Self-Deprecating Musings on Happiness and Intensity


Dear English-B Interpreter Friends,

(First, my letter to you to using words from Post #12)

Someone told me this week that I pepper my generally high-tension approach to life with isolated moments of extreme relaxation. She was angling for me to object (which would have been proof enough of her point). But I just laughed, accepted the observation with a sanguine nod and asserted that, a few weeks shy of my 37th birthday, I was not likely to change. That I’d honed this “work hard, play hard” attitude to a T.

In all fairness, playing hard really means anything I do that is in full opposition to my one-track-minded way of working (which, on account of how I sway when I study or how I voluntarily subject myself to working in a coffin-like interpreting booth, could probably be tagged as some neurodevelopmental disorder on the obsessive-compulsive spectrum). I love my crazy job, but I’d snap if it weren’t for the regular breaks I take for unwinding. Unlike my very rigid and rooted work featuring words, newspapers, books, radio and thinking, thinking, thinking, my time off is imbued with a sense of the sublime and very little talking: hiking above the clouds, running over mountain trails and reaching out to clasp the rampant brush, walking across a bitingly cold ocean of white crystals on a salt marsh, crewing an ultra marathon, feeding my sprightly little nephew his bottle, listening to a great cello player while blocking out everything else, feeling the earth pulse at a music festival, and so on.

To this person’s astute observation, I asserted that I was not likely to change, but I walked away thinking just why I shouldn’t. What actually holds me (or anyone) back from pursuing the opposite: unguarded relaxation interrupted with only occasional strain?

And with that thought, I bring you this week’s big booth words, all culled from a single article entitled “What would you pay to be happy?

Happy words,
Melissa

*** FIVE WORDS (IN CONTEXT) TO BRING INTO THE BOOTH ***
SWATHE
SNAKE OIL
CONTEND
ASSEMBLAGE
COVERT
— all as used in the article “What would you pay to be happy?

Pets and Politics


Dear English-B Interpreter Friends,

(First, my letter to you to using words from Post #11)

My building complex includes a fenced-off area for dog and cat owners to bring their furry friends out to stretch and run unimpeded, and the responsible humans who frequent this little area, in turn, have created a private WhatsApp®  group to discuss issues pertinent to condominium life with our feline and canine family members. Yesterday, after a staggering number of rabid texts remanding the group’s members to rally for impeachment of Brazil’s president, I sent a message kindly and diplomatically asking that posts in our virtual community be limited to the specific purpose of the group, namely discussing common concerns regarding our four-legged friends. Immediately thereafter I was sent a reproachful message informing me “that is why Brazil is as shitty [sic] as it is.” While I was strangely amused and almost impressed by the fact that one of my (clearly well-read) neighbors had ascribed me (a non-voting foreigner) such omniscience as to have magically turned an entire country to excrement, I opted for a more cavalierresponse: none. I had been quite self-assured in my tactful and well-founded request in the first place and did not need to dignify rogue discourtesy with pushback.

Brazil is astir in politicking right now (fascinating for this international-relations buff), and so I wish all of my Brazilian friends — wherever you find yourself on the political spectrum — informed and active participation in your country’s development, just preferably devoid of rude epithets to colleagues and leaders alike.

Happy words,
Melissa

*** FIVE WORDS (FROM A ZOOLOGY CONTEXT) TO BRING INTO THE BOOTH ***HONE
* As used in the body of this article on an experiment involving implanting memories into mice.
IMBUE
* As used in this personal piece about adopting a psychologically troubled dog.
ANGLE (verb)
* As used in body of this extremely insightful feature article about  famed primatologist Jane Goodall.
SPRITELY
* As used in the body of this article on the Kyrgyz donkey-meat scandal (seriously).
RAMPANT
* As used in the photo caption under the last photo in this series of strange newly discovered creatures.

Big Booth Words Is Watching You!


Dear English-B Interpreter Friends,

(First, my letter to you to using words from Post #10)

Big Booth Words Is Watching You!

