The winner of ATA’s 2022 School Outreach Contest is Aída Carrazco, an ATA-certified English to Spanish freelance translator based in Mexico.
Aída spoke to 11- and 12-year-old students at Instituto Thomas Jefferson in Zapopan, Mexico. Aída’s presentation included hands-on activities to help the students learn about translation, transcreation, and localization. Additionally, she presented examples of subtitling and had students participate in role-play interpreting exercises.
Here’s Her Story
I decided to visit my son’s classroom because he’s very interested in my profession, but also complains often, saying I work too much. I wanted to use this opportunity to show his classmates what I do and to make him proud. There were 17 students, 11-12 years old.
First, I introduced myself, told the kids I was a translator, and asked if they knew what a translator was. Their answers described an interpreter, so I showed them the difference between the professions. I gave examples of the areas of specialization a translator or interpreter could follow. I asked which languages they spoke and if they have ever used them to translate or interpret. They told me funny anecdotes from family trips and friends’ visits where they had to interpret for their parents or grandparents.
In teams, the students worked to translate the information on a candy package and transcreate some jokes and comics. One team decided to work on content about children and the war in Ukraine. They understood how translation can help people—even children—and that they can find translated content everywhere. They also discovered the importance of localization through funny and awkward translation examples.
Three students volunteered to participate as interpreters in another exercise. I read a text in Spanish and they interpreted into English, using consecutive and simultaneous modes. They enjoyed this exercise and realized that interpreting is not as easy as it seems. They gave examples about where they’ve seen interpreters at work (sports, interviews, etc.), and I emphasized the importance of interpreters in the war context.
During the last activity, the students were asked to think about which specialization they would choose if they were translators or interpreters, and they created a badge with this information. Most kids wanted to be video game localizers and subtitlers, but there were others interested in interpreting and literary translation as well.
What I enjoyed the most was that all the students were very interested in the topic and asked many questions. In the afternoon, some parents called or wrote me to tell me their kids were enthusiastic about the activities we did. One student told her mom she wanted to be a conference interpreter. Regarding my son, he said it was a very special day for him.
School Outreach Contest
By sharing your story and photo, you could win a free registration to the ATA Annual Conference!