NewsletterQ2_2015 - Monica Machado Translation Services

Monica Machado Translation Services, Issue 2 – Q2 2015
Common toads are very particular about where
they breed and often migrate back to their
ancestral breeding ponds each year. They follow
the same route, regardless of what gets in their
way, which sometimes leads to them crossing
roads. Where we get this toad vs. traffic scenario,
the toads inevitably come off worse. In
English to Portuguese
Specialised in:
Oil and Gas
Mining and Geology
Hydroelectric Power
The picture to the left is a good example of animal
life protection in the UK. This picture was taken
close to my house during one of our afternoon
Picture by Monica Machado
From the office…
Member of
The first newsletter was a success amongst
colleagues and clients so the initiative will
continue. In this issue I will be answering a
couple more questions about translation for the
oil and gas industry. I will be decoding the term
“certified translator” and also talking about a
recent translation project aiming at informing
children about Malaria in Angola.
There is also a small article about Google
Translate and the dangers it poses to business
secrets, along with the latest on my CPD and
the Service Assessment.
This issue is however special because it
commemorates the work of Mia Couto, a
Mozambican writer listed this year as possible
winner of the Man Booker International Prize
2015. It also introduces a new Facts section.
In this Edition:
From the office…
Recent project
Google Translate
Business News
Latest CPD
Decoding translation expressions
Interesting reading
.. to the kitchen.
Recipe: Chicken Muamba
To end this newsletter with a savoury taste, I
am including a tried and tested Angolan recipe
– Chicken Muamba or Muamba de Galinha, as
we all know it in the Portuguese World.
In this issue, an oil and gas expert (O&G E) and
author with over 30 years of experience in the
industry, continues interviewing Monica
Machado with some important questions
about translation in general.
O&G E – What do you do when you come
across some expressions or text which you do
not understand?
MM – Anything I don’t know or don’t
understand is thoroughly researched. For text
that I find difficult to understand, I usually query
the client. The authors are well positioned to
clarify any doubts involving text meaning. For
technical details or terminology I also use the
Internet, which is a fantastic library of resources.
I also have reliable sources of information in the
office, such as good technical dictionaries
compiled and published by reliable sources such
the EU or standard organisations, some of
which are no longer in print.
O&G E – The oil and gas industry is rich in
unusual technical terms that mean nothing to
the outside world. How do you translate terms
like moon pool or nodding donkey?
MM – Fortunately oil and gas documents are
usually intended for the industry, so the readers
know the concepts and the English terminology
so some terms are often left in English.
However, for documents submitted to
governmental institutions for approval it is
essential that the text is clear and that those
terms are not left untranslated. Some
governments don’t accept foreign terminology.
Consequently, it is essential to know what the
terms mean and try to explain them if there is
not a Portuguese term. Then, we can use the
English term inside brackets to make the
connection between the two. For instance, a
nodding donkey is a lift pump so in Portuguese I
would translate as “bomba de tipo nodding
donkey” (nodding donkey-type pump). As for
moon pool, an opening feature of marine
drilling platforms, drillships and diving support
vessels, for example, to access the sea and
through which equipment can be passed
through, we can call it “abertura da plataforma
na direcção do poço (moonpool)” (platform
opening in the direction of the well), if such
opening is in a platform and there is a well. This
means that it is essential for translation to know
what we are talking about. If there is no well yet,
or no well is to be drilled, or there is no platform,
then we have to rephrase the translation
In the next issue, an Environmental
Consultant. will interview Monica Machado
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about her business in this area.
Monica Machado Translation Services, Issue 2 – Q2 2015
Interesting reading
Sleepwalking Land or Terra
Sonâmbula is part of the National
Reading Plan in Portugal.
Mozambican writer Mia Couto
listed for the Man Booker
International Prize 2015
The Man Booker International Prize
recognises one writer for his or her
achievement in fiction. Worth
£60,000, the prize is awarded every
two years to a living author who has
published fiction either originally in
English or whose work is generally
available in translation in the English
language. The winner is chosen
solely at the discretion of the judging
panel and there are no submissions
from publishers. The winner will be
announced on 19 May.
Mia Couto, born in Mozambique in
1955, is one of the most prominent
writers in Portuguese-speaking
Africa. His books, infused with
magical realism and deeply rooted in
the political upheavals, languages
and narratives of his native land,
have been published in more than 20
In 2014, Mia Couto was awarded the
Neustadt International Prize for
Literature. He has won the Camões
Prize (the most prestigious
Portuguese-language award), the
Latin Union Prize, and the Vergílio
Ferreira Prize, amongst others. His
novel Sleepwalking Land was voted
one of the 12 best African books of
the 20 century at the Zimbabwe
International Book Fair. He lives in
Maputo, where he works as a
In 2012, Africa had around 90 million
consumers. That figure is projected
to reach 128 million by 2020.
