Unexpected meanings of "contrastar" and "verificarse"

It's obvious that the Spanish contrastar means "to contrast." But it also has an unexpected meaning: "to verify": He contrastado estos datos con la sociedad. I have verified this information with the company información contrastada verified information By the same token, although verificar can mean "to verify," the form verificarse has the unexpected meaning of "to take place" or "to be held." It's a synonym of tener lugar: Se verificó la reunión con sólo cinco asistentes. The meeting was held with only five people in attendance. Another way of saying verificarse in Mexican Spanish is tener verificativo: La reunión tuvo verificativo con sólo cinco asistentes. The meeting was held with only f

A Weekend of Legal Translation Seminars in Seattle

I will be teaching an all-day seminar on Spanish Legal Translation for the Northwest Translators & Interpreters Society (NOTIS) on Saturday, March 19, 2016. Then on Sunday morning I will conduct a workshop on translating contracts from Russian to English. In the afternoon, we'll host a similar workshop on translating contracts from French to English. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone and to being back in the Pacific Northwest.

Parlez-vous hexagonal ?

This book about what the French call langue du bois and what we might call "doublespeak" in English is interesting to translators because it provides examples of the kind of vacuous language that we have to understand in our daily work, and then translate into our mother tongue. The book helpfullly translates the gobbledygook (some of which is good for a big laugh) into everyday French: Je suis requise par la problématique du quotidien (=A la maison je m'occupe de tout). La pugnacité est délictuelle (Il est interdit de frapper ses camarades). Je demande à assurer cet exposé par l'oralité (=Je demande la parole). L'inévitabilité des novations est patente (=Il est évident qu'il faut opérer des

A hidden meaning of "altura"

The meaning of "altura" that you learn in school is "height." But this word has an unexpected meaning: it also translates as "dignity." Se lo dijo con mucha altura means "She told him in a very dignified manner." Reaccionó con mucha altura means "He reacted with great dignity." Note that "height" would make no sense as a translation here, and also note that altura does not mean "haughtiness," even though that would be a reasonable guess; the Spanish word for "haughtiness" is altanería.

Antes al contrario

Note that the word "antes" is not reflected in the English translation of the Spanish phrase antes al contrario, which means "on the contrary, quite the opposite, far from it." This can trip up a translator who is translating word for word on autopilot!

Sponsor a word in the Dictionary of the Afrikaans Language

After a visit to the offices of the Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal (also known as the "WAT" or Dictionary of the Afrikaans Language) in Stellenbosch last month, where I was given a guided tour by Dr. Willem Botha, the editor-in-chief of the dictionary, I was inspired to sponsor the word VERTALER (translator). Work on the dictionary was begun 90 years ago, in 1926, and the lexicographers are currently working on the letter S. They have currently reached the word skooier, to be specific. This made me feel much better about the 12 years that it took me to finish the second edition of my Spanish-English Dictionary of Law and Business, which is not even as big as one of the volumes of the WA

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