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Reed says to read



Now that you know what Reed says, Reed wants you to know what Cervantes said. Unfortunately, I can't find the exact quote. I am frustrated sometimes that I can't find what I know to exist when googling. (There are some great videos from the 80s, and they are just not there).


Anyway, Cervantes said that he read every scrap of paper he could get his hands on. Maybe that's too much for you? What matters is that you read things that get your translation gears turning. Perhaps some of the best "scraps" are signs. They almost always tell you what you can and cannot do, they often exist in all the languages you translate into and out of, which means you can readily translate them, or even just lift the meaning from your cache of knowledge. How hard is it to translate Stop! When you think about it, signs are laws, or perhaps better phrased, linked to laws, whether part of a code or societal laws.


Another thing I like to read when I am either out and about physically or while surfing the web or watching TV (which I do less and less these days) are slogans. Some are so ingenious, others endearing. I take in both the logo and the slogan. I toss it over in my head, think about how I would say it in English, if it is in Spanish, and play with it. My favorite is turning it around and see if the same meaning holds true. For example: Tide's In - Dirt's Out (Tide) Dirt's Out - Tide's in. (Out of sequence.) America Runs on Dunkin' (Dunkin' Donuts) Dunkin' Runs on America. (The exact opposite). Sometimes I say these musings out loud. Sometimes I get a rise, and other times a groan.


A translator's mind has to be nimble, and this is a way to hone and stimulate it. One word of caution: it can become addictive and you may find yourself doing this at every possible chance. I suggest you put a limit on it so your life won't be invaded.

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