9 Aug

Holly selfie


Holly Mikkelson, Associate Professor at Monterey Institute of International Studies http://www.miis.edu. presented “Advanced Techniques in Translation for Interpreters” in conjunction with CCIO http://www.ccio.org and Shirley Corossel of the Columbus Bar Interpreting Services http://www.cbalaw.org. Topics included features of legal language, typical legal documents and certifying translations. Holly marched the group through two troublesome translations and provided tips and tools to produce an accurate document.


Fellow interpreter, Adriana Fonseca, inquired about a consular electoral card. A defense attorney requested a sight translation on the spot. What does the interpreter do? We don’t know if the card is forged or real nor is that our responsibility. We just reproduce the text and read aloud what appears, digit by digit.

Collocations are the way words go together: a judge hands down a sentence or issues a sentence. Hizzoner does not give a sentence. Interpreters learn what verbs accompany XXX action. It’s a boxing match and baseball game, not a baseball match. How can one verify a term? Ask a native speaker. Research until you drop – don’t guess! According to Miss Mikkelson “a translation is never finished, merely abandoned … Do the best you can, verify, double check and confirm. You can only do so much, be honest on what you can’t read, don’t make wild guesses … if there’s a line cut off or a smudge or the corner torn, include each descriptive in translator’s notes in brackets.” Reproduce the appearance of the original as closely as possible. Also be judicious on what you select from the Internet.

There is no equivalent of official translators AKA sworn or public translators in the United States nor do any laws govern them. Anyone who wants to say she is a translator can. Other countries require a seal and stamp with strict rules on how to handle a translation. Translators in the U.S. can cobble together an equivalent by drawing up a notarized statement to certify the translation. The notary does not attest to accuracy, but the translator’s identity. My late professor, Leland Wright from Kent State University’s Institute for Applied Linguistics http://appling.kent.edu, shared the attached template. Tailor the certificate with your own information.

Read the source text aloud in order to figure out how it sounds, not only to you but also the target audience or reader. This practice helps to better understand the text. Please post on what you learned last weekend. Want to learn more? See you at the next CCIO workshop!


certificate of accuracy

2 Responses to “HOLLY IS A BIG DEAL IN OHIO”

  1. Lina Drew August 18, 2014 at 3:47 pm #

    Holly is a big deal in every State! Thanks for posting, John.

  2. thatinterpreter August 20, 2014 at 6:20 pm #

    Thanks for capturing the details of this fantastic workshop! I traveled from out of state to attend, and I’d like to add that I felt very welcomed by the CCIO folks. What a great group. I’m looking forward to the next event!

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