Professional translators are tasked with the job of taking a piece of written work, video, or real-time conversation and translating it into another language. In some cases, these translations must happen in real-time, especially when translators are listening to a speech that they must relay to people in their native culture. Nowhere in the job description does it say that these translators have to be funny or witty. For that reason, jokes and one-liners can often get lost in translation. Even when the translators do have a sense of humor, much of language is lost when you try to translate idioms. This is certainly the case for a Spanish translator hired to interpret the press conferences of New Zealand rugby star Cory Jane.
Translators Needed at Rugby World Championship Press Conferences
Since the annual Rugby world championship is held in Argentina this year, journalists from the area make translators needed to make sure they can offer an English to Spanish translation for their audience. The stars of the New Zealand All Blacks team have been speaking at press conferences and other press events where very few of the journalists speak English. Usually, sports news can be translated after it has been printed, but people around the world are paying attention to the championship so quick reporting is absolutely vital.
One-Liners are Hard to Translate
New Zealand rugby player Cory Jane is known for his one-liners and humor. In fact, he lost his cell phone when he arrived at the championship, and Twitter followers were frantically asking why he hadn’t updated them with a funny anecdote in so long. At the press conferences in Argentina, he isn’t holding back, and the Spanish language translation simply cannot capture the essence of his humor. Unfortunately, translators are left confused and the Spanish-speaking audience is left in the dark.
Though the Argentinian news agencies are trying to be proactive in covering the Rugby world championship press conferences by hiring English to Spanish translators, there are some things that simply can’t be translated on the fly. If these interpreters had a few hours to look up the meanings of certain jokes and one-liners, they could effectively translate them. However, without knowing the cultural context, such things are nearly impossible to translate. No matter how funny or witty your professional translator might be, certain jokes and cultural words will be over their head and beyond translation.