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Border Writers La Plata year 3 Number four


VI ENELL National Meeting of Students of Languages and Literature

Erasmus Mundus life – Part 1 Welcome to Padova!

A propos de nous Under Rue: La Troupe des Langues,The Language Team, etc

November Workshop on Interpretation

short story The following short story was written by a student of Modern Languages

Editorial We are a group of students of Modern Languages that, as a result of the initiative and motivation of the student organization aule, gathered within the context of the VI ENELL (National Meeting of Students of Language and Literature) –held in La Plata last September 2010- to discuss and exchange views on different matters related to our career. From that moment on, we conceived the idea of re-launching a magazine that aule has published for the last four years, the Border Writers magazine: a magazine devised by and meant for the students of Modern Languages. So, what you now have in your hands is the Border Writers number 4, envisaged as a way to give expression to our thoughts and m a t e r i a l i s e o u r w o r k . We took over this extraordinary task with a clear goal on our minds: to, by means of this tool, invite all those who would like to express themselves, to debate about the different issues that concern us students of the

Licenciate, Teaching and Translating Courses of both English and French. This space is open for all students to publish so that, through this channel, we can enhance our experience at u n i v e r s i t y . We are aware of the fact that there are many aspects of our career that need improvement, and we firmly believe that it is the students who, above all, should adopt an active and critical view in order to bring about those c h a n g e s . This medium is designed to give voice to those concerns that are usually silenced and to symbolize the chance to meet and keep building a different education, the opportunity to get to know, publish and share our own e x p e r i e n c e s . Come up, bring your ideas. Let's make this means of communication represent us all! We are looking forward to listening to your o p i n i o n s a n d t h o u g h t s !


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VI ENELL National Meeting of Students of Languages and Literature The workshops: Review and Conclusions One of the main goals of the ENELL is to forge bonds of companionship and fraternity between students of Language and Literature from different faculties. The ENELL also aims at concerning ourselves with the issues that we normally deal with both during our training and later on, in our professional lives; and to analyse and explore ideas about those points trough discussion and debate. During those three days, in addition to the panels that were carried out on the core topics of this year's National Meeting, we had a number of workshops where the methodology was a participatory and collaborative one, and where all the participants could take an active, critical and creative part in the discussion and reflection of the different issues that came up. That is how, in an organised manner and in an atmosphere of great joy and fellowship, in the city of La Plata, in our Faculty, the sixth ENELL was held. That is how, during those three days, the great enthusiasm and willingness of us students to actively participate, discuss and share our views was overtly shown. Social Translation (workshop conducted by the Group of Organized Translators*) On Friday, Laura and BelĂŠn, two members of the Organized Translators' Group coordinated a workshop on social translation. They started the debate by focusing on certain ideas that teachers usually instil on us throughout our professional training about how the actual work of a translator is supposed to be. Among those myths, we came up against some assertions such as the one that claims that a translator's job is a solitary, isolated and secluded one. How many times have teachers told us that if we want to work with others we should do the Teaching Course? It is around this sort of ideas that we end up creating a single picture of our profession.

In addition, we saw that, as the subjects we take in our career focus only on the translation of legal, scientific, technical and literary texts, we wind up thinking that those are the only thematic areas that exist as far as the translation of texts is concerned and do not realise that we are leaving aside a wide range of different options, options that concern not only the textual nature but also the producers of those other texts. By way of discussion and debate, we arrived at the conclusion that all of us to some extent, hold those deep-rooted preconceptions as if they constituted the absolute truth and assimilate them as though there were no place for something different. These debates were even more enriched by the active contribution of all the students and by the experience of the coordinators who showed us that there actually are alternative paths to those deep-seated myths. We learned that we can create new working methods. Methods that involve a dynamic interaction with our colleagues. We learned that in fact, these methods do already exist. They exist as associated and collaborative forms which result in a more independent and unconstrained practice, a richer and worthier practice. On the other hand, regarding the types of texts and who we would translate them for, as language professionals and therefore, as possessors of an essential working tool, we must be aware that there are other social actors apart from those who have the means to pay for a translation. These other actors remain silent for some audience, their ideas stand in the dark: concealed, obscured. That is why, it is crucial for our development as collective subjects to help spread the ideas of these actors, whose possibilities to make their voices heard are usually restricted due to their lack of economic resources to face the cost of a professional translation. For this sake, we concluded that it is a great idea to

