Linguistic and Cultural Issues

One cultural issue for me was not knowing the names of the towns and places that the authors were talking about. I had to do a little research here just so that I knew firstly, whether they were talking about a town or a city and secondly, I wanted to have an idea in my head of where the towns were situated in relation to each other. I think this helped me because I could picture where the authors were referring to. Cuidad Juárez is a big city and there were a lot of places mentioned throughout the papers, along with rivers and creeks.


I had to do some research into a girl’s murder – Alma Chavira Farel – because the Spanish paper literally translated to English, did not make sense. It was as if there was information missing. I had to do research to clarify the translation that I thought was missing and that was relevant for Irish readers.


Other problems I encountered were interlingual. I found it hard to translate long sentences in Spanish without losing the original meaning or message. I learnt that I had to break the sentences up in to small sections, do a rough sentence and then go back and think about what the meaning of the sentence is. And finally, I rewrote the sentence in to what I thought it should be. One of the most grammatical problems that I had was the issue of “false friends” when translating between languages. I kept having to remind myself that just because something sounds similar in English does not indicate that it has the same meaning. For example, the Spanish verb “violar”. When I first read this word, I thought it meant “to violate” and although this is one of the meanings, in the context of the paper it actually meant “to rape”.


One problem I encountered was assuming that the readers would know what I was talking about in my translaton. In the source texts there were a lot of abbreviated words. At first I kept them abbreviated, but I then realized that some people might not know what the abbreviations stand for, so I did some research and wrote out the full meaning of the abbreviation.