Friday, May 22, 2015

hueveo (Guate): robbery

This translation appears in the fantastic nacla article reposted below on the current protests in Guatemala.  For the record I'm more hopeful than he is and am truly inspired and hopeful that some broader changes will come out of these protests, but I agree with many of his points here.

Repudiating Corruption in Guatemala: Revolution or Neoliberal Outrage?

Securing the “rule of law” and purging corrupt politicians will not suffice—only structural transformation (i.e. redistribution) will address the roots of Guatemala’s democratic malaise.
Nicholas Copeland
A protest in Guatemala on April 25 (Surizar / Creative Commons).
A protest in Guatemala on April 25 (Surizar / Creative Commons).

Four sustained weeks of civil protest sparked by outrage at a corruption ring in the Customs office have brought the Guatemalan government to its knees. Vice President Roxana Baldetti was forced from office amid ongoing investigations into her involvement in a customs tax evasion scheme at the Superintendéncia de Administración Tributeria (SAT). This scandal—known as La Linea in reference to a phone number used by individuals to facilitate customs tax evasion—was uncovered by a wiretap placed by the Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala, (CICIG) a UN-established investigative body charged with eradicating clandestine criminal organizations infesting the Guatemalan state.
Subsequent revelations and news reports poured gas on the fire: Baldetti and Molino own giant mansions and are linked to illegal jade trafficking; key figures in the criminal network were released after bribing judges; and the existence of “bufetes de impunidad”—entire law firms that select and bribe judges for a fee. Dozens are under arrest, and Baldetti’s personal secretary, Juan Carlos Monzón, a ring leader who was caught on tape, fled the country.
Baldetti’s humiliating fall was cheered by thousands of protestors who had been carrying banners, chanting #Renunciaya! (Resign/Give up already!), circulating scathing satire on social media, and heckling candidates from traditional political parties. Emboldened by their victory, protestors continue to demand the resignation of President Otto Perez Molina, an independent investigation, and arrests. Baldetti lost legal immunity when she resigned.
This is the largest, most sustained popular protest since the “Democratic Spring” of 1944 to 1954, when the modestly redistributive agenda of an elected government was cut short by a coup. Orchestrated by Guatemalan elites and the CIA, the overthrow of President Jacobo Arbenz set the course for decades of armed conflict in which over 200,000 people were murdered. Some observers see a new democratic spring dawning in a rare alliance between the urban middle class and progressive movements forged through common revulsion at outrageous greed and impunity in the current administration. Protestors in Guy Fawkes masks and Anonymous addressing the country over social media conjures the specter of “Occupy.” Despite an initial mainstream media blackout, protesters networked over social media and broadcast their message in Mayan languages on community radio.
The $120 million hueveo (robbery) of the SAT was despicable even by Guatemalan standards, and touched off a deep well of frustration with Guatemala’s young democracy. The 1996 peace accords aimed to address Guatemala’s legacies of authoritarianism and colonialism, but they were actually quite moderate. Aggravating their insufficiency, the conservative regimes that dominated subsequent elections blocked their substantive elements, imagining the transition to multicultural democracy as a transition to neoliberal economics—not a radical expansion of citizenship.
Peace brought elections, human rights, tourism, and Mayan nationalism, but it also brought privatization, free trade, austerity, resource extraction, land grabs, kleptocracy, impunity, crime, narco-trafficking, and unprecedented violence. Rather than empower Mayan communities, electoral democracy instituted internecine competition for basic resources that weakened grassroots autonomy. Rural villagers face unemployment, abandonment, collapsing subsistence, natural disasters, and environmental destruction. The urban poor and working class have bleak economic options and are plagued by crime, while the middle class sees their taxes flagrantly stolen. Conservative politicians ride these frustrations to power; Otto Perez Molina promised to use an iron fist against crime. Ironically, CICIG fingered his administration weeks after he agreed to extend its mandate.
Unable to effectively fight crime, Perez Molina’s administration has done the dirty work for foreign capital by declaring states of siege, taking political prisoners, and assassinating leaders in various communities that have opposed extractive industries. State security forces opened fire on a crowd of peaceful protestors in Totonicapán in 2012, killing seven. Despite these threats, in 2014, indigenous protests forced the repeal of the “Monsanto law,” which recognized intellectual property claims for GMO crops.
Where Will this Lead?
