When it comes to academy, I always picture a pile of books, ineligible Xerox articles, uncountable and unnamed pdf files in the “Downloads” fold in my computer, not to mention long texts, formal language and many new words. It is definitely a congested world. Despite being quite familiar with it (since I am part of the university), I have never felt truly safe with the steps I have taken so far. Thus, if we add the “translation” detail to this scenery, the confusion reaches a higher level. Even so, I like English very much, and since I am the one in the family or in the circle of friends who studies it ‘for real’, it is me the person to whom they come to ask for doubts (“How do you say this in English?” “What is this song talking about?” “Can you take a look at my translated resume?” “Can you write this email in English to me?”). So, if you think about it, I have been translating for all this time I know English. However, not as we have been doing in “Scientific and technical translation”. The course introduced me to translation in a deeper stage of the skill. It has taught me great technological resources, like SKELL, SmartCat, AntCoc and Google Translator. The access to these platforms was not only helpful in terms of accelerating the pace in translation, but also showed me that in order to reach better results, it is necessary to have someone behind the steering wheel. It takes a human being to operate words. And to operate, we need to make decisions. What was difficult for me before starting the course was deciding the best translated word, where to check for reliable reference, whether the structure I wrote was grammatically correct according to the formal usage of English. Moreover, I used to have problems with time, because I simply questioned EVERY single word in the original text and its collocations, mainly because in Portuguese I feel that we have figurative meanings, which sometimes do not exist in English. How to translate that? After one hour of work I was still reflecting about it. Nevertheless, things started to change over the semester. I noticed that the more contact I had with the scientific articles, for instance, the more comfortable I felt making my choices. Although the texts come from different fields, there are some words (and structure) that will always appear, so the translator gets the hang of it. Another contribution of the course was the opportunity to discuss each other’s versions with the group, which proved to be a positive strategy (?), since we can compare the translations and learn from them so that next time the translation job would not be so difficult. I feel I am improving my confidence (trust your instinct!) as well as enhancing my personal English glossary and my writing skills.
Midterm here ABSTRACT 1
When I chose this subject, I thought it would be easy to find scientific articles, mainly because of the array of areas it covers, such as geology, history, anthropology, engineering and architecture. However, this variety turned out to hinder my search. Since my goal was to build a corpus that would support me in terms of glossary, I needed the texts to have if not the same, at least similar topic. Therefore, I narrowed my ‘object’ even more in order to reach results that were more accurate. By doing so, the wordlist originated from five articles regarding the geomorphological structure of Machu Picchu showed me words like “landslide”, “slope”, “susceptibility”, “movements”, “deformation” and “activity”. It is possible to see that they refer to ground, rocks and impact caused by what can be called a natural disaster. This is helpful in case I am unsure about which words are more suitable in a translation task, whether I should go with “slope” instead of “declivity”, for example, and that the word “movement” not only fits the sociology context, but is also a good solution when one needs to talk about earthquakes. In contrast, I was expecting a wider range of specific terminology of this field.
Here is the list: Wordlist Machu Picchu
Scientific and technical translation in English has taken me into a new world, full of abbreviations, tables, coloumns, digital plataforms and lots (lots!!) of jargons and scientific terminologies. It might scare at first. You don't know exactly where to click, where to search for the most reliable information about a matter you're not familiar with, whether you should change the original form, or if you should leave it that way. You literaly feel "lost in translation", but class after class you start seeing "what's the story" in the text, you learn to use machine translation in your favor (never again I'll start a translation task from sratch once I have a 3-column- translation as option) and you realize how effective it is to discuss your solutions with your peers.
One of my favorite things about this class so far has been the introduction to C.A.R.S. and the moves that come with it. I know it's not about translation specifically, but it helped me enter this academic writing world in a more "smooth" way. What I hope to do by the end of this class is to accelerate my pace of translation, to optimize the paths during the process and to be more assertive and less overthinker.
By the way: