Saudade Much?

The closest meaning in English for Saudade is nostalgia, nonetheless, it doesn’t express what Saudade means to Portuguese speakers. Saudade refers to a feeling of longing that can’t be suppressed. A Portuguese speaker would say “Que Saudade” when he remembers something (or someone) that he misses. But, it’s a lot more than just missing, surely more like missing, needing, wanting all in one.

It could be anything from a particular place or someone that is no longer alive. There are a number of references to Saudade to describe the feeling that overcomes someone when he or she misses their land of origin. For anyone that has ever felt home sick, or that misses their favorite plate from home in a way you can’t describe with words, you’ve experienced saudade.

The first time I heard the word was when I listened to this Portuguese and Spanish song with the same title:

Saudade- Otto and Julieta Venegas

Why You Shouldn’t Be Confusing Interpreter With Translator

If every T&I student at my school got a penny for each time they’ve heard an interpreter being mistakenly called a translator, I bet they could each set up their own company with no problem. This mistake has been a pet peeve of mine for a long time. A translator converts only the written word while the interpreter converts orally, and I think you all should know.

The thing is, there are many people in the field who only do one of the two, and I’m sure that every time their role was mistaken, a bit of their pride was crushed.

It’s been such a common misconception that even the President of the United States got it wrong in the State of the Union speech he gave not too long ago. Here is the extract from the speech when he referred to the Bin Laden mission:

“One of the young men involved in the raid later told me that he didn’t deserve credit for the mission. It only succeeded, he said, because every single member of that unit did their job – the pilot who landed the helicopter that spun out of control; the translator who kept others from entering the compound; the troops who separated the women and children from the fight; the SEALs who charged up the stairs.”

Dear Mr. President, it’s interpreter not translator.

Nonetheless, just because he got it wrong doesn’t mean you should, too.

Remember:  Translator ≠ Interpreter

Traduttore, Traditore?

Translator = Traitor

Many believe that once a text undergoes translation, especially when it comes to literay texts, the essence of the original author and his/her intentions are lost. Have you ever thought about how you would have interpreted a certain scene from a book if you have read it in the original language? Remember that Leo Tolstoy’s books were originally written in Russian. The much acclaimed 100 Years of Solitude was originally written in Spanish. As an english reader, do you believe that there are certain puns, references or anything that you are at a loss at against someone that can read the work exactly how it was written by the author?

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Shoulda Coulda Woulda: French Style

When the first work day of the week comes around, we all know that it can be a tad gloomy, so every Monday I’ll be (hopefully) entertaining you with a weird word or phrase from any language that just might interest you. Hey, it’s a way you can expand your vocab and learning something new!

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