Joint Translation Award to Author Yuri Herrera and Translator Lisa Dilman

Of all the different ways that translation is conducted it only comes out well if a human translator is used. Yuri Herrera, the author of ‘Signs Preceding the End of the World,’ and his translator, Lisa Dillman, have proven this by winning the book award for the best translated book. The book is the story of a young woman who crossed the border from Mexico to the U.S. It relates how this young woman, Makina, goes out to look for her long lost brother and negotiates a deal with a gang leader that if she takes a packet for him he would guarantee her a safe crossing of the Rio Grande.

Herrera is the 1st Spanish speaking novelist to win the $10,000 fiction award, the prize being divided equally between translator and writer. Herrera and Dillman beat other well-known authors such as Elena Ferrante, who is Italian and Claris Lispector from Brazil.

The Guardian newspaper reported that Herrera said that Lisa took on the translation as if she was preparing to run in a marathon. She saw it as a challenge, but persisted until she got the translation just right. He said she not only read the text carefully but she questioned the context of the text until she got the translation perfect. He believed that professional translation services and translation services in Australia were not recognised or paid as well as they should be, given their skills and expertise.

Another commentator, Grunebaum, stated that the novel was just perfect in the way the language had been translated so that both author and translated converged to bring about a perfect translation that enables readers to immerse themselves in the wall-building world that today is.

It wasn’t just a novel that won a translation award but Angélica Freitas, a Portuguese poet along with her translator Hilary Kaplan, walked off with the poetry translation award with Rilke Shake.

The judge Tess Lewis awarded Freitas and Kaplan $5,000 each for the poetry collection. There were 6 poetry collections amongst the short list which included Liu Xia from China, who is the wife of Lui Xiaobo a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize who was imprisoned. Also, ‘Load Poems Like Guns’ which were written by 8 Afghan female poets.

New York City Schools Need More Translation Services to Help Parents

The reason for having more and better professional translation services in New York City (NYC) schools is so the schools have representatives of the various different language groups which helps to address student issues in schools.

Also, when parent representatives have to communicate in a diverse range of languages, they should be assisted by any means possible to understand each other.

Families who are immigrants face many problems when speaking with their children’s teachers and feel intimidated if they have to talk to the school’s Principal. Ensuring there are good interpretation and translation services means parents can play an active role in their children’s education.

Recently, the New York Immigration Coalition and other organisations have got together to represent the Arab, Asian, African, Caribbean, and Latino communities to launch the “Build the Bridge” campaign which is advocating more interpretation and translation services for immigrant parents.

As a result, 9 full-time jobs in the Borough Field Support Centers and other relevant groups have been employed to assess the individual requirements of all NYC schools and organise the necessary translation support.

The expansion also includes new direct access to over-the-phone interpreters available after 5 p.m. In the past, schools had to contact the Translation and Interpretation Unit, which then connected the call — a step that has been eliminated. This will help reduce wait time for an interpreter, and allow teachers and staff to call non-English speaking families after business hours. Interpreters are available in 200 languages.

In addition, starting this month, members of the Citywide and Community Education Councils will also receive additional language support. Elected parent leaders are expected be representative of the city’s diverse school system and the city wants to make sure they are able to communicate among themselves no matter the language they speak.

The state’s Department of Education (DOE) feels that being able to communicate effectively and quickly with parents in a language they understand is essential. The department is committed to work together with professional translation services in the city to ensure that the bridge to communicating with immigrant families is maintained and strengthened.