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Four Things to Know About Our Practice

Four Things to Know About Our Practice by Sepideh MoussaviI’m lucky to be a translator and an interpreter. My work is an intellectual exercise that reveals to me the common concepts that underlie the grammar of my three languages (Farsi, French, and English). In this post I would like to address some common questions we field “in the trenches” at The Farsi Language Center, on any given day. I hope it answers some of your questions, too!

What’s in a Name?

What’s in a Name? by Sepideh MoussaviIn Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Juliet famously sums up her exasperation with the war between the Capulets and the Montagues by lamenting, “…a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.” I think Shakespeare was showing that Juliet was wise beyond her years when she made that observation.

The Human Cost of Bad Translation

The Human Cost of Bad Translation by Sepideh MoussaviMy mother is not fluent in English, and that fact counted heavily against her on a call to an insurance company recently.

The call was about an important question relating to my mother’s account, so I joined her to make the call. The person on the other end of the phone said they had to verify my mother’s identity, and so they needed her to speak, not me, her daughter. The operator asked what language my mother speaks, and put us on hold while they found a Farsi interpreter.

The Importance of ATA Certification

The Importance of ATA Certification by Sepidah MoussaviThe American Translators Association (ATA), a well known international organization, offers a translator certification—a distinction that puts all translators, regardless of work status, in a better position to market themselves. For Farsi translators and interpreters in particular, the ATA certification is more than just a suffix.

I am very passionate about the mission of the organization and the importance of these certifications for the following reasons:

  1. It distinguishes those who are qualified to translate from those who are not; and
  2. An increase in Farsi translators will support the Farsi-English pairing. As of now, this pair has not been established at ATA, and the ATA is not recognizing Farsi as a language.

Invitation to Cooperate With the American Translators Association (ATA) to Formally Establish a Language Combination In Farsi To And From English

Dear Farsi Translators and Colleagues:

Respectfully, the translation of Farsi to and from English in the United-States has become questionable. Due to a lack of employment, many young individuals who are familiar with the language but do not possess adequate knowledge and skills to translate, have entered the profession. As you know, the quality of the translations and interpretations produced by these non-qualified translators would disdain one of the most important canons of the ATA Code of Ethics, that is “to convey meaning between people and cultures faithfully, accurately, and impartially”.

I suggest that, if you are seriously considering working as a translator or interpreter of Farsi, please cooperate with the Farsi Language Center’s workgroup to establish a language pair at the American Translators Association (ATA). This will allow us to advocate for high quality Farsi translations and interpretations, to safeguard the Persian language, and to join the rest of the world who have already established and made their languages known by the ATA. Better yet, as ATA certification is the only widely recognized measure of competence in translation in the United-States, being certified can open doors to new business and higher compensations for us, Farsi translators and interpreters.

If you have any suggestions or comments please contact me using the following email address:

info@farsilanguagecenter.com