Late last year, I interpreted at an event on geographic information systems. The developers and speakers were so enthusiastic about ascertaining and exploring ways to utilize the terabytes upon terabytes of information we can now gather that they all but sang cult-like paeans to big data from the stage. At the event, everything sounded marvelous: using massive data sets to combat crime, improve education, plan agricultural strategies for the 21st century, etc. Of course, recent scandals show us how a more tendentious use of this trove of information may cause slight friction, to say the least (AssangeSnowdenGreenwald, etc.).

Which brings me to what dirty secrets I drudged up about every one of my readers this week (cue evil laugh). Until recently, you were all reading these digests in blissful anonymity, but the new online program to which I switched to overcome the managerial quandary caused by trying to misuse Apple mail as a digest manager offered me some unexpected Easter eggs. On a Big-Brotheresque leveI, I was surprised to find my new program individually lists who actually opened my e-mail (I can tell who actually seems to care), where (not e-mail specific) the digest is read (I can envy you readers who perused this digest in Alaska and India), and which specific links you individually click on (I can see your true preferences or even disinterest). Therefore, in case any of you care what I think, please feel free to deceitfully click on all the links henceforth and make me feel like my time is worth it.

But, like all data sets, as the ardent advocates at the referenced event showed rather successfully, mass information can (and should) be put to beneficial use. Joking aside, I choose to focus on the positive, and what the statistics truly emphasized was:

  • that more of you opened the e-mail than industry average (therefore I have decided to continue sending out this digest);
  • that practically none of you clicked on the video links (therefore I am not going to send video links this week and see if any of you object by sending me a personal e-mail);
  • that only a precious few of you clicked on all links, and that many more clicked an average of 3-4 links (therefore I know how and to what extent my steadfastreaders use this digest for studying; I know others use it merely for quick, clever entertainment;  and I can also gauge which words are likely brand new); and
  • that the most clicked links were about Brazilian corruption and US involvement in the Ukraine imbroglio, and not the article about Jews, money and Chinese perceptions, which I personally thought was the freshest perspective on the last list (therefore a new experiment of sending out only links based on a specific theme should help me find the pattern here; do my readers click for content or for the specific word being highlighting?).

I have more interesting things to do than set up an online dragnet to systematically figure out who reads what and when, but occasionally studying the overarching database will give me the feedback I need to tweak these digests to maximum effectiveness.

Data is great. It all depends on how it’s used.

Happy words,
Melissa

*** FIVE WORDS (IN BIG-DATA CONTEXT) TO BRING INTO THE BOOTH ***
STAGGERING
* As used in the body of this very thorough Ars Technica article breaking down the idiotic term of, but gorgeous concept behind, big data.
REMAND
* As used in the body of this CNN post on the status of Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden.
CAVALIER
* As used in this body of The Economist’s review of Acadamy-winning The Imitation Game, which beautifully portrays Alan Turing’s code-breaking work during WII and development of the early computer.
PUSHBACK
* As used in the body of The Guardian’s article on Greenwald, Snowden, Dotcom and Assange’s virtual debate last year.
ROGUE
* As used in the title of this short NYT piece on the security vulnerability of the healthcare industry.

February Partying


Dear English-B Interpreter Friends,

(First, my letter to you to using words from Post #9)

Ah February! The poor, little month that seemed to get the short end of the stick when the Romans were fiddling around with the calendar. I was reading up on the origins of this particular month (because my love of arcane trivia knows no bounds) and discovered that the name comes from a Roman festival of ritual purification (Februa), which traditionally occurred between the 13th and the 15th of the month. But, let not the poetic appeal of ceremonial cleansing delude; purification is none other an overt admission of having just engaged in inevitably impure activities. Just as the purported impurities of the Saturnalia festivities preceded the Roman’s soul-scrubbing Februa, what precedes our modern-day festival of ritual purification (that is, Ash Wednesday / Lent) is none other than the ubiquitous, promiscuous, frivolous, uproarious, morally decadent masquerade we now call Carnival.

