Summer Reading: Lost in Translation
LIANE HANSEN, host:
Our summer reading series continues today with Lourdes Young. She's a court interpreter in Mount Vernon in Washington State. Welcome to the program, Lourdes.
Ms. LOURDES YOUNG (Court Interpreter): Thank you very much.
HANSEN: What are you reading now?
Ms. YOUNG: Right now, I'm reading Tom Robbin's "Jitterbug Perfume." And I am really enjoying it.
HANSEN: Tell us a little bit about it.
Ms. YOUNG: Well, I love it because it's been - voyage through time and different circumstances, different characters with a common thread of a red beet and perfume making. So last year, I was reading "The Hummingbird's Daughter" from a Mexican writer Luis Alberto Urrea and he was full of magic and traveling through time as well in different characters. So it's kind of the same idea of magic and fantasy and very, very interesting characters.
HANSEN: What do you want to read next?
Ms. YOUNG: Next, I have a couple of books. In a conversation with my friend, we we're just talking about what it meant to be spiritual nowadays and the difference between being religious spiritual or having faith and something. And she recommended Anne Lamott's "Traveling Mercies."
HANSEN: If you had all the time in the world, what book would you like to read?
Ms. YOUNG: When I was in high school in Mexico, we had the assignment of reading "Don Quixote de la Mancha" and there was really no time to ponder. I remember that back then, being in the age that I was where you're a dreamer and everything - I liked it very much and identified with it very much, but I really didn't have enough time to ponder upon it or to really think of what it meant to me because you had to write an essay on it - turn a paper in on it. So I would like to have the time to leisurely read it and see what it means to me now at this time in my life.
HANSEN: Would you read it in Spanish?
Ms. YOUNG: Definitely.
HANSEN: Is that why - how you read it the first time?
Ms. YOUNG: Yes.
HANSEN: Why not a translation?
Ms. YOUNG: Being involved with languages all my life, I believe that even when the translator is very proficient, there is something about the intent that each language has. There's something about the spirit that each language has that gets lost in the translation. Unfortunately, I mean, the communication is universal - the communication have feelings and descriptions and so on and so forth, but there's always this something that I believe gets lost. So I would definitely go back to the language of origin for the book.
HANSEN: This week's summer reader Lourdes Young. She's a court interpreter and she lives in Mount Vernon in Washington State. Thanks a lot for you time.
Ms. YOUNG: My pleasure. Thank you.
HANSEN: This is NPR News.
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