How far can these protests go towards transforming the unjust structures of Guatemalan society and its authoritarian political culture? What kind of movement will emerge out of this latest political crisis? Mass protest against impunity in Guatemala is cause for celebration, as it cuts to the heart of the nation’s social contradictions. However, some reasons for caution can be found in the social composition of the protests, the objectives and conceptions of democracy of different protest factions, and the forces already mobilizing to resolve the crisis on terms favorable to dominant sectors.
In contrast to the Democratic Spring, whose major reforms responded to peasant protest, the #Renunciaya movement has been led by primarily ladino (non-indigenous) middle-class and youth in the capital city, although there are many indigenous participants and May 16thprotests spread nationwide. While most Guatemalans may want the Vice President and President to go, beyond this the demands become more diffuse. All groups espouse “democracy.” But some want major structural transformation, while others seek a restoration of political order and an upholding of the rule of law.
That the scandal broke in high electoral season magnifies the significance of the protests, which quickly morphed into a full condemnation of party politics, not just the Partido Patriota (PP). As if proving the protestors’ point, when the PP imploded, many of their congressional representatives and mayors joined the Lider party, whose chief, a millionaire businessman from the Peten, Manuel Baldizón, was already favored to win the elections. The stench of intra-party collusion sparked protests at Baldizón rallies.
A picture circulated of a lone young man in a crowd of red-shirted Lider supporters, defiantly holding up a sign that read “No soy estupido! Lider=PP.” The photo went viral, along with memes ridiculing Baldetti and Perez Molina and the warning “not to touch” Baldizón. Most protestors decry the systematic corruption of party politics. Some blame corruption for poverty and underdevelopment, and for underfunded nutrition programs specifically: Perez Molina’s signature humanitarian initiative was a “war” on chronic child malnutrition.
Beneath the call for renuncia, however, lay heterogeneous agendas. Not everyone wants radical change, even if they are disgusted with corruption-as-usual. It is telling that just before Baldetti caved, the elite Comité Coordinador de Asociaciónes Agrícolas, Comerciales, Industriales, y Financieras (CAFIC) joined calls for her resignation, along with the US Embassy, hoping that sacrificing her would ensure stability.  Conservative anti-corruption protests in Brazil demonstrate this dynamic.
Moreover, it is not at all clear that rural Mayas, many of who support the protests, will heed the call to abandon party politics. Although well aware of endemic corruption, most recognize certain types of corruption, particularly kinds involving more redistribution than self-interest, as morally acceptable. In addition, many view party politics as one of the only means to access scarce resources, through legal and illegal means, and usually by electing corrupt officials. Abstaining from politics and corruption are moral luxuries most villagers cannot afford. Mayas also have the most reason to fear state violence that almost always targets radical movements. Middle-class ladinos and elites rarely support rural movements; to the contrary, they often denounce them as violations of the rule of law.   
Anti-corruption discourse has a limited political horizon. It tends to focus on the individual immorality of corrupt officials, rather than the structural contradictions that make corruption a ubiquitous feature of political life. At the heights of wealth and power, the law can be bought or intimidated—an extension of Guatemalan inequality’s creation in a project of violent dispossession. In the poorest villages, corruption is an inevitable consequence of engaging with these same powerful entities that demand complicity, and who distribute insufficient resources to structurally impoverished communities for political support. Anti-corruption reforms rarely seek structural change and disproportionately criminalize the most vulnerable.
Critiques of corruption figure centrally in neoliberal governance. The World Bank frames corruption as a deviation from the optimal operation of institutions and markets, and, just like protestors, blames corruption for national underdevelopment. Anti-corruption discourse and programs usually frame it as a symptom of a backward political culture, a problem of mindset and education. But poverty and inequality in Guatemala would persist without corruption, through legal defenses of property, however illegally obtained; and it is impossible to imagine a non-corrupt Guatemalan state absent significant redistribution of wealth and power.
The political crisis dramatizes structural contradictions at the heart of Guatemalan democracy and presents opportunities to challenge the conformism and impunity that have long plagued the country. Meanwhile, neoliberals view corruption as antithetical to democracy, blame it for underdevelopment, and propose to resolve it via transparency, rather than recognizing it as an inevitable feature of a democracy founded on structural and political violence. If liberal, reform-minded, middle class Guatemalans are serious about ending corruption, they should also support rural movements for redistribution.

