domingo, 31 de agosto de 2008

You know…?

I've been editing the raw "Mr N's Sleigh Ride", which took me the better part of two years to complete, and I realize that the main difficulty in writing it is that I tried to re-invent classical themes that sort of abound in literature, film, theater and any sort of art… Not that anything I write is art, but…

Anyway, as I have been editing, I've realize that I basically fluttered between Oedipous Rex (Oἰδίπoυς τύραννoς) and spaghetti westerns like "The Pale Rider", where the hero is not only a simple man, but also the cause of his own downfall. He gets to rise beyond his own destruction, but at the cost of becoming his anti-thesis, or at least at the cost of abandoning his previous conception of the world…Rather awful weight to carry for a purported child's book, no?

D

viernes, 22 de agosto de 2008

Project: Brainstorm

Bueno, originalmente así se llamó la película, excepto que en versiones para el hogar sólo se llamaba "Brainstorm", a secas.
Es una película que vi nuevecita cuando salió allá en 1983, y me impresionó muchísimo, porque yo era un chavo de trece o catorce años de edad. Me gustó el aspecto de ciencia ficción y de espiritualismo, donde se sobreentiende que es posible la existencia del cielo, el infierno, el purgatorio, y el gobierno estadounidense.

De hecho, ahora que acabo de verla de nuevo (felicidades a Blockbusters por tener una selección tan amplia de películas) me doy cuenta de que toda la película era propaganda en contra de las nefarias intenciones del gobierno para dominar mentalmente a toda persona en este universo.

Creo yo que estaría buena una versión nueva de la misma película, sin la controvertida situación de la muerte sospechosa de Natalie Wood, ni del uso de dobles, hermanas, ni otras tretas para terminar la película dos años después de la muerte de la protagonista principal. Nos han demostrado con la película "The Dark Knight" que es posible crear una película a pesar de la tragedia de la muerte de los protagonistas…

A ver: ¿quién se anima a producir ($) una reinvención de esta gran película?

Si yo tuviera dinero, lo haría.

D

miércoles, 20 de agosto de 2008

LASer News 2

The job of a translator can sometimes be rather treacherous when it comes to choosing the correct register, or level of lexicon, in a live, simultaneous translation.

Sometimes there are very precise words that could translate exactly what was said, but might be completely out of context, or even archaic.
The risk of falling into bombastic and stilted speech that is never used outside high-brow literary environments is great whenever a translator loses sight of the level in which the conversation is taking place, if he has fallen in love with words he may have learned in his language studies.

Take the following adverbs of place, for example: wherefore, wherein, wheresoever, whereof, etc. These are wonderful words that are elegant in their economy and precision. So, when a parent asks,

—Pero, doctor, ¿de dónde proviene la infección?

the translator may feel tempted to display his prowess by resorting to the aforementioned beautiful adverbs:

"But, doctor, whence did the infection come?"


Doubtful that clear communication will be achieved thus!


Or consider the colloquial phrase,

"I know what I'm talkin' 'bout!"

Its correct form in English is:

"I know whereof I speak!"

You may very well know whereof you speak, but the rest of the 21st Century English-speaking people might not.

For the patients' sake, choose your lexicon with care.

DNAZ Franco

martes, 19 de agosto de 2008

LASer News 1

Hay palabras en español y en inglés que por lo general no circulan en el habla cotidiana. Talvez sea porque son términos de jerga especializada. Quizá sean palabras antiguas. Lo cierto es que de vez en cuando los que piensan que la sofisticación requiere impenetrabilidad y un mínimo número de interlocutores (posiblemente UNO sólo, ellos mismos), se refugian en frases manidas y palabrería del tesauro del abuelo.

Para lograr ese efecto de alcurnia intelectualoide, en español es más frecuente el uso de palabras polisilábicas y rebuscadas, mientras que en inglés es más común la inclusión de galicismos.

Pero como interpretes y traductores, es menester que uno pueda buscar el mismo registro para poder realizar completa la hazaña de comunicar el mensaje con las palabras precisas. Por lo tanto, huelga buscar lo rebuscado y ponerse más gachupín que un parisiense.

Un pequeño ejemplo:
Supongamos que un día de estos un padre decide increpar a la enfermera, y le espeta:

—¡Su estulticia es apabullante!

Bueno, pues "estulticia" se puede traducir como "folly", o "foolishness". Pero ese NO es el mismo registro, o nivel de vocabulario. Es decir, en español no es común el uso de dicha palabrita por el público en general.
Yo sugiero el uso de galicismos para evocar ese tono casi lírico que tienen algunos vocablos castellanos esotéricos. Yo diría:

"Your bêtise* is overwhelming!"

Claro, después de semejante insulto, más vale que uno busque refugio bajo la cama del paciente.

