Wednesday, February 23, 2011

tip: keep a glossary

I haven't been good at keeping up my promise to offer tips for becoming a better interpreter on this blog, but here is one that will painfully obvious for the pros who read this, so forgive me. For those of you who are activists who get thrust into interpreting, let me suggest that if you don't already, you keep your own constantly growing glossary.

In my ideal world all solidarity orgs would have an organizational glossary of their key terms and put it online. But then, our soawatch one is out of date and we don't do a good job of sticking to it, so who am I to say. The USSF interpreters developed a great one which is online here.

My personal system for my own glossary is that when I'm interpreting and run across a word I either stumble on or think aha! that's a good rendition, I circle it in my notes (ojo, I always interpret with a notepad in hand, even when doing simultaneous - this one of the first rules you learn in any professional interpreting training and one far too few activist interpreters follow). When I'm done I go back through and write those down either in a glossary notebook or just straight into my excell glossary. I also keep track of social change related words that I hear other interpreters trip up on or render in less that stellar ways. I always have a little notebook in my purse and when I'm in conversations, listening to the radio, reading, etc - if a good term comes up I write it down and then move these to my excell file on Fridays. I am not as good at regularly importing that file into my translation memory glossary, which I usually build up as I'm working on written translations (I use the free online translation memory program at which compares remarkably well to the super expensive programs).

Al glosario compas!