SRO at January meeting


Michael Meigs


Marian Schwartz

It was standing room only at our first general meeting of 2016, which featured presentations by Beth Navarro from the University of Texas Center for Professional Education and Maria Acevedo of the FBI office in San Antonio. Beth told us about a 40-hour “bootcamp-style” medical interpreter training program at UT, which prepares candidates to take the certification exams offered by the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI) and the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI). Maria gave us a rundown on employment opportunities for linguists with the FBI and a “non-Hollywood” description of what it’s like to work for the Bureau as a translator and/or interpreter.

But the pièce de résistance was a panel of three renowned literary translators – Marian Schwartz, Michael Meigs, and Tony Beckwith – who explained the process they follow when translating a work of literature from another language to English. Marian walked us through the steps she took in transforming a 161-word Russian sentence from Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina into natural, idiomatic English. Michael showed us how he had gone about polishing several passages from the first draft of his translation of the Swedish thriller Skinless, by Sandra Gustaffson, and Tony – using the poem “Blanco” by Mexican poet Víctor Sahuatoba as an example – managed to make poetry translation look positively easy (but of course Tony is a poet in his own right).

Our next meeting, on March 12, promises to be every bit as interesting. Please plan on joining us!