In this issue, Monica Machado, English to Portuguese Translator, is interviewed about translation for the environmental sector
In this issue, an environmental consultant interviews Monica Machado with some questions about translating for the environmental sector.
Enviro Consultant – What for you is the most interesting aspect of translating environmental documentation?
MM – As you can see from my Company Social Responsibility projects, I am very much interested in environment and environmental issues. Translating in this area can be very challenging because of all the different aspects it includes from marine science to biology. The projects I work on can vary, for example from onshore to offshore environment and from Western to Eastern Africa. This means that animal and plant species will vary immensely and the resources used for research are also different. However, to me, the challenges and the difficulties I often encounter make this area of work more interesting. Translators need to enjoy the research aspect of the job to offer the best possible translated version.
Enviro Consultant – What kind of research do you do?
MM – For environment-related jobs, research concerns for instance names of animal and plant species. Although the scientific names are usually presented in Latin, the vernacular equivalents change very much from one country to the other. Therefore, literal translations are very rarely applicable and it is essential to use the names those animal or plant species are known as locally. Since I translate for different Portuguese-speaking countries (like Angola and Mozambique), I also need to know the different names in the different countries, even though the English term could be the same.
Enviro Consultant – What does vernacular name mean and what resources do you use to get the right species names?
MM – The vernacular name of a species is the common name for which a species is known in each language or country. For example, Megaptera novaeangliae is the scientific name of humpback whale, the latter being the common name. Scientific names are usually Latin names. For a given plant or animal specimen there is usually only one scientific name but it is possible to have several common names. To know which common name to apply we need to have in mind the country or region where the translated document is to be used and base the research on the Latin name. Research methods and resources will be a topic for the next issue.
Interview published in Issue 3 of the Company’s Newsletter.
Picture: A leatherback turtle in Angola
Monica Machado is an English to Portuguese Translator specialised in environment
Comments are closed