Nicholas Copeland is an anthropologist and assistant professor of American Indian Studies and Sociology at Virginia Tech. His manuscript, Lost in Transition: Mayan Experiences of Democracy in Post-revolutionary Guatemala, examines how structural and political violence, development, and electoral democracy foster grassroots support for authoritarian politics in rural Huehuetenango.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

living as a non-binary or gender neutral trans person in Spanish

Radio Ambulante has a fantastic program here that talks about how you speak in Spanish when you want to avoid having to say estoy cansadO or cansadA.

I recently attended a conference where attendees were asked if they preferred to be referred to as he/she/ or them and this was put on your nametag along with a respective colored dot so that others could see that quickly.  More and more trans folks are wanting to exist outside of gender binaries and ask to be referred to as them.  I've even seen some cis folks using it lately.  But how on earth do you translate this into Spanish? Ell@ still falls into gender binaries. Some get around it by using ellxs, (and unxs, etc) - but I think this gets really confusing for the uninitiated.

Andrea Parra, director of the Programa de Acción por la Igualdad y la Inclusión Social, works with the trans coalition Aquelarre Trans in Colombia, and she suggests using elle.  She writes "more and more trans people are using words ending in e for all inclusive. For example, amigues, elles, compañeres etc."


ps: aquelarre? coven in English

Saturday, May 9, 2015

indignada: outraged

I'm outraged about unethical and environmentally irresponsible Canadian mining in Latin America, and particularly Colombia.  So I'm looking forward to donating interpreting at the screening and discussion of Crude Gold here in Toronto on Thursday at 7 pm at Beit Zatoun (612 Markham) (full info here).

This documentary pulls together four shorts profiling people in Colombia resisting Canadian mining.  I've seen one of them and it was fantastic.  I'm looking forward to seeing them all together.

Monday, April 27, 2015

solidario: solidarious

No, this word is not in the Oxford dictionary, but as I recently argued on my other blog, decolonizing solidarity, I think that we should import it into English.  If someone says la huelga fue muy solidaria you could say that it was a a strike with deep solidarity, or strong solidarity - but it's harder to render, say, educación solidaria this way, or comunidad solidaria. Yes, education that embodies solidarity, or a community that shows a lot of solidarity does work - but it would be nice to be able to more quickly call it solidarious.  My sense is that most English speakers will be able to guess at the meaning of this neologism if you use it on the fly when doing simultaneous interpreting.  

Solidario, according to the RAE, means Adherido o asociado a la causa, empresa u opinión de alguien. Empresa?! Leave it to the RAE. I like the Vox definition better: adj. Que muestra solidaridad.

It turns out that the word solidary does technically exist in English, though it is not commonly used. The OED defines it as (adjective (of a group or community) characterized by solidarity or coincidence of interests). Others, like wiktionary, define it simply as having shared interests - which gets to whether you see solidarity as something that can happen across difference or not.  It also seems that solidary is mostly used as legal terminology, as in solidary obligations. At any rate, it was a very solidary strike sounds odd to me and I have my doubts as to how easily understood it would be.  

