternoon or maybe night time. The only thing I was sure and could remember was I was inside a church or a theater - it was dark with the only source of light was my own eyes' white part.

I was standing right in front of the stage as the lone "actress" dressed in yellow Victorian gown and cap lay awake in bed like the grandmother of Little Red Riding Hood. Waiting anxiously about what to happen next, my eyes just saw in New York minute hands with cake or rice offering to me first as a gift and then to the old woman protagonist on stage. There were more people in the amphitheater (suddenly I realized what it was) watching anxiously the scene. The next thing I could recollect was I needed to go to the bathroom and pee...

Startling though they may seem, my dreams have been recurring in the last year or two: dogs biting me or even gnashing my limbs, swimming naked or half-naked, flying too low on an airplane, winding stairs with missing rungs and of ocurse, the worst of all, the stage. As I have read in one of those books tackling the interpretation of dreams, the stage is the equivalent or a premonition of an imminent danger or bad happening. I tried to keep record of these recurring dreams and one thing I noticed is that, in particular the stage scene, really has a true effect and happens to me. Just this weekend my lodgers left the house without saying goodbye but the promise of paying their share this week. Where in the hell will I find them now? My dream two nights back was right. Or it was my "interpretation" or metaphorically speaking my "translation" of that particular dream?

An interesting read about dreams and translation can be found here:

Dreaming and the Impossible Art of Translation

Thanks Jacek for this informative link!

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

New 101Translations Project Manager

I've just received an email from a former project manager of a translation agency, 101Translations, I often work with. The following days will be a new start to providing information again to be able to update their database. Of course, frequent collaborators like me will still be given priority in jobs. I just hope the new project manager is as efficient and kind as the one who was in-charge of that post, Giovanni Giusti.

Welcome Bellinda Zabcic!

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

At last, I've got the book

After two weeks of endless waiting, finally the famous book "La sombra del viento" has landed in my hands. So excited to read the first few pages, I even felt the haste to sight translate the words as they passed before my eyes. I'm also taking notes of some important events and things so as not to miss them when the real translation work begins.

I'll soon share with Filipinos the delight of "knowing" another world through the translation of this book. So friends, look forward to the Tagalog version of this work.