I happen to be writing this digest with a cold beer in hand as a little nod to the current nationwide carefree attitude while I actually work this Monday. For many years, I would spend Friday to Carnival Tuesday out on streets, occasionally getting mildly chastised for letting myself get too carried away with the festivities. In recent years, however, I’ve been less inclined to take Brazil’s Carnival customs much to heart, mostly staying quietly indoors, though I’ve ironically been called culturally callous for not sufficiently embracing my Carnival spirit. This year, however, I was genuinely desirous of participating in something social. So, I headed out Saturday to follow around a parade float with marchinha-singing revellers in a bloco whose name loosely translates to Danny the Donkey (Jegue Gerso), dancing incessantly in the street until 3 a.m. And after I finish this digest, I may yet go out to dance and enjoy myself alongside a percussion-based Carnival bloco that calls itself Termite Mound (Cupinzeiro).

Saturday night, as I was listening to the music and singing and getting progressively more covered in paper confetti, I felt giddy. Maybe it was because it had been a while since I’d taken the mass Carnival spirit to heart. Maybe it was because I was amusedly watching two friends who had never experienced Brazilian Carnaval (a man from Portugal and a woman from Syria) joyously partake in the celebration. Maybe it was because watching the motley crew of costumed people in the college suburb of Barao Geraldo was entertainment in and of itself. Or maybe because I currently seem to be going through a stage where I’m finding myself newly smitten with all things Brazilian. Who knows (maybe overanalysing my contentment it is just a moot exercise), but I was (and am) truly happy enjoying this year’s Carnival.

Wishing you all a fun-filled final day of partying.

Happy words,
Melissa

*** FIVE WORDS (IN CONTEXT) TO BRING INTO THE BOOTH ***

ASCERTAIN
* As used in the title of this medical summary about measuring doctor’s fatigue through analysis of their eye movements (#medicine)
*  As a Portugues-to-English interpreting opportunity from this interview about the applications of big data. (#IT)
ref. “Esses insights… trazem cenários mais apurados?” (2:04) – Can we better ascertain prospects/scenarios with these insights?
STEADFAST
* As used in the body of this article on why Jews are historically good at finance, and why the Chinese admire them for it (#finance; #religion)
*  As a Spanish-to-English interpreting opportunity on the widespread availability of organic food in Cuba (#agriculture; #policy)

ref. “Creo que Cuba ha hecho un esfuerzo extraordiario con el tema de agricultura orgánica” (6:18) – I believe Cuba has been steadfast in its efforts in organic farming.
QUANDARY
* As used in the headline of this article in the LA Times about its participation in Ukraine’s civilian battle with Russian-backed separatists (#geopolitics; #military)
DRAGNET
* As used in this body of this WSJ article reporting on the fallout of the Petrobras scandal (#politics)
PAEAN
* As used in the title of this very amusing piece on the common elements of love letters throughout time because it did not go unnoticed that we also celebrated Valentine’s Day this week (#art; #literature)

Contemplation, Wonder and Gratitude


Dear English-B Interpreter Friends,

(First, my longer-than-usual letter to you to using words from Post #8)

Yes, indeed, I took some time off. I made the executive decision that committing clever booth vocabulary to memory is not a task that should be shoehorned into the inevitable end-of-the-year chaos. Plus, I had a couple of salient, non-academic exigencies to attend to these past weeks, namely visiting the newest family member – my stunningly adorable nephew, celebrating my feisty grandmother’s 90th birthday, and crewing an ultramarathon. These were three wondrous experiences, each in their own right.

My nephew is my mother’s first grandson and my first nephew. And he is named for my late father, of blessed memory. He is also a beautiful present to my mother’s husband, who never had the opportunity to have children of his own. So, with all the requisite hoopla and excitement to which all of you can probably relate, Little J popped into the world (after over 40 hours of labor) riding a wave of boundless love and honoring his lineage just by the mere fact of his safe and healthy arrival. For me, doting endlessly on such an utterly, helplessly dependent being was humbling. I felt an inexplicable sense of gratitude and privilege even (or especially) in all the mundane tasks of feeding, diaper changing, burping, tummy time, etc. And I walked about simultaneously tearing up joyously and smiling goofily all day, overjoyed just to be near this new miracle.