I like solidarious better than the Sp>Eng options offered by Collins for solidario listed below:


1    (=humanitario)   caring  
Luis es muy solidario      Luis is a very caring person  
vivimos en un mundo poco solidario      we live in an uncaring world, we live in a world where it's every man for himself  
un acto solidario      an act of solidarity  
→ solidario con algo/algn        
se ha mostrado muy solidario con nuestra causa      he has been very sympathetic to our cause, he has shown a lot of solidarity with our cause  
hacerse solidario con algo/algn      to declare one's solidarity with sth/sb  
→ solidario de algo      frm   hacerse solidario de una opinión      to echo an opinion  
2      (Jur)   
 mutually binding, shared in common   
 joint, common   
[firmante, participante]  
 jointly liable  
responsabilidad solidaria      joint liability  

Friday, April 17, 2015

the Ayotzinapa parents caravan terminology request

I'm going to interpret for a large public event in Toronto where parents of the massacred 43 teachers
college students will be speaking.

Since this caravan has been on tour for a while I'm hoping that compas that have been interpreting for them are reading this.  If so could you suggest some key terms that came up?

Any chance they're touring with a glossary you could share? If not could we come up with one together for me and others who will interpret for them in the next few weeks?

Gracias mi gente!

Monday, April 6, 2015

stakeholders: partes interesadas

This is sometimes mistakenly rendered as accionistas, which is actually shareholders. This is really not movement terminology, it's usually a very corporate term - but one that is sometimes is used by movements trying to get corporations to listen to them.

I was struck actually by how corporate the images are when you google image search under this term. The one here is from mind tools. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

craftivism: actiartesanismo?!?

I am totally just making this up.  Has anyone heard any other version being actually used on the ground, not in translation?

Artivism is so much easier to render as artivismo - maybe the solution is to upgrade all craftivism to artivism? But that may be a faux paux since it is of course political to reclaim and honor crafts as crafts.

update: Manuel Cedeño, in Caracas, suggests the fabulous option of artesanía militante

Saturday, March 21, 2015

work to rule: huelga de celo?

A work slowdown is an operación tortuga, but how would you translate a "work-to-rule" action? Huelga de celo? Trabajar a reglamento? Trabajar a la letra de la descripción de trabajo?  I like huelga de celo but I'm not sure how widely it would be understood outside of Spain.  This is not as common a job action in most of Latin America as it is in the US and Canada.

Labour actions are on my mind because I am being legally ordered by the administration of York University to cross the TA picket line next week.  I will not be crossing. 

I've posted more about the strike on my other blog.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

judicialización (take three)

I've posted twice before about this term, rendering it as first bogus/trumped up/false criminal charges and then malicious prosecution on trumped up charge.  What neither of those renditions conveys, however, is that this is a tactic used by the state against activists to discredit their activism (particularly those activists working for change in and by the state). I am now leaning towards "criminalization of activists" as a rendition.  I would love input and thoughts from those who have been translating this term regularly, particularly for the many cases of it ongoing in Colombia today. 

I went to a great talk last week by geographer Shiri Pasternak where she described how Chief Theresa Spence's fast in Ottawa, Canada for government attention to a serious humanitarian emergency in the Attawapiskat First Nation was discredited in this way by the Canadian state, who chose this time to make a big stink out of minor financial irregularities on her reserve. 

It reminded me that this strategy is actually one that has been promoted by the US army, something I failed to mention in my other two blog posts on the term.  The leaked training manuals of the US army's School of the Americas for Latin American military officers include this as one of the techniques to be used on activists, along with other lovely techniques like taking photos of and then threatening their children, as well as forms of more physical torture.  As Alfred McCoy has documented so well, those manuals were based on the CIA's Project X research at Fort Huachuca. 

As a US citizen and Canadian resident it makes me sick that we have exported these methods for crushing social movements not only South, but apparently also North.  But then, First Nations reserves are the global South inside the North. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

gremio económico (Col): trade organization

In the same  interview of a leader in the Dignidad Agropecuaria Colombiana (Colombian Agricultural Dignity) movement that I mentioned in my last post this translation is used.  It's an odd one, but I've always struggled to distinguish between gremios and gremios económicos in Colombian Spanish.  I don't love it but it seems to get the job done.  Any other options out there folks are using?

