Tag: Langage in 2016

  • Language and Ice

    Wisconsin winters are beautiful. The many combinations of precipitation, winds and temperatures make for a changing landscape that is fascinating to observe and dangerous to drive in. Just as low temperatures and water can form many different shapes, language too, combined with other factors will paint a different picture every time. I came to this thought during a conversation with Sgt. Luke Newman from the Fond du Lac State Patrol. At the beginning of February, I was in a car accident caused by winter driving conditions. I’m thankful to all the people who stopped to offer their help. Fortunately, nobody was injured and a State Patrol was not far away and responded to the accident immediately. An ambulance arrived very quickly at the scene and and soon enough, I was sitting in the back of a patrol car on my way home. Shivering and shaking form the shock of the accident, the conversation with Sgt. Newman was a good diffuser of stress. We talked about our jobs, and he touched on a key subject. How often do people really need an interpreter?

  • Language Interpreters: Born or Made?

    The fact that language interpreting is a specialized skill is still a commonly misunderstood concept. It’s surrounded by a halo of “anyone can do it”. You’ll also often hear the words “translator” and “interpreter” used interchangeably – my personal pet peeve when it comes to referring to language access. I’ll try to sort the matter out a little. What do singing and dancing have in common? Music or rhythm you might say. Does this mean anyone who is a good dancer is also a good singer? In rare cases, the answer is yes. Do you need different abilities and training for these activities? Yes. Now, back to interpreting and translation: Transferring ideas from one language to another is their common ground. But just like singing and dancing, they require a different set of abilities. Not everyone who is a good translator is a good interpreter, although some individuals will master both. In case you’re wondering, translation is written and interpretation is spoken.