Celebrating my grandmother’s 90th was equally impressive. This woman (who is sharp as a whip from doing an NYT crossword a day for the last 60-odd years) recalls when television arrived, where she was when WWII ended, the down payment on her first house in 1950, the cultural no-nos she committed on one of her first trips abroad (Cartagena), what movie she told her parents she was out watching when she actually eloped with Grandpa, how she made an adventure of trying to find blue dungarees in China, how she cried with joy after living through the Civil Rights Movement and then seeing the first black president sworn in, why she tried (but kind of detests) Facebook, and on and on and on. At her celebratory dinner, she gave all the family members in attendance a mug that now sits permanently on the inspirational old treadle-sewing-machine desk I use to occasionally write fiction and stories. Inscribed are the words “my cup runneth over” – still true thousands of years after they were penned.

And then there was the ultramarathon. Although it may beggar belief that I actually voluntarily went nearly 60 hours eschewing sleep, willingly accumulating a thick film of dirt and dust over me and my car, cooked food hobo-style along trails and ran back and forth along the Caminho da Fé in the high heat of summer in order to see someone else run safely from point A to point B for days on end for no monetary recompense whatsoever, there was a reason for the madness. Among the gorgeous, verdant backdrop of the mountains of Minas Gerais, in the still moments of the sweltering day and the cool silence of cricket-filled nights, the universe gave me hours on end to parse the questions of life that seem so manifest at the start of the year. With the added milestones of my nephew’s birth and my grandmother’s 90th birthday, this inner and outer space for contemplation, for wonder and for gratitude was a nothing short of divine.

So, a belated message from this finally rested interpreter: May 2015 be a year of blessings for all.

Suggestions always welcome. Forwarding and sharing encouraged.

Happy words,
Melissa

P.S. To those of you who have graciously sent me word requests and digest suggestions, keep your eyes peeled for my inclusion of such throughout the year.

*** FIVE WORDS (IN CONTEXT) TO BRING INTO THE BOOTH ***
MOOT
* As used in the headline of this post on a recent US Supreme Court case concerning life-without-parole sentences. For those who wish to expand their legal English vocabulary, click on the post’s link to the Simerman article (#law)
*  As a Portuguese-to-English interpreting opportunity from musings by Rubem Alves on childhood and education (#education; #policy)
ref. “mas na minha infância eu não conhecia essa diferença” (2:02) – In my childhood, this difference was moot.
CHASTISE
* As used in the body of this detailed review of Oscar nominee ’Timbuktu’ – a movie quite apropos to Islamic fundamentalism and geopolitics today. (#film; #politics)
* Cameo (pun intended) of the word moot.
*  As a Spanish-to-English interpreting opportunity from this analysis of the state of Spanish society by political scientist Juan Carlos Monedero. This is also a great speech to practice interpreting since the presenter talks a mile a minute. (#political science)
ref. “la misma Alemaña que frenó sus impulsos es la que hoy se permite el lujo de regañarnos” (7:35) – The same Germany that checked its earlier impulses is the one that can now afford to chastise us.
DELUDE
* As used in the headline of this article in The Independent about the effect on the recent election of Greece’s leftist party on Germany, which took on much of Greece’s past debt (#geopolitics; #finance)
CALLOUS
* As used in this somewhat intriguing, somewhat disturbing Sydney Morning Herald article on the cerebral wiring of psychopaths (#science, #psychology)
* Bonus: this article also makes use of the famous phrase “the slings and arrows” – another brilliant Shakespeare original ubiquitous in modern English.
PURPORT
* As used in this culturally eye-opening op-ed on witchcraft and superstition in Tanzania (#culture, #religion)
***Reader Request***

This week’s reader-request special is a well-known contronym:
DECADENCE
* As used in the negative sense in tech writer Nicholas Carr’s blog pondering on the state of innovation (#technology)
* As used in the positive sense in this quirky, adjective-happy description of the food at a music and arts festival in Ireland (#food, #culture)

Booth Babble


Dear English-B Interpreter Friends,

(First, my short letter to you to using words from Post #7)

I am recanting my initial promise to make this a weekly post. It’s a lot for you to digest and for me to produce, so the posts will now be a fortnightly (or longer) phenomenon (and my apologies for starting a week late on this promise; work was a bit heavy).