In 2013, 67 million people in Africa
used smartphones and 16% of the
population was online.
Figures from BA magazine Business
Recent project
I have been involved in a translation of a
children’s book about Malaria in Angola. The
initiative is aimed at informing children about
Malaria modes of transmission and what to do
to avoid the disease. This was not the first time
I have translated material for children. It is very
rewarding to think the translated book will
contribute to improve children’s knowledge
about these subjects and bring them some
good reading time.
Malaria is caused by Plasmodium parasites that
are spread to people through the bites of
infected Anopheles mosquito vectors. Every
year, 3.2 billion people are at risk of Malaria.
Increased Malaria prevention and control
measures are dramatically reducing the
Malaria burden in many places. Malaria
mortality rates have fallen by 47% globally
since 2000 and by 54% in the WHO African
Region. In
Google Translate
Some people still think they can easily get their
original texts converted into any foreign
language just by using Google Translate. As a
human translator, I cannot be in favour of
machine translation. I cannot accept that a
machine can develop understanding enough to
process a text into another language. There are
many examples online about how bad the
results can be and there are many studies
about this. At the best, the machine will always
be as good as its developer.
Therefore, here I would like to talk about the
danger of using Google Translate in terms of
business secrets. Anyone inserting text in
Google Translate or any other similar machine
translation service has no guarantee on what
happens to the text next. Once the enter key is
pressed, the text to be translated is sent
somewhere and stored somewhere. What
happens to it? That letter, agreement or
business proposal that requires translation is
no longer just yours and confidential. It will be
somewhere with Google Translate or similar
and the control over it will be lost.
.. to the kitchen
Chicken Muamba
Traditional in Angola, this dish is easy to prepare
and delicious. A good start for a relaxing evening, it
can be accompanied with a nice Portuguese Douro
Ingredients (for 2 people):
Half a chicken cut in small pieces
12 lady’s fingers (okra) cut vertically
2 large onions and 3 garlic cloves
100 ml of palm oil or peanut oil
400 grams of pumpkin
African red pepper and salt to taste
Business News
Mid-year is synonymous with Service
Assessment. In 2014, 74% of clients answered
this within a month, which is an improvement
from 2013. However, there is still a percentage of
clients that answer late or provide no feedback at
all. The Service Assessment covers areas such as
Communications, Query Process, Quality of
Translation and Quality/Price Ratio and is an
excellent way to assess and improve my service
Latest CPD
A new year is just starting for CPD. During
the next 12 months, I will be investing in
Continuous Professional Development as
part of my memberships with ITI and CIOL.
So far I have watched a very interesting
video on HP Gas Pipeline Safety at O&G
Exploration Operations, from SEPTA
Energy. There will be a lot more also on
mining and shipping.
Translators sign non-disclosure agreements
and if the issue of the translation comes to light
it is easy to track back to the source of
disclosure. However, with machines and online
systems, such tracking will become very
difficult and maybe even impossible to achieve.
If some are happy enough with machine
translation results, maybe they will think twice
next time they are about to share their
confidential contents with the World Wide
Decoding translation expressions:
Certified translator – A certified translator is a
professional translator who can sign a translation
certificate for the translations he/she does. In the
UK to endorse a translation certificate, the
translator has to be registered with a recognised
translation organization, such as the Institute of
Translation and Interpreting (ITI) or the Chartered
Institute of Linguists (CIOL). These certificates
accompany the translation of official/legal
documents (such as resumes, university degrees
passports, medical certificates or company
incorporation documents) and the original
documents in a bundle called “certified
translation”. As an ITI member, I can provide
certified translations and apply the ITI red seal on
the translation certificate. In the next issue I will be
decoding the term “MITI”.
Rub the garlic, the red pepper and the salt on the
chicken. Cook the chicken with garlic and palm oil and
a little bit of water. Leave it to cook for 30 minutes.
When cooked but not too soft, add the pumpkin and
the lady’s fingers. Allow the chicken to cook until the
meat is tender and the sauce is thick. Serve with pirão,
made using manioc and millet flour, or mashed potato
for a European touch. It is essential to prepare the lady’s
fingers (okra) before adding them to the chicken. Cut the
bottoms and leave the lady’s fingers soaking in very hot water
for a few minutes. Wash in hot running water and cut them
vertically. They will then be ready to be added to the chicken.
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