The World is Talking… We Translate

This post is part of our special coverage Global Voices in 2011.

Every time a year comes to an end, evaluations of it are made. Sometimes we tend to be very objective and other times, subjectivities float to the surface. Most of the time, these assessments, recollections and lists of the ‘best of the year’ do not satisfy everybody.

Some members of the team of translators at Global Voices in Spanish [es], who during the past twelve months have worked behind the scenes to translate the best of what Global Voices Online publishes in English on a daily basis, decided to briefly express what we liked the most or what impacted us the most of what we have translated or seen posted. And as we say colloquially, let's put the ‘floro‘ (palaver) aside and get to the point:

Elisa López tells us about the post she enjoyed translating the most, and adds a note of personal information:

I really enjoyed translating Estados Unidos: ¿La NASA ha descubierto un planeta habitable? [es] (Has NASA Discovered a Life-Friendly Planet? [en])

I found the topic appealing. My husband and I are always discussing science-related events, and we had been discussing that particular topic a couple of days ago. And when I started working on the translation, I found the article well-written: clear, concise, and showing different points of view. Interesting information and good writing, a great combination!

Natán Calzolari shares his feelings and sentiments about Global Voices’ involvement with world events:

While I was translating it I found myself really moved by how the whole world was helping the Egyptians to put their word out there. Needless to say, Global Voices did an incredible job amplifying their voices, and it was really exciting to be a part of it.

Isabel Guerra shows her amazement about a fact she wasn't aware of:

I enjoyed translating this one Filipinas: Debate sobre proyecto de Ley de Divorcio [es] (Phillipines: Debate on Divorce Bill [en]) because I wasn't aware that there was still a country that does not allow divorce!

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Rivera tells about her sadness while translating a post from Libya:

For me, Libia: De duelo por la muerte de Mohammed Nabbous [es] (Libya: Mourning Mohammed Nabbous [es]) was a very special and sad post to translate. Since Libya's revolution started, I followed ‘Mo's’ reports and even watched his live feed. I just couldn't believe it when the news broke on Twitter that he had died. I knew, right away, I wanted to translate the post related to his death as soon as it was published as a tribute to a man I consider a hero and an inspiring citizen journalist. The post did him justice. It was sensitive, complete and very well phrased. Needless to say, I shed some tears while writing it and felt very connected – by heart – to the Libyan people and their struggle.

Although she didn't translated the post, Catalina Restrepo comments she was impressed with the situation women face in many countries:

It's no translated for me but was wonderful when I saw this article in Spanish: Arabia Saudita: Condenada a 10 latigazos por conducir un automóvil [es] (Saudi Arabia: Outrage Over 10 Lashes for Female Driver [en])

Generally Women here [Colombia] are not worried about their role in the society but about the fashion or beauty. When I read this story, I discover again that it's necessary for women [around the world] reflect on the importance of being a woman in honor of others who do not have the same “freedoms”.

Gabriela García Calderón shares her sentiment about the first news of what later would be known as the Arab Spring:

Even though it is actually a post published on late 2010, I think the most important post I've translated is Túnez: El intento de suicidio de un desempleado provoca disturbios [es] (Tunisia: Unemployed Man's Suicide Attempt Sparks Riots [en]).

This post tells us the plight of 26-year old Mohamed Bouazizi, who set himself on fire out of desperation for not being able to earn a living for himself and his family.

This at first isolated and individual action was the spark of was later known as the Arab Spring, a series of events that set the standard for the whole year. As usual, Global Voices was there to inform its reader about important events, almost while they are still happening.

Adriana Gutierrez tells us about her chosen post, also related to the Arab Spring:

It's kind of hard to pick just one memorable post for me (every single entry is special, one way or another), but I enjoyed translating this one: Egipto: Graffiti – Por una revolución colorida y un recuerdo inmortal [es] (Egypt: Graffiti – For a Colorful Revolution and an Undying Memory [en]).

I found very moving and creative the way egyptians took a very “simple” and ordinary thing as a street wall and converted it in a canvas to express their thoughts about revolution and to pay tribute to the martyrs, claming the street as theirs.

Indira Cornelio was also impressed by the circumstances some women have to live with:

I enjoyed translating this one Global: Bloggers debaten opiniones contra el nicab [es] (Global: Bloggers Take Issue With Anti-Niqab Punditry [en]) because it really got me thinking about the importance of tolerance as sometimes I find hard to understand how women in other countries live, and the laws or practices they have.

And said:

As a fan of hyperlinks, I like texts that starting off with just two or three lines can take you to new and various texts that may, sometimes, represent a lot of reading. It's just like opening a little wormhole on the generated mental image and taking to another dimension, just to come back to take off once again. That's why, I love posts just as CEE: More on Václav Havel and His Legacy, due to their concentrated richness.

With this small and humble sample we, the Global Voices Spanish team, wish to encourage authors all over the world to write their articles and to go on doing so. We want them to know that their texts not only inform, but also generate sentiments, discoveries and awareness in all the readers.

Thank you, and a happy 2012.

This post is part of our special coverage Global Voices in 2011.


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