I had the great pleasure of sharing the booth recently with the person who was the true inspiration for this blog. This colleague has a passion for English almost as wildly unbridled as my own and regularly sends me text messages with her creative booth solutions to complex speeches and incessant, harebrained questions from the audience. I said in my first post and must repeat: we interpreters serve the listener and are obliged to be subservient to the linguistic realities of our audience; if we are not interpreting for (or talking to) native English speakers, it behooves us to forgo erudite or sophisticated big booth words. Yet, in this particular recent event, those listening to the interpretation were highly educated US scientists and researchers, exactly the listeners for whom big booth words can and should be used. And my super Big Booth Words muse showed off her interpreting skill with aplomb without succumbing to sanctimonious show: a riveting booth performance that yours truly was delighted to witness.

Suggestions always welcome. Forwarding and sharing encouraged.

Happy words,
Melissa

P.S. To those of you who have graciously sent me word requests and digest suggestions, keep your eyes peeled for my inclusion of such in January.

*** FIVE WORDS (IN CONTEXT) TO BRING INTO THE BOOTH ***
SALIENT
* As used in the headline and body of this op-ed about Chinese diplomacy (#geopolitics)
* As an interpreting opportunity from this informal talk in Portuguese about what makes a great teacher (#education)
ref. “mas pais brilhantes vão muito além” (17:53) – what brilliant parents do is far more salient
BEGGAR (verb)
* As used in the title of this poem by New Zealand’s poet laureate Emma Neale, with a play on the word beggar (#art, #poetry)
* As an interpreting opportunity from a speech in Spanish eschewing a sedentary lifestyle (#medicine; #health)
ref. “… viene de …? En general no” (11:50) – Does it come from …? Well, that would beggar belief/plausibility
* Bonus: a quick history of “to beggar” outside the original meaning of becoming impoverished and easy explanation of how to use this verb.
SHOEHORN (verb)
* As used in this interesting RN exploration of the phenomenon of online book trailers (#technology, #business, #publishing)
PARSE
* As used in the summary of a GMACCC report on climate change and security in Africa (#environment, #geopolitics)
ESCHEW
* As used in the headline of this Wall Street Journal (!) article about giving up your daily shampoo (#beauty, #hygiene)

Bureaucracy


Dear English-B Interpreter Friends,

(First, my short letter to you to using words from Post #6)

Bureaucracy – its seems to flippantly play a leading role in the play of my life despite my most concerted efforts to drop it from the script. I have resigned myself to the fact that this is a regular occurrence for everything from licensing my car to designing and installing a new closet, and I am not so naive as to think the red tape is at all particular to this country (just go to the DMV of any state in the US or snicker at the etymology of the word in the first place). What is aggravating in Brazil, though, is that here the inefficient rules and regulations usually come with prattle because Brazilians like to talk at length about anything and everything even when there is nothing whatsoever worth talking about, which I attribute more to the bureaucrat’s empathy at my being asked to follow 20 steps when 2 would suffice than to disingenuous attempts to divert me from my objective. Of course, catch me on the wrong day, and the incessant jabbering in Portuguese coupled with the already nerve-racking paperwork and protocol proves extra fodder for my possibly having a nervous breakdown. I honestly try not to cower at the 20 bureaucratic tasks ahead if I have a worthy objective (e.g. I need to license the car), but for amenities that are not so pressing (e.g. installing a new closet), when faced with 20 steps plus the carpenter’s telling me about his great uncle’s slipped disc and youngest daughter’s good-for-nothing boyfriend, I waffle about whether the objective is truly worth it. God grant me patience (or God grant that you be far away from me when I am frazzled and facing step 19 while counseling my carpenter).

Suggestions always welcome. Forwarding and sharing encouraged.

