You know what they say: All good things must come to an end!
This is my final blog post as an intern for Global Voices. I have to say, the experience has been extremely rewarding. The entire GV community is deeply passionate about speaking out for those who might not otherwise be heard, as well as for spreading news reports and personal testimonies around the world. Where else can you find the same story on the arrest of two of the leader's of Turkey's People's Democratic Party (HDP) in English, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and Malagasy? Or the same article discussing the horrific death of a Moroccan Fish Vendor in English, French, Malagasy, Italian, Dutch, and Spanish? The closest thing I can think of is Wikipedia, but it doesn't have the heart and passion that GV has. No, Global Voices is a unique community full of wonderful, professional, and determined people.
As part of my internship, I told Laura I'd write about some of the challenges and highlights I experienced while interning with GV. So, here you go: an intern's perspective. :)
This was my first time – ever – translating in an online news environment, so it definitely took me time to get a feel for the flow and style that GV uses. This was also the first time that I ever worked collaboratively on a translation, with other translators, editors, and subeditors. It can be very humbling (and tough!) to have others add, subtract, critique, and review one's work, but I found that it really helped me to improve in my writing and in my understanding of Spanish and translating. I even learned to really appreciate having people there to catch my mistakes, as it helped to make me feel more secure in trying out different methods and in asking the right questions. GV has a pretty solid team, and they definitely know what they're doing! ^_~
Finally, I also had to develop a translation method that helped me to distance myself from my own work so that I could look at it with “fresh” eyes and make sure the final work sounded natural in English. What I discovered is that I work really well with a Four-Step process. First, I do a rough translation of an entire document. Second, I then go back through and make edits, corrections, and research words and topics I was uncertain about. By the time I get done with these two steps, the article is pretty much translated. Third, I take a break. This has been really beneficial to the overall quality of my translations, as it gives me time to stop thinking in Spanish. Now, when I come back to my work, I can look at the article through the eyes of an English speaker. During the final step, I review my work one more time, editing it for flow, style, etc. Basically, the goal is to make sure it sounds natural and “newsy” in English. While this part is still the hardest for me (I tend to lean towards a too literal translation), I have found that it's actually my favorite. It feels like I'm adding the finishing strokes on a work of art, rather than merely editing a news article. (Hey, you need to enjoy what you do, right? ^_^)
By far, the highlight of the entire internship was translating my first article. Here is how I described it in my class final project: “It was the first time I had translated something outside of my work or for a small nonprofit. I certainly had never translated something that would have as big of a reach as what GV has! I remember seeing my first translation published online, and as my heart quickened I thought to myself, ‘Oh my! This crazy dream of mine might actually be achievable!’ I was so excited that I instantly sent links all over the place, to friends and family, to show them what I had just done! It was an incredible experience….”
Another highlight was working on translating “Who Has the Right to Tell a Country's Story?” This was an extremely collaborative project, with multiple editors and two translators (myself and Andrea Chong Bras) working together. There was a ton of energy and support that went into this translation, and it was so much fun! The story itself was a serious document, and it was a privilege to get to work on spreading it to English readers.
Working with you guys has been extremely rewarding, and I hope to continue volunteering with GV in the future! I have learned so much and met so many wonderful people. My hope and prayer for you all is that your passion for justice and truth will continue and that your efforts to be the voice of those who otherwise have none will continue to spread around the world. :)