Jargon and polemics

I’m currently translating a one-act monologue for a local musician/playwright. To call it an undertaking is an understatement.

To capture the tone and spirit of the piece is a challenge: some things do not make an easy transition from Spanish to English.

The technical language the writer uses, when his character discusses music and architecture, I find more jarring. Irritating even. If I were translating a novella, I could easily add footnotes or endnotes. But for a play–or a screenplay?! Unless the target audience consists of architects and jazz musicians, who can watch without getting bored and/or walking out?

Worse still, I dislike the heavy-handed way he describes conditions in Cuba, under the misrule of the Castro brothers. I think I have some idea that life on the island is hellish for the majority of its citizens. No need to bludgeon me with it, thank you.


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