Monday, February 23, 2015

cacaotero: cacao farmer

Similarly cafetero is coffee farmer - and my life is made better by both! I was reminded of this term this great interview of a cafetero leader in the inspiring Dignidad Agropecuaria Colombiana (Colombian Agricultural Dignity) movement. If you want to read something inspiring about Colombia, I recommend it.

The photo here is of the process of picking out the fruit pods of cacao fruit in the most inspiring community of cacaoteros I know: the peace community of San José de Apartado. 

Last weekend they commemorated 10 years of the massacre of Luis Eduardo, his family, and another family.  Luis Eduardo had spoken at the vigil to close the US Army's School of the Americas just two years before.  They are able to continue being a neutral zone and ask all men with guns to stay out thanks in part to their international accompaniers, one of whom is pictured here.  You can support the community by signing up for email action alerts from peace presence and/or peace brigades.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

pigmentocracy: pigmentocracia

The research project on ethnicity and race in Latin America (PERLA) has published their findings in the new book Pigmentocracies.  I haven't read it yet because of my teaching schedule, but am looking forward to it.  The cover is a copy of the controversial skin color palette card their surveyors used across the continent.  They used the palette rather than people's self-identifications because the terms for different skin colors vary widely across, and even within, countries. Interestingly though, the surveyor selected what color the respondent was, rather than allowing the respondent to choose (or including both selections in the study).

To give you a sense of their results, here is a short summary BY EDWARD TELLES AND LIZA STEELE that appeared in Americas quarterly:

Throughout Latin America, countries have long sought to claim immunity from the racial and ethnic divisions that plague the rest of the world. But that is changing as several countries—including Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, and Peru—have begun to recognize the diverse nature of their societies and constitutionally declare themselves as multicultural.

Most national censuses in Latin America, for example, now ask questions about whether respondents self-identify as Indigenous or Afro-descendant. A handful of countries, such as Brazil and Colombia, have gone as far as instituting race-based affirmative action programs, while Bolivia, in 2005, elected President Evo Morales who asserts his Indigenous (Aymara) identity. These changes have been largely in response to growing regional Afro-Latino and Indigenous social movements.

Race and ethnicity-based social and economic inequalities are also beginning to be recognized. As early as 1944, Alejandro Lipschutz, a Chilean anthropologist, coined the idea of Latin America as a “pigmentocracy”—where the region’s social hierarchies are ethnic or color-based. However, that idea was largely ignored until recently, when research using new census data on racial identification began to document racial inequalities. These studies generally show that Afro-descendant and Indigenous people occupy the lowest rungs on the income, educational and occupational ladders across Latin America.1

However, racial identification in Latin America—where the categories themselves are often situational, context-dependent and have fuzzy boundaries—is often more ambiguous and fluid than in the United States. Therefore, persons with the same color and physical appearance might choose to identify in distinct ethno-racial categories. Identifying along ethno-racial lines can also hide considerable physical variation. Another challenge is that varieties in skin tone among those who identify in the same ethno-racial category may lead to different socioeconomic opportunities and overall life outcomes. This means that ethno-racial identification may be inadequate for measuring the effects of race.

That is why actual skin color is used as a unit of measurement in a new study published by Vanderbilt University’s Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP), “Pigmentocracy in the Americas: How is Educational Attainment Related to Skin Color?”.  To measure skin color, interviewers rated the facial skin color of each respondent according to colors on a skin color palette, which interviewers had but which they did not show to the respondent. Graphically speaking, the lightest persons are near 1 and the darkest near 11.

The study asks: To what extent are years of schooling related to skin color? We then employ a statistical analysis to ask: Do color/racial inequalities, if they exist, occur independently of social class?

Our research shows that the lightest persons generally have the highest mean educational attainment with the darkest persons having the lowest. [See figure] Thus, nearly all countries in the Americas can be described as pigmentocracies.

