Friday, March 27, 2020

Honoris Causa

Last month I emerged from hibernation in Valencia to travel to the southern city of Malaga, there to receive an honorary degree (Doctorado Honoris Causa) on the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of its university's department of translation and interpretation. The ceremony was impressive and set the seal on my academic career. But then alas I fell ill on the journey home and spent the next three weeks in bed.

Now that I have recovered, I want to express my profound thanks to the Rector and his staff not only for the honour but also for their warm reception and for their attentiveness to the needs of an old man.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Chinese doctors translate WHO coronavirus guidance

Coronavirus is all the news. As its spread goes international, translation is inevitably involved. Some of the translating is no doubt done professionally but a lot is emergency work by non-professional Native Translators who have a medical background. In any case, even among professionals, there has long been discussion as to whether it's better to have a translation by an Expert Generalist Translator or by a less expert Subject Specialist.

Anyway, here's a report just in (with emphasis added) about the work of a group of Chinese doctors.
As tens of thousands of Chinese doctors are fighting against the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), nine doctors from southwest China's Sichuan Province have offered support by translating a guidance of the World Health Organization (WHO).
In 19 hours, the doctors from a hospital in Chengdu, capital of the province, voluntarily completed the translation and proofreading of the guidance that is more than 7,400 words long and shared it online.
The guidance concerned the clinical management of severe acute respiratory infection in suspected cases of novel coronavirus infection, which can help more doctors use scientific methods to treat patients and protect themselves, according to the translators.
 "The epidemic attracted a lot of attention from people all around the country," said Yan Tong, a doctor of the translation team. "We hoped to help win the battle against the novel coronavirus through our efforts."
A total of eight of Yan's colleagues joined him within an hour after he posted a notice calling for help via WeChat. [WeChat is a Chinese multi-purpose messaging, social media and mobile payment app.]
The team managed to translate the guidance in plain language, aiming to help the medical staff find the necessary information as soon as possible when treating patients. Members of the team also invited five other doctors specializing in various fields to proofread the translation.
This is a textbook case of non-professional translators stepping in and organizing efficiently when there is an emergency.

Source, 4 February 2020.