hispanic translator

Did you know? September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month! Established in 1988, it commemorates the contributions, cultures, and heritage of Hispanic Americans. In honor of this occasion, we’re highlighting the works of influential Latin American interpreters and translators throughout history.

 

Marina “La Malinche” (c. 1500 – 1529)

 

A Nahua woman from the Mexican Gulf coast, Marina served as an interpreter, advisor, and negotiator for the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés. She was given to the Spanish by the Tabasco Indians, and would go on to play a vital role in the conquest of the Aztec Empire.

 

Born Malintzin, she was later baptized as a Catholic and named Marina. She also gave birth to Cortés’s first son, making her the symbolic mother of Mexico. To this day, she remains a controversial figure as both a victim of conquest and a traitor to her homeland.

 

Gaspar Antonio Chi (c. 1531 – 1610)

 

Also known as Gaspar Antonio de Herrera, Gaspar Antonio Chi was a Mayan noble and interpreter for King Charles V of Spain. He primarily interpreted between Spanish and Mayan languages, but also understood Latin.

 

During his sessions with Charles V, he recounted life under colonial rule and provided vital information about geography, the Mayan people, and cultures in the Yucatan. Chi also served as a primary source for Diego de Lana’s book Relacíon de las cosas Yucatan, which catalogued Mayan words, phrases, and hieroglyphics.

 

Jorge Luis Borges (1899 – 1986)

 

Jorge Luis Borges was an Argentinian fiction writer, poet, essayist, and translator. He is best known for his short story collections, which helped introduce Argentinian literature and culture to the wider world.

 

A gifted translator, Borges translated “The Happy Prince” by Oscar Wilde into Spanish when he was just nine years old. He went on to translate the works of Edgar Allen Poe, Franz Kafka, and Virginia Woolf, among other authors.

 

Gregory Rabassa (1922 – 2016)

 

Born to Cuban emigres in Yorkers, New York, Gregory Rabassa was a literary translator and university professor. He translated both Spanish and Portuguese literature into English.

 

Rabassa is best known for translating works by major Latin American novelists such as Julio Cortázar, José Amado, and Gabriel García Márquez—including his seminal novel One Hundred Years of Solitude. He received a PEN Translation Prize in 1977 and the PEN/Ralph Manheim Translation Prize in 1982.

 

He also taught at Columbia University and Queens College in New York City for many years.

 

Are there any Hispanic linguists you’d like to celebrate this month? Let us know in the comments!

Celebrating Deaf Awareness Month 2021

Did you know? September is Deaf Awareness Month! Launched in 1958 by the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), the initiative celebrates the history, cultures, and communities of deaf people around the world. It corresponds with the International Week of Deaf People and the International Day of Sign Languages.

 

International Week of Deaf People 2021 (September 20th – 26th)

 

While the entire month is dedicated to recognizing deaf people and their contributions, the International Week of Deaf People is of particular importance. The week, which commemorates the first World Congress of the WDF, focuses on the triumphs of deaf people and the challenges they still face.

 

This year, events will be hosted worldwide from Monday, September 20th to Sunday, September 26th. Daily themes include:

 

  • Cherishing Deaf History – Monday, September 20th
  • Sustainable Deaf Leadership –Tuesday, September 21st
  • Sign Languages for All Deaf Learners – Wednesday, September 22nd
  • We Sign for Human Rights – Thursday, September 23rd (This is also International Day of Sign Languages).
  • Intersectional Deaf Communities – Friday, September 24th
  • Deaf Culture and Arts – Saturday, September 25th
  • Human Rights in Times of Crisis – Sunday, September 26th

 

All members of the worldwide deaf community are welcome to participate, including families of the deaf, sign language interpreters, and members of human rights and disability rights organizations.

 

How You Can Support Deaf Communities

 

If there are no events near you, there are still plenty of ways you can get involved and support your local deaf community. Below are just eight possibilities:

 

  1. Start learning sign language. (You can sign up for free lessons here).
  2. Share information about sign language families, including Black American and indigenous
  3. Follow Deaf YouTube creators and share their content on social media. Don’t forget to include #IWDP and #IDSL in your posts.
  4. Support deaf-owned businesses.
  5. Advocate for deaf accessibility in your community.
  6. Advocate for the use of Certified Deaf Interpreters at work or within your community.
  7. Volunteer at a nonprofit that assists the deaf or advocates for disability rights.
  8. Contact your representatives to advocate for the rights of deaf people.

 

Bonus: If you know someone who is deaf, ask them about their experiences. Simply being willing to listen and learn about the deaf experience can go a long way to bridge the gap between the deaf and hearing worlds.

How are you planning to celebrate Deaf Awareness Month? Let us know in the comments!

Afghan Interpreters

Despite efforts to assist vulnerable Afghans during the U.S. evacuation of Afghanistan, tens of thousands remain in danger. Those who assisted U.S. and NATO troops—including interpreters—are among the highest risk of being arrested or killed by the Taliban.