Happy words,
Melissa

*** FIVE WORDS (IN CONTEXT) TO BRING INTO THE BOOTH ***
UNBRIDLED
* As used in the body of this letter by Pope Francis to Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia (#geopolitics, #environment, #vatican)
* Bonus use: check out Kentucky’s creative use of the double-meaning of the word in its state slogan.
* As an interpreting opportunity from this excellent roundtable discussion in Spanish about access to justice in Latin America (#latam, #law)
ref. “problemas culturales, o sea machismo desatado” (24:50) – unbridled machismo
SUBSERVIENT
* As used in the body of a blog post lambasting an NYC school principle for deriding Spanish speakers (#education, #languages)
* As an interpreting opportunity from a speech on studies into legalizing medical marijuana
ref. “ciência não é uma coisa neutra; ela é totalmente servil à economia” (11:50) – science is subservient to the economy
SANCTIMONIOUS
* As used in this Toronto Sun op-ed on politicians versus Uber (#technology, #regulations, #transportation)
RECANT
* As used in the body of this Reuters article about exonerating wrongfully held inmates (#law)
RIVETING
* As used in the headline of this public radio review of the acclaimed movie Whiplash (#film, #art)

¡Viva!


Dear English-B Interpreter Friends,

(First, my short letter to you to using words from Post #5)

I spent last week on a one-week vacation. For those chalking up my walking away from the year’s heaviest week of work to indolence, my justification for having voluntarily sidelined myself professionally is that the getaway was given to me as a gift (cue romantic sigh). But despite the poor timing and colleagues’ misgivings, I do admit to having always been a staunch supporter of the proverb “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” That said, I am incapable of completely disengaging from all things language and politics related, so while in Colombia I did read the newspapers copiously and chat with locals endlessly. The day I left, the president acerbically lambasted the FARC and suspended peace talks following accusations that the infamous organization had kidnapped a Colombian army general and taken two others captive – two years after having promised to cease their kidnappings-for-ransom financing operations. After my having spent a whole week listening to bombastic cumbia blasting from the parade floats in celebration of Cartagena’s 203 years of independence, listening to the mayor extol the virtues of freedom and tolerance, watching everyone dance, prance and joyously spray each other with some fetid, foam-like goop – all frivolities that life should afford every human being on earth (perhaps sans the conjunctivitis-causing aerosol cans), I left Colombia hoping that the kidnappings are not ultimately attributed to the FARC and that peace talks do resume.

Suggestions always welcome. Forwarding and sharing encouraged.

Happy words,
Melissa

*** FIVE WORDS (IN CONTEXT) TO BRING INTO THE BOOTH ***
FLIPPANT
* As used in the body of this Washington Post review of the new TV series “State of Affairs” – good for those of you who have an admitted addiction to political, Washington-based drama series (#tv)
* As an interpreting opportunity from a Danilo Gentili interview in Portuguese with Luciana Genro regarding her presidential candidacy
ref. “mas como olha essas pesquisas sacanas aí” (5:54) – flippant polls
DISINGENUOUS
* As used in the headline of an opinion note published in Canada’s Financial Post about greenhouse gas controls for liquid natural gas producers (#environment, #oil&gas)
* As an interpreting opportunity from a Jorge Ramos interview in Spanish with Priest Solalinde regarding the missing students
ref. “es un gobierno que simula, que estamos viand cosas como ésta” (2:46) – disingenuous government
WAFFLE (verb)
* As used in this New York Times book review on the biography of Nelson Rockefeller (#books)
PRATTLE
* As used in the body of this Foreign Policy article about US foreign policy in a globalized world (#geopolitics)
COWER
* As used in the heading of this Gawker article calling out the New York Times on how it responds to government pressure (#journalism)

Simply Simple


Dear English-B Interpreter Friends,

(First, my short letter to you to using words from Post #4)

A colleague on Friday admitted he had enjoyed listening to my into-English translation because it had been, and I quote, “simple, but right.” I initially writhed at the thought of being praised for using elementary words in the booth just as I have taken up sending out this weekly digest entreating readers to expand the limits of their locution. As someone with a penchant for amassing big words (aka very voluptuous vocabulary), I needed to check myself from assuming that lexical simplicity in the booth represents the bane of the interpreter’s career. In my seconds of reflection, I realized that the comment had been by no means acrimonious. To the contrary, it was my colleague’s recognition that I had chosen the proper register to interpret that day’s event, an event that specifically demanded a concise message and unadorned speech. And while I am now quite pleased that the remark afforded me the opportunity to contemplate when booth delivery requires austerity and when it begs magniloquence, I am even more contented knowing that I actually remembered to think before opening my big mouth and letting fly some scathing riposte to what proved to be a very sincere observation.

