When You Are Unsure About What You Have Heard, Why Do You Not Try To Ask Them To Spell It? – A Case of Unfair Rejection

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 »  Articles Overview  »  Art of Translation and Interpreting  »  Interpreting  »  When You Are Unsure About What You Have Heard, Why Do You Not Try To Ask Them To Spell It? – A Case of Unfair Rejection

When You Are Unsure About What You Have Heard, Why Do You Not Try To Ask Them To Spell It? – A Case of Unfair Rejection

By Marcia Pinheiro | Published  11/3/2012 | Interpreting | Recommendation:
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Quicklink: http://arm.proz.com/doc/3655
Marcia Pinheiro
անգլերենից պորտուգալերեն translator
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NES: Q para capa, compreende? (Q for cape, understand?)

CAPA is spelt with C, not Q...

Interpreter, and employee from the energy company are put to guess: the second letter is I, the third is R, and the first is equal to the fourth.

It is a street in Chatswood, 2067. He says Q for sure in Portuguese, but that gives us QIRQ.

He also then says para capa (for cape), and capa is a word in Portuguese, but the word is spelt with c, not q. It must be something between a c and a q...

Would it be Church St?, says the energy company employee.

At least sometimes they guess better than the interpreter, even because at least sometimes the NES mixes English with Portuguese...

Interpreter: Alguma chance de que você tenha falado Church St, Rua da Igreja em Português? (Any chance that you have said Church St, Street of the Church in Portuguese?).

NES: Nao. Nao foi isso (no, it was not that).

The energy company employee went away.

Waiting tunes...

The interpreter's father used the word kappa to spell things at least sometimes in Portuguese, and he meant k for kappa, the interpreter remembered.

It could be something from the army...

There is no such a word either in Portuguese or in English (kappa).

The same sound in Portuguese corresponds exclusively to one word, capa.

Some lexicons bring the word kappa, and say that kappa is the tenth letter of the Greek alphabet or k in Greek (www.merriam-webster.com/table/dict/alphabet.htm).

Some websites of relevance: http://www.rfu.org/cacw/basic4KraftPulp.htm, http://www.investorwords.com/5629/Kappa.html, and http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/Cohen-s-Kappa.htm, saying that the Kappa Number is a well-known constant.

Since the music was still on, and the energy company employee had not returned, the interpreter said: Você quis dizer Kirk St? (Did you mean Kirk St?)

No lingos collection will ever be enough in this sort of profession, and the more the interpreter knows about language, the worse it is, since, if we do not know how to spell, then we may commit the same sort of mistake that the NES commits whilst speaking, and that will then, at least sometimes, save us from the repulsive unfair rejection… .

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