Saturday, December 28, 2013

A workbook on mental illnesses: My Very First Bulky English Translation

Lately I have interpreted a workshop of 8 days on chronic mental illnesses, in which a curriculum was taught regarding how to make a patients life as good as possible given that those illnesses have no "cure''.

It was a very enlightening experience, and although the workshop took place on snowy days, in which arriving to the hotel was a daily adventure but it was worth every minute.

The participants came from all over Jordan. They were either psychologists or social workers, some of them worked in mental clinics (turned out that there is a mental clinic in every governorate in Jordan) and many came from Fuheis mental hospital. And there was this very interesting lady who worked in a jail, to psychoanalyze the inmates!! (Is not that a cooool job for a novelist?!)

The speaker Dr Carol simply a very intellectual, smart, well educated sweetheart. She is simply the one you would want to take care of your loved ones if they ever get an illness of this kind.

She emphasized a lot on the social stigma upon schizophrenic people, and she was presenting realistic and applicable examples all the time, which for me -as an interpreter- is something I rarely witness. I am always attending conferences and meetings where people talk about "strategies'', "policies", "approaches" and "methods", nothing was ever as real as this workshop.

When it ended, it still continued for me because I had to redo the translation of the work book presented in the workshop. The first translation was a total mess and I was offered the job I got the usual scare, you know, all of those technical psychological terms, but I was like: If I had interpreted the topic during 8 days, I must be the most capable person of translating the document.

And so I started working for an entire week. It was such a short time, but hey, I believe that a close dealine is the best inspiration.

I worked for days in the university's library, and I was lamenting -all the freaking time- the miserable Arabic resources for a topic as important as mental illnesses. After a long search I found a somehow encyclopedia online, which is the fruit of an individual's effort, it helped me a lot (I always feel guilty when I find shortage on the Arabic content on any topic,,, but this is unjustified guilt, I am not a psychologist!!)

The workbook is now done and sent back to the council that hired me, where it is gonna be used as a base for interviews with schizophrenic patients in order to evaluate their cases and to offer them the medical and social support they need.

Besides the great feeling that translation usually gives me, this time I felt like I served the community .. I just love being a Translator,,, the best job in the world.

Here, see the words I checked in the dictionary ...  

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