* (bêtise se pronuncia bay-TEASE, y viene del francés, que describe una actitud como de bestia)

DNAZ FRANCO

lunes, 18 de agosto de 2008

LASer newsletter

En el trabajo me han pedido que redacte una columna para el boletín informativo bimensual del departamento. Este boletín se llama "LASer news", y es un juego de palabras que incluye las siglas de nuestro departamento: Language Access Services. Supuestamente, algunos del personal clínico en el hospital se refieren a nosotros como los "LASers". ¿Será por lo incisivos, o por lo rápidos que somos? No sé, pero lo cierto es que nunca he escuchado a ningún doctor o enfermera que lo diga. En fin

En vista de que no hubo mucha dirección con respecto al contenido de la columna o del tono de la revista, en general, entonces decidí nombrar la columna igual que este blog, para darle publicidad con los compañeros del trabajo. Hasta el momento, ni uno solo de ellos ha pasado por acá a dejar un comentario, pero se me olvida que muchos de ellos son gente muy ocupada, que tienen varios trabajos de medio tiempo y eventuales, entonces de seguro no tienen tiempo para desperdiciar leyendo tonterías.


De ahora en adelante, publicaré mi columna también en mi blog. He decidido hablar sobre peculiaridades de la traducción inglés-español. A ver qué sale…

D

sábado, 16 de agosto de 2008

Watching anime "Blood+"

 
I've just been through a bout of some gastrointestinal mishap or other (doctor couldn't find out what it was), and while I was convalescing, I stayed home from work for a couple of days. During those long hours, I started watching this series, based on a movie I saw when my children were little, like ten years ago, or so…

Anyway, I was excited to finally start catching the drift of the plot, and was up to chapter twenty when I decided to Google the series and read more about it. That's when I found out that there are over FIFTY chapters of this stupid series.

I think the Japanese anime are very much like Mexican soap operas, in that they go on and on and on, just developing the same characters, and getting into deeper and deeper plots. They are both very melodramatic and full of cultural clichés. They are both targeted for the general public (i.e., not very intellectually challenging). They are both absolutely watchable and pull you in like the proverbial mafia. I can't stop watching.

I think I may need to get sick again, just to be able to finish this series…

D

domingo, 10 de agosto de 2008

The Gods Must Be Crazy

Oh, my GATO! [Editorial remark: this is my preferred "minced oath," instead of "gosh/gee/giddy aunt/etc."]

I've just found a link to this movie on "Surfthechannel.com," which in turn sent me to "Tudou.com" where this movie is posted in four parts. Sure, it comes with Chinese subtitles, but that's okay.

Anyway, this was a great movie to watch. I remember I must have been all of eleven or twelve when I watch it at the theaters. It was a brand new movie!
Back then, theaters still showed a documentary and a cartoon before the main feature. Sometimes there was a round of advance screenings (trailers) before, also. Most of the times they showed them afterwards. There were hardly any commercials that I can remember, but every so often they would slip in a "video" from a recent pop song (I remember watching Napoleón's "Eres" for the first time in a movie theater!)

Whatever…

What I wanted to comment, is that we arrived to the movies late that time, so we didn't know that the movie had started because it looked like all those cheesy documentaries they used to show before the main feature. When all the shenanigans and slap-stick started, we finally understood that the movie was on.
I remember laughing at all the broad comedy because I was a child, but even now, after watching it online, I found myself chortling with the movie's asinine humor and candy-coated "noble savage" perspective in their satirical send-up of modern life.

Meanwhile, I disagree that the "evil thing" is here to harm us. I love Coke!

D

sábado, 9 de agosto de 2008

Planet Earth on DVD (BBC, UK)

Planet Earth on DVD

These past few days I've been watching the monumental series called "Planet Earth." Took them like ten years to film, and it's pretty much a showcase of two seemingly opposite concepts: on the one hand, it's a very impressive technological achievement, to record all those very difficult sequences of natural environments and animal behaviors in High Definition. Sometimes they had to hide, crawl, jump, dive, climb and do all sort of onerous tasks besides waiting for days on end to be able to capture a few minutes of footage. So, in a sense, these DVD's are very much a celebration of what humans can do.

But, on the other hand, this documentary is a last chance to see many sights of our own planet that we would normally never see. Either they are perilous or remote, or both, but these landscapes are at one time titanic and dramatic, but also ephemeral and fragile. It is very apparent that our six billion-strong gang of furless primates (in appearance insignificant next to such a very wide wilderness) can tip the scales and unbalance the delicate juggling act that life plays on this planet, which is both cradle to life and a continuous threat to it.

I must confess that, at times, the images of the natural beauty are so brutal that they do make me weep. Every minute of this documentary I've been reminded very strongly of J. R. R. Tolkien's famous line, uttered by his fictional character, Galadriel, queen of the sylvan elves:

"All shall love me. And despair!"

D

¡Mini WordReference!

Entradas populares