Friday, January 22, 2010
Context means so much to us translators. I can't think of anything that makes me scratch my head (or perhaps tear my hair out) more is an abbreviation or acronym without any context! I might as well be translating with my eyes closed.
The other day, I came across QQ.DD. on an Ecuadorian marriage certificate under the heading of occupation. I looked high and low, long and hard on Google and Kudoz and came up with nothing but the initials QQ.DD. on an Ecuadorian website. I knew two things from the outset: It was an occupation because it was under that heading, and whatever the initials stood for, it was a plural word (how inventive of Spanish to double initials for the plural!).
And bingo! I thought of quehaceres domésticos(homemaker or housewife in English), because the person was a woman, and I couldn't think of any kind of a pharmacist's title in Spanish that would fit the bill (they are called químico farmaceútico in Chile). I immediately went to Google and entered: QQ.DD. Quehaceres Domésticos, and this is what I got: http://www.google.cl/search?q=qq.dd.+quehaceres+domesticos.
It's wonderful when those gears in my head churn and I am able to pounce on an answer like this. I am sure I will remember this term for the rest of my life!