Border Writers devote part of our time to engage in Social Translation, time which we will spend on translating ad honorem those outcast texts, texts which differ from the ones that private Agencies present to us, texts which deal with our socio-political reality, represent other social actors, open our eyes to other viewpoints, to other voices, to other lives To that end, we can work together with social organizations, groups (of students, women, workers, etc) trying to find the ones with which we share goals and ideals, or simply the willingness to collaborate. Social translation must not be understood as a way to fulfil some kind of a “Good Samaritan” precept. It must not be way of flaunting our good deeds. On no account does social translation represent an act of charity. Rather, it represents consistency with principles based on social commitment, political activism and cooperativeness. An example of the association of translators with a social end is Tlaxcala (“the international network of translators for linguistic diversity”):

Encuentro Nacional de Estudiantes De Lenguas y Letras 17, 18 y 19 de Septiembre

4 Finally, we came to the conclusion that if we get together, if we unite in order to exchange experiences and knowledge, to clear up doubts and build ideas, we will be contributing by joining our forces around a common goal to making our work not only more enjoyable and gratifying but also more fertile. Translation as a Means for Survival (workshop conducted by Professor and Translator Laura Spoturno**) On Friday, we had the opportunity to share with Professor Spoturno a workshop on Alternative Translation. The topic was introduced by means of questioning the students about their preconceptions on what "Translation as a means for survival" might mean and gradually, we started to build up the idea that we later on reinforced with images and text examples of different translations. That was how we were able to discuss the role of the translator when (s)he has to choose between different political stances that would necessarily


Border Writers lead her/him to different versions of the same text, and also the difficulties that might arise when trying to convey the original message and having to choose between respecting the form or the meaning of such original message (whether to maintain the function of the text, the effect expected by the author, the form, etc). Another interesting topic was how some immigrants had to build their identities and express their thoughts and feelings through a language that was not their own and that was imposed to them. The idea was to show that sometimes the use of a certain language instead of another, in cases such as the one of Chicano writer Sandra Cisneros in her novel Caramelo or Puro Cuento, has to do with the need to express the situation of those writers whose familiar background is completely different from their friends and school mates', and so they choose to combine the two languages and cultures to be able to truly express their thoughts and feelings. As a conclusion, we might say that the workshop was very inspiring and left us with lots of ideas worth working with and the possibility to go on thinking through the rest of the year about the kind of contents that we would like our education to include. Rethinking The Practice of Translation, its Uses and Agents (workshop conducted by the Group of Organized Translators)

mainly on the role of the Translation Agencies which operate as intermediaries between the professional and a particular Company and nowadays control the market: they are the ones that sell translation services to direct clients. Of course, they do not do the job themselves, they are mere administrators who intervene and split the profits in an outrageously disproportionate way. Work autonomy was also discussed, taking into account the fact that nowadays, selfemployment in this particular profession seems to be a myth; and also how, as a result of capitalism, the practice of translation has left aside its essential feature of communicating between cultures in its most intrinsic sense and translators end up translating in a giddy rhythm just “what the market needs�. In addition, these agencies characterize themselves as a means for students and young graduates to acquire experience and learn how to handle translation software and technology so, in this way, they recruit workers and profit out of paying them very low salaries. At the same time, a lot of public universities ally with these private companies to offer students the entrance to the labour market of translation which is already marked by this precarious stamp.

This workshop took place on Saturday. The idea was to expose certain topics related to the practice of translators so as to be able to discuss them with the objective of proving some preconceived ideas about their formation and professional exercise false.

It was an intense and inspiring debate in which we reflected on how the comprehensive formation of translators is not just a mere accumulation of methods and techniques, but a professional, ethical and personal growth. This includes not only the ability to convey concepts from one culture to another but also the capacity to think critically, to do our jobs as ethical subjects and to commit to the society of which we are part.

One of the debates that arose from this discussion was related to other factors involved in the practice of translators, focusing

We also established that the Public University should be a means to liberation and not a vehicle which offers students the option to

Border Writers work in agencies that will take advantage of them. Given the adverse circumstances which we face at university, it is crucial for us students to free from the oppression of the market assuming, in the first place, the situation of exploitation to which we are subject so that we can then associate with our own fellow students and/or colleagues, and to support other workers' fight for their rights so we can jointly plan a different place for all of us, a place with no oppression. Last day of the Meeting

Group Gathering & Debate ¿What kind of Language and Literature Professionals do we want? Comparison between the different Curricula. The profile of the Language and Literature graduate. Reflections on our educational training and our role as social agents.