Suggestions always welcome. Forwarding and sharing encouraged.

Happy words,
Melissa

*** FIVE WORDS (IN CONTEXT) TO BRING INTO THE BOOTH ***
STAUNCH
* As used in the headline of this trade magazine article about the UN’s response to precious metal mining in Africa (#humanrights; #geopolitics; #mining)
* As used in the body of this op-ed piece about Europe’s role in Middle East peace (#humanrights; #internationallaw; #geopolitics)
* As an interpreting opportunity from a speech in Portuguese by Dilma dressing the 67th General Assembly of the UN.
ref. “iniciativas legitimas de defesa comercial” (3:49) – staunch trade initiatives
SIDELINE (verb)
* As used in the title of this NYT article about the Tea Party and the Republican Party in the US (#politics)
* As an interpreting opportunity from a talk in Spanish by Sor Lúcia about happiness
ref. “cada vez yo hacía más cosas pero por otro lado y paradojicamente me sentía más vacía” (7:35) – I felt sidelined (this only works because of the juxtaposition)
BOMBAST
* As used in the body of this article reflecting on the legacy of recently departed Edward Gough Whitlam, Australia’s 21st prime minister (#politics, #didgeridoo (just because I’ll never have another opportunity to use hashtag-didgeridoo))
INDOLENT
* As used in the body of this NYT article about thyroid cancer (#healthcare)
* Note the different definition here – used only to refer to slow-growing diseases (#healthcare)
ACERBIC
* As used in the body of this Washington Post review about Listen Up Philip, Alex Ross Perry’s acclaimed third movie  (#art, #film)

Word Insanity


Dear English-B Interpreter Friends,

(First, my short letter to you to using words from Post #3)

Though my schedule (i.e. the fact that I need to deliver translations urgently) is steadfast in its attempt to stymie my commitment to bringing you these posts, I doggedly persevere. This takes more time than one might imagine. Choosing five worthy words and then spotting a single word or phrase in two videos that lead to the week’s big booth words beleaguers my patience and makes me question my sanity. I worry that I am devoting too much time to this and not to my more immediate tasks. Yet, despite the negative short-term consequences (e.g. lost sleep because I have not extended my translation delivery times), I forge unflinchingly ahead. The truth is I find these little weekly posts provide me a welcome dose of geeky challenge (yes, I have an admitted word addiction I am not willing to quit). Finding fresh articles about the myriad topics I (we) encounter in the booth forces me not to fall into the common habit of cursory readings. And reviewing video after video after video heightens my sensitivity to the many ways I can observe, accept and question the role of individual words in shaping my (and our) performance in the booth. As they certainly are for me, may these posts be a harbinger of ever increasing booth conscientiousness for all.

Suggestions always welcome. Forwarding and sharing encouraged.

Happy words,
Melissa

*** FIVE WORDS (IN CONTEXT) TO BRING INTO THE BOOTH ***
JEOPARDIZE
* As used in the title and body of this Reuters article about negotiations between North and South Korea (#geopolitics)
* As an interpreting opportunity from a news story about the rains and harvest in Minas Gerais in Portuguese
ref. “tem provocado todos esses efeitos na lavoura” (0:35) – since the effects are all negative.
EGREGIOUS
* As used in the body of this Eu Observer article about the German Court taking issue with the European Central Bank’s Outright Monetary Transactions program (#banking, #monetarypolicy)
* As an interpreting opportunity from a news story about the missing students in Mexico in Spanish
ref. “Peña Nieto calificó estos actos indignantes” (1:11)
REDOLENT
* As used in the body of this New York Times article about how olfactory receptors have functions and provide benefits far beyond our sense of smell (#science, #health)
GARNER
* As used in the body of this Deutsche Welle article about one of the top players in the “sharing economy” (#tourism, #economy, #entrepreneurship, #sociology, #IT)
SNARKY
* As used in the first paragraph of this New York Times movie review about “Dear White People” (#sociology, #art, #film)
{cameo appearance = solipsistic, one of our Post #1 words}