Monday, 25 May 2020 03:16

IATIS COVID-19 Testimonials: ‘Stuck’ Away from Home

Nancy Viviana Piñeiro, Freelance translator and interpreter

Book cover final


 How has the Coronavirus emergency impacted your work? 

I’m a translator and interpreter based in Argentina. I travelled for work to the US in mid-February and have since been stuck in New York due to travel restrictions in my country. I still don’t know when I’ll be able to return. So, first, the project I was working on got interrupted. Now, I’m working from another place, not my home office, not my tools, not my space.

What are you doing to help, to cope, to maintain contacts, and to support individuals and communities?

I am very lucky, because as an activist translator the networks built during the last years have helped me cope with the situation, reach out to others, be aware of the voices of those most in need. 

I was invited to co-edit a chapter in a book about pandemic solidarity around the world. We’re are more or less 15 collaborators, interviewing people/organizations from our respective countries and translating their experiences into English. Once again, the imp
ortance of translation as a tool for social and political change becomes evident in a myriad of ways. 

How important are translation and interpreting in dealing with the emergency in your area of the world? 

Right here in New York, where I’m stuck, lots of materials need to be translated, mostly into Spanish, for the immigrant communities. Because access to quality information is key, translators and interpreters can be very helpful.

And how do we archive the legacies of this time, so they can be shared, and we can learn from them?

As in the example I mentioned above, we need to have a memory of these times.  We need to learn from our history to be able to build something different - as it’s being built right now, all over the world. Language is essential in the exchange of praxes of resistance. 



Nancy Viviana Piñeiro is an MA candidate in Latin American Studies at the Universidad de San Martín, and her research is on counter-hegemonic translation practices in the context of socio-environmental struggles

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