Summing-up, review and projection of the 6th ENELL On Sunday, the last day of the Meeting, we gathered together along with students from all over the country, to discuss and contrast the status and Career Curricula of each faculty and shared the impact that the ENELL made on each of us. One topic that seemed to be absent from all the syllabuses was that of gender. In this regard, we agreed that it would be necessary for every

faculty to take measures to promote research among student groups that may bring awareness towards this subject. We also agreed on the need to generate preprofessional training for the students of the Translating Course; and one significant motion is the “Traducciones Inter-Cátedra” (a


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programme that consists in making translations for careers such as Sociology, Philosophy, History which usually deal with texts in their original languages and need to be turned into Spanish to be accessible to all the students). Our University does not provide this type of resource –at least not for free- leaving the students in a powerless position: on the one hand, the students that cannot access the texts because they are in English or French, and on the other, the students of the Translation Course who do not have the chance to put their theoretical knowledge to practice unless they submit themselves to being exploited by one of the many private Translation Agencies. Lastly, we stressed the importance that these types of enterprise have for us students since they give us the chance to get actively involved in our own education and allow us to have access to different forms of teaching and learning, as we were able to see through the experience of the internships.

entire community in search of new debates, new bonds and new relationships. * Organized Translators are a group of translators and students from Córdoba, Argentina, who have gathered together to analyse and change the form that the current practice of translation has taken over the past decades. They pursue a deep search and construction of alternative spaces of cooperative work where each translator can take an active part by contributing with their experience and personal viewpoints to the professional, supportive and autonomous nature of the group. They aim at building a different professional training, self-managed, collaborative, creatively useful and projected to the whole community of translators. One of their main goals is to eliminate the notion that translators should remain hidden and unnoticeable and to project their work beyond the needs of the market.

In conclusion, the ENELL was for all of us a great satisfaction. It reaffirmed and renewed the challenge of working in pursuit of bringing our ideas into action so we can keep on moving forward and next year, the 7th ENELL finds us once again opening up our university to the

** María Laura Spoturno. PhD. in Literature and Ms. in Linguistics, is a Public Translator and Professor in English Language and Literature. She currently teaches Literary Translation and North American Literature at Universidad Nacional de La Plata (UNLP).

Border Writers

Erasmus Mundus life – Part 1 Welcome to Padova!

In this new section of Border Writers, I would like to express and share some feelings and experiences I am having as an Erasmus Mundus student in Europe. But let us start from the very beginning. What is Erasmus Mundus? It is a programme held by the European Community that promotes international mobility for students from Europe and other countries around the world. There also exists an Erasmus Programme only for Europeans. Last year, our University has been chosen from other Universities in Argentina, Bolivia and Peru to grant the scholarship to a number of students. So, last April I got an e-mail saying I had won a 6-month scholarship to study Sociology at the UnivertĂ degli Studi di Padova (Northeast Italy).

Caffe Pedrocchi

Even though we do not need a visa to visit Italy, as I was going to stay for 6 months, I did need to get it; so the odyssey begun at the consulate: too much paperwork, too much bureaucracy, too much time spent, but in the end I got it and I was ready to take the plane to Italy. I knew that another boy from La Plata was traveling to Padova too, he studied Economics and came here to do a Master's course, but I had not written to him before so we finally met at the ParisCharles De Gaulle airport when we were about to take the plane to Venice. But let me tell you about Padova. It is said to be the oldest city in northern Italy. According to Virgil's Aeneid, it was founded in 1183 BC by the Trojan prince Antenor. Nowadays, it looks like a



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Palazzo del Bo

medieval city, the streets are all winding and muddled up (I am used to the unswerving straight streets of La Plata and this is so different!); but it is a beautiful city,. Getting lost here is a pleasure. There are lots of famous places here but one of the most important is the Caffè Pedrocchi, one of the biggest coffee houses in the world and also the place where, during the Risorgimento period, the progressive circles got together to plan how to reunify Italy. The University was founded in 1222 and some of the famous professors who taught here were Copernicus and Galileo Galilei. Also, it was the first University in the world to award a degree to a woman and the only one in

the whole country that, during World War II, became the center of the resistance movement against fascism. I know, this sounds like a city tour speech, but if you ever have the chance to visit the town, you will understand why I'm so interested in its history. Let us make a pause here so you do not fall asleep, in the next BW edition I will tell you more about student's life at Padova. From 200 thousand inhabitants, 60 thousand are students so at any time, any day you will find ragazzi drinking spritz (the traditional drink of the Veneto region) in some of the several piazza that Padova has. Arrivederci e buonagiornata a tutti!

Border Writers

Humor What does a student of Languages think of when someone mentions a….

Oh, no, no, no….. Now we’ve learned that this is a tree:




Aghhhhhh! Thank you Chomsky! We love you!! 3 4



Border Writers Under-Rue: La Troupe des Langues

Nous sommes une troupe de filles et de garçons étudiant la traduction en anglais et en français qui, avec Aule, cherchons à intervenir dans ces filières. Nous organisons des discussions sur différents points de nos programmes d'étude, cherchant à y inclure des axes tels que le genre, les politiques linguistiques, la traduction alternative, etc. Cette année, nous avons contribué en tant que groