Saturday, April 29, 2006


Last year I decided to do more than just living my days out in translation. Well, translators and bilinguals alike already live in translation (Niranjana, are you reading this?). However, I wanted to do more, to add pizzazz to my otherwise dulled intellectual pursuit to improve on what other translators have done. So I chose to leave central Florida for a while and enroll in a master's program in Translation Studies.

I had no idea what I had done.

Facultad de Lenguas at Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (UNC), my alma mater, let me enroll late in the year (2005) and so I started attending their seminars and workshops. The first one, aptly titled Linguistic & Cultural Competence and Translation, was taught by Lisa Bradford, PhD, from Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata. She had us read dozens of pages at a furious clip and furiously I did read! I learned (or relearned?) that translation is a genre and not a mechanical exchange of meanings, that pseudotranslations are alright as marketing ploys, that translators can be very invisible in today's global economy (thanks, Lawrence Venuti!) and that translation, among other things, helped bring about the colonization of so-called inferior civilizations (once again, thanks, Ms. Niranjana!)

My mind geared up to wider and deeper goals, I felt I had struck a goldmine of purpose. And I wanted to share it with other translators. Among my new objectives, as I was learning more and more about translation studies, I came to realize I wanted to teach them at a more practical level. I realized that UNC's master's program, while all-encompassing, is being taught mostly by professors and PhDs who are not translators themselves. That's grating and unfair to us students of translation studies. I want to help change that.

So I welcome your thoughts, experiences, case studies, hopes, critiques and ideas. Fabricando fit faber.

Mario Chávez

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