Post Editing: Varying Latin America

Of all the continents of the world, in some ways I think I know South and Central America the least. I’ve been there, but the aimless wandering, the days of slipped-on cultural immersion, I have never really been able to experience there. Someday, I hope. As fall approaches, I long for Patagonia, for the Amazon, for Brazil’s beaches, for the long stretches of the interiors and the changing faces North to South. For, again, the staccato tap of Argentina on the cobblestones.

But in the meantime, I read of it. It seems strange to me at times that it is even possible to make of this collection of countries one homogenous target, as Karen Netto does in her article on selecting Latin American translations. Not, of course, without difficulty. Nataly Kelly underlines that difficulty as she examines a product line’s various websites for different countries in Latin America. Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo turns us next to Brazil’s sports fanaticism, and how this provides translation and localization opportunity. Fabio Branca looks at userization, meaning essentially user-specific localization for what might otherwise wrongly be thought of as an unvarying linguistic and cultural landscape — Latin America is a good example.

Kate Edwards provides us with some additional insight into the region with her column on the Falklands/Malvinas issue. In our other columns, John Freivalds departs into the diaspora, and Terena Bell writes on choice overload and customization.

There’s something, actually, that I’ve wondered about with Latin America. We’re supposed to have taken its definition from the Latin-based languages that are official in the countries in question. But why, then, is Canada never considered part of Latin America? In Quebec, French is the sole official language. Just in case, we have a review from Nancy A. Locke of Objectif Clients, a book written by a Québécois translator.

Elsewhere in the magazine, Talia Baruch has an article on requests for proposals, Patrick Indola offers a case study from Toshiba, Anna Simpkins discusses and compares do-it-yourself machine translation tools, and Alan Melby, Brian Chandler and Arle Lommel talk about the Linport standard.

Daniel Goldschmidt wraps things up in a tidy, and touching, package with his Takeaway on health and language. He says we’re lucky.

And so I am, even if I haven’t gotten to physically explore Latin America to my heart’s content yet. I suppose that puts things in perspective a bit.