G’day everybody! My name is Dolores Turró and I am an Australian born and bred in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I consider myself a ‘by-product’ of two cultures and currently live in the beautiful Blue Mountains, in the Sydney Region (NSW, Australia).
I have always been fascinated by translation and translators. When I was a child, I would drop everything to watch Dr Emilio Stevanovitch’s work as an interpreter on Argentinian television. Later, in my teenage years, I started mistrusting the translations of the great literary classics—for some weird reason, I became convinced that those who had translated them had ‘cheated’ somehow, and tweaked the message. “Lost In Translation’ anyone? Perhaps more than anything else, it was my own way of questioning everything around me (including translations).
When I was doing my ESL-English studies degree at the Instituto Nacional Superior del Profesorado “Joaquín V. González” (Buenos Aires, Argentina), I would sneak into Prof Enrique Pezzoni’s lectures. He had translated Graham Greene’s Travels With My Aunt into Spanish—among other important works—and was no cheat. On the contrary, he was an exquisite translator!
After graduation, life took on a different turn. I became fascinated by teaching English as a Second Language. Four years after finishing my graduate studies and quite ‘by accident’, I enrolled in a postgrad on translation at the Instituto Nacional Superior del Profesorado en Lenguas Vivas “Juan Ramón Fernández” (Buenos Aires, Argentina). My greatest influencers at that time were Prof Sara Melgar (Spanish Grammar) and Prof María Teresa Viñas Urquiza (Contrastive Analysis). By then I had clocked up some experience as a scientific translator and there would be more disciplines to come.
In the eighties and nineties, I took up freelance translation work and some of the projects I worked in were in the areas of political science, economics, information technology, biochemistry, biology and medicine.
The nineties signalled the start of the IT revolution in some professional niches, such as design and healthcare. Translations from English to Spanish followed suit and I was hired to translate educational videos and booklets from English into Spanish. I also worked as an interpreter in seminars and training courses (Apple, Adobe and Knoll).
If I became an interpreter on television, you ask? Funnily enough I did, only on a few occasions.
In the late 90’s I decided to migrate to Australia and arrived at Sydney in 2003 as an independent migrant. I became a NAATI certified translator and started working as an ELE teacher (Español Como Lengua Extranjera, Spanish as a Foreign Language), at the Institute for International Studies (University of Technology Sydney), the Department of Spanish and Latin American Studies (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Sydney) and the Centre for Continuing Education (University of Sydney).
Since I arrived in Australia, my work as a translator has been mainly in academia. I also translate my own creative work, so I am my own ‘boss’, if that makes sense. The largest projects I have worked in as a translator in the past few years are the Indigenous Knowledges Symposium at the University of Sydney (2011) and the translation of the Quirós Memorials for the State Library of New South Wales and the Silentworld Foundation (2013-2014).
For the Indigenous Knowledges Symposium I had to familiarise myself with subject-matter, vocabulary and concepts that involved research and consultations with a topnotch team of academics from the University of Sydney, Dr Vicki Grieves, Dr Fernanda Peñaloza and Dr Vek Lewis. I translated abstracts from Spanish into English and vice versa, and acted as a consecutive translator.
The Quirós Memorials comprise a 30,000 words plus body of manuscripts that were written in 17th Century Spanish into present-day English. They are part of the Mitchell and Dixon Libraries’ collections. The Silentworld Foundation owns one of the extant manuscripts, which I also translated earlier in 2014.