 

As part of our commitment to the interpreting community, we’ve compiled information on how interpreters and other refugees can resettle in the UK and how our readers can help them.

 

For U.S. resources, click here. For Canadian resources, click here.

 

Government Programs

 

Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy

 

Great Britain has announced plans to accept 5,000 Afghans during the first year of its Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP). The program, which will remain open indefinitely, offers relocation and other assistance to current and former Locally Employed Staff in Afghanistan.

 

Under this policy, any current or former Locally Employed Staff directly employed by HMG whose life is at risk can apply for ARAP. This is regardless of employment status, rank or role, or length of time served.

 

Eligible Afghans can apply through an online form, regardless of their current location—including Afghanistan.

 

Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme

 

The country also plans to accept up to 20,000 Afghan refugees in the long term under the Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme. This scheme aims to resettle Afghan nationals who are most vulnerable, including women, girls, and religious minorities. The British government is urgently working to open this route and will announce further details once they’re available.

 

How You Can Help

 

If you’d like to help Afghans who are resettling in the UK, here are three organizations that are accepting donations and need volunteers.

 

Refugee Council

 

Founded in 1951, the Refugee Council works directly with refugees in the UK. The organization helps them integrate into their new communities, provides mental health services, and assists children who have arrived alone.

 

If you’d like to donate online, you can do so here. You can also host fundraising events or volunteer.

 

Care4Calais

 

The volunteer-run charity Care4Calais works with refugees in the UK, France, and Belgium. It provides direct aid through donations of clothing, shoes, cell phones, and other essential items.

 

You can donate items at your nearest drop off location or purchase a welcome pack, which will be given to an Afghan refugee in need. If you’d like to volunteer, contact [email protected].

 

British Red Cross  

 

The British Red Cross, which is on the ground in all 34 of Afghanistan’s provinces, is also collecting donations to assist Afghans who have relocated to the UK. Staff and volunteers are providing emotional support and essential items, including clothing, blankets, hygiene products, and baby supplies.

 

If you’d like to donate to, click here. You can also get involved by raising funds or by volunteering.

 

Remember, whether it’s donating, volunteering, or simply sharing this information, the smallest action can make a big difference!

 

As the situation remains fluid, we encourage you to leave information about any other legitimate organization in the comments. We will keep this article up-to-date as the humanitarian crisis unfolds.

Afghan Interpreters

The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has sent the country spiraling into a humanitarian crisis. Although at least 12,000 Afghans have been evacuated via the Kabul airport, tens of thousands of others remain in danger. Those who supported the United States and NATO troops—including interpreters—are at the highest risk of being arrested or killed.

 

As part of our commitment to the interpreting community, we’ve compiled information on how interpreters can apply for refugee status in Canada and how our readers can help them. For resources on U.S. visa programs and nonprofits, click here.

 

Special Programs for Afghan Interpreters and Other Refugees

 

The Canadian government has agreed to resettle up to 20,000 refugees through Special Programs. These include a special program for:

 

  • Afghan nationals and their families who assisted the Canadian government.
  • Afghan nationals who don’t have a durable solution in a third country, including
    • Women leaders
    • Human rights activists
    • LGBTI individuals
    • Journalists and people who assisted Canadian journalists
    • Immediate family members of one of the above
    • Extended family members of previously resettled interpreters who assisted the Canadian government.

 

To apply, write an email to [email protected] and include:

 

  • Your full name
  • Date of birth
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Description of work with the Canadian government including:
    • Your title or position
    • Identification number, if you have one
    • Name(s) of current Canadian point(s) of contact, if possible
  • Copy of your passport and passport for each eligible family member traveling with you, if possible

 

Please note: You don’t need to be in Afghanistan or return to Afghanistan to be eligible.

 

How You Can Help

 

If you’d like to help Afghans who are awaiting refugee status or have already arrived in Canada, here are three organizations that are accepting donations and need volunteers.

Veteran Transition Network is a veteran-led nonprofit organization that has set up an emergency fund to provide shelter and support for interpreters and their families. Donations go toward immediately helping Afghans by paying for interim housing and a living wage for those awaiting permission to enter Canada.

 

You can donate online, via check, or write transfer or security. If you’d like to volunteer, click here.

 

Afghan-Canadian Interpreters is an initiative made up of civilian volunteers, veterans, and serving members of the Canadian armed forces. It provides interpreters and their families with the expenses required for the relocation process.

 

You can send donations via e-transfer to [email protected] or via check. If you’d like to volunteer, email [email protected].

 

Islamic Relief Canada provides emergency aid in disaster zones which includes food packages and hygiene and water storage kits. The organization has been on the ground in Afghanistan for twenty years and is asking for donations to assist those who have been displaced.

 

You can donate online here. If you’d like to volunteer, click here.

 

Whether it’s donating money, volunteering, or simply sharing with your network, we encourage you to help however you can!

 

Since the situation remains incredibly fluid, we encourage you to include any other legitimate, proven organization in the comments which may be of help. We will keep this article updated with information as the humanitarian crisis unfolds.