Tuesday, June 28, 2016

zonas veredales transitorias de normalización: rural township based temporary normalization zones

I am thrilled by the recent break through in the Colombian peace negotiations, and spent several hours last Thursday getting weepy while watching the telesur live feed of the signing of the cease fire. Finally! The end of fighting in the world's longest war!

One of the things that they established was the process by which arms would be handed over. These zones are one of the two sorts of areas where 7,000 to 8,000 FARC guerrillas will spend 6 months demobilizing once the final peace accords are signed. Never in the Americas has a group this large demobilized, nor has it ever been done this quickly. Adding to the challenge, they will be demobilizing while other armed groups are still operating, and looking to move in on the areas that they have controlled (both neo (or post) paramilitaries and the ELN guerrillas). This peace transition is going to be difficult, and it can use all of the support and attention we can give it.

One of the ways we can support this process is by translating the terms involved clearly in ways that are more easily understandable to an English speaking audience. I'm also geeking out on this term because I am a geographer.

I noticed that Adam Isaacson first rendered these as “Temporary Hamlet Zones for Normalization” - but later when he tweeted this map, they had been simplified to simply Temporary Normalization Zones". It's important to clarify that the zones will not take up the entire areas in red here, only some small part of each, since there are many veredas in a municipio. He used the false cognate here municipalities, but as you can see from their size, they are quite large, and I translate the Colombian term municipio as county. You can have townships in a county, but you wouldn't expect to have a hamlet in a municipality. Maybe that's why he dropped the term on the map? You also wouldn't expect a hamlet to be a legal entity, or for there to be thousands of them, as there are veredas in Colombia. I also imagine a hamlet to be quite small, but a vereda can actually cover a fair bit of area, with scattered homes throughout. Often these are not gathered into any kind of village as the term hamlet might make you think. I have in the past posted here my argument for translating the Colombian term vereda as township, but I have since had people tell me that there are both urban and rural townships in English. Since the Colombian vereda is rural, I have added that term here for clarity, but I think it would work without the rural if space or time is an issue.  

Thoughts? Comments? 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

swords into ploughshares: espadas en arados

Juzgará entre nación y nación, arbitrará a pueblos numerosos. Convertirán sus espadas en arados, harán hoces con sus lanzas. No se amenazarán las naciones con la espada, ni se adiestrarán más para la guerra. - Isaías 2:4

He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. - Isaiah 2:4 

I had the honor of interpreting last weekend at the Global Mennonite Peacebuilding Conference and Festival with some great colleagues. One of my compas, Rebecca Yoder Neufeld, pointed me to an amazing online resource for biblical translations. Bible gateway has a quick search of every possible version of the bible, in both English and Spanish. You can simply enter the word ploughshares and up this comes - and then you can easily switch to other ver
sions. It's really amazing how many versions of the bible there are. In many of the more recent Spanish versions they use rejas de arado instead of arados. I'd love comments on which you think works better.

Thanks to the conference photographer that took this pic of me at one of the few moments when my mouth was closed! Above are my compas Noe and Paul, hard at work in our great little booth.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

watershed: cuenca hidrográfica

watershed: cuenca hidrográfica

Check out this short video (by international allies) about the inspiring struggle of the Salvadoran people to save their watershed from being ruined by mining.