The most pronounced pigmentocracies are Guatemala and Bolivia, which seem to reflect the low status of their especially large Indigenous populations. However, we do not find the pigmentocratic relation in five countries. In Panama, and to a lesser extent in Costa Rica and Honduras, we discover a U-shaped relation between skin color and education. Our findings also reveal the lack of a pigmentocracy in Belize and Guyana.


The statistical analysis shows that inequalities by skin color are not merely results of historical processes; rather, they occur independently of class origins (measured by parental occupation). This suggests that racial differences also are being reproduced in the current generation.

These findings on the importance of race run against much of the traditional thinking about social stratification south of the U.S. border. Race has been surprisingly ignored by many leading social scientists in the region, in favor of class-based explanations. However, because of their theoretical prisms or because of the unavailability of race data, analysts have rarely empirically tested whether race—especially skin color—is related to socioeconomic status in the region.

Not that class is unimportant. Race and class operate together to shape stratification in the Americas, though the effect of race has been underestimated. In addition, it is important to note that class origins are the result of accumulated racial privileges and disadvantages acquired in the past, including through formal institutions such as casta systems, slavery and other forced labor systems that Indigenous people, Afro-Latinos and mixed-race people were regularly subjected to, as well as through informal racial discrimination.

Most importantly, empirical evidence now shows the importance of color inequality throughout the Americas. Understanding this inequality is the first step for crafting better public policies to mitigate it in the future.
Access the full article, “Pigmentocracy in the Americas: How is Educational Attainment Related to Skin Color?”, on LAPOP’s website

Friday, January 30, 2015

colorismo: shadeism

The cognate colourism also exists in English, but shadeism (sometimes spelled shadism) seems to be more widely used and understood.

Thanks to my student Shivon for this one.  The short documentary below about shadeism was made by students in Toronto.  The opening scene with the little girl who wants to be whiter is heart breaking. There is a short article about the making of the documentary here.

Shadeism from refuge productions on Vimeo.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Ya Basta! Enough is enough!

This translation jumped out at me in the chapter Occupy: prehistories and continuities by Samantha Shakur Bowden. Not sure where she got it, but I like it. I notice Ya basta! already has a wikipedia entry in English with this definition.

I have previously blogged about the Colombian Basta Ya! report being officially rendered as Enough already, but this version is much better for street chanting. No real difference in my mind between basta ya and ya basta. Of course there's a tiny difference in emphasis, but they seem to be used interchangeably.  

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

interpreting for peace in a conflict zone

The University of Geneva's interpreting department has a fabulous sounding program called InZone, the Center for Interpreting in Conflict Zones.

As Barbara Moser-Mercer writes, in her blog about teaching interpreters at the world's largest refugee camp (in Somalia):

"Imagine your job is to deliver humanitarian aid to a single refugee camp where your recipients speak Dinka (from South central Sudan), Moro or Tira (from the Nuba mountain region), or Tigré or Tigrinya (from Eritrea), and you don’t speak these languages…
Or, imagine you are tasked with resolving legacies of human rights abuses and implementing transitional justice mechanisms, but you do not know how to communicate with the locals speaking in Pashto or Urdu.

For many professionals and volunteers delivering aid to conflict zones, these are very real challenges that must be faced with bravery and empathy. When conflict erupts in regions whose languages few outsiders master, humanitarian aid workers must rely on local interpreters, who often have very limited training.

This is why InZone, the Center for Interpreting in Conflict Zones at the University of Geneva, exists. Our mission is to provide blended training to interpreters in conflict zones. We work on the ground in refugee camps to help interpreters enhance their skills in interpreting, managing the refugee interview process and dealing with the challenges of communication in times of distress.

We have learned that while the barriers to education can be immense (from security threats to limited internet access), there is extraordinary motivation among refugees to learn – for many victims of conflict, knowledge is their only possession and the only hope of improving their livelihoods. ...."

(Thanks to my geography colleague Virginie Mamadouh for pointing me to this.)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

caudillo: strong man

I often hear people keep the term caudillo when going into English.  But many audiences will not understand this term and all of its cultural weight.  It is hard to convey all of that baggage briefly for simultaneous interpreting, but at least in some contexts this is one option that gets to what is often being emphasized. 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

campaña de desprestigio: smear campaign

Another great term from the video I posted last week, which is well worth a watch. It's a pleasure to see subtitles so well done. Congrats again to my great compa Eric Schwartz on these. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

los mayores: the elders

Great rendition by compa Eric Schwartz in the great video below, also about land grabs in Colombia.  (Ojo, he also renders Proceso de Comunidades Negras as Black Communities Movement, which I like, see my previous comments about proceso as a term)

Friday, November 7, 2014

despojos: land grabs

I have previously rendered despojo as disposession, but this rendition could have more impact for political purposes if it fits the context. Despojo can actually also mean other kinds of accumulation by dispossession in the midst of war, or war plunder, but at least in the Colombian context it usually refers to some of the massive land grabbing that's been happening there which has made it the number one country for internal displacement.

The term despojo was rendered as displacement in the video below, which I think gets it a bit off, but I highly recommend the video anyways.  It has gorgeous cinematography and starts out with great footage of the peace community of San José.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

mass sick-out: baja colectiva

Collins (astounding that they would have a term like this) renders it as baja colectiva por enfermedad como forma de protesta.  It seems to me that baja, in context, implies the por enfermedad part.  Is it not also obvious that if it's being done colectively it's as a protest? Maybe not, but certainly in simultaneous I would just use baja colectiva. 

On a related note, a walk-out could refer to a wild-cat strike, but the term is also used for student walk-outs, for which I would just use huelga. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

hasta aquí no mas: draw the line

This is the translation used by the organization Mujer in Toronto for their domestic violence campaign with this title. As part of the campaign they collaboratively made videos like this fabulous one.

Thanks to Madelaine Cahuas for sharing this video and story at the Ontario geographers conference (CAGONT).

Thursday, October 16, 2014

la hez: the dregs

As in the dregs of society, la hez de la sociedad. The of 'society' part can get dropped in slang English, as in, 'look at the dregs in front of the 7-11.'  If going into Spanish I would just tack on the sociedad bit, I don't think it works without it - though I'd love to hear if folks have heard it without. 

I'm dubious that this term can be reclaimed!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

capacitar: train

ok, this is obvious, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who has heard and read the false cognate of capacitate used instead! It might sound right in the moment, but really, resist the urge. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

feminicidio: feminicide (not femicide)

femicide and feminicide are two different things

as the Guatemalan Human Rights Commission puts it:

What is femicide?
Femicide is defined as the killing of women, female homicide, or the murder of a person based on the fact that she is female. 

What is feminicide?
Feminicide is a political term. It encompasses more than femicide because it holds responsible not only the male perpetrators but also the state and judicial structures that normalize misogyny. Feminicide connotes not only the murder of women by men because they are women but also indicates state responsibility for these murders whether through the commission of the actual killing, toleration of the perpetrators’ acts of violence, or omission of state responsibility to ensure the safety of its female citizens. In Guatemala, feminicide is a crime that exists because of the absence of state guarantees to protect the rights of women. 

more from them on why this is happening in Guate is here

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

sanguijuela: bloodsucker

Amazing debate in the Colombian Congress today about Uribe's paramilitary ties.  I'm in awe and deep gratitude for the courage of Ivan Cepeda and Claudia Lopez for getting this a public hearing. Please send them good energy/pray for their safety - they are taking huge risks to build peace and justice in Colombia. 

One of the great headlines about the debate today, in El Espectador, was "Claudia López comparó a Urie con "una sanguijuela huyendo por una alcantarilla." So sanguijuella could also be rendered as leech, but in this context bloodsucker fleeing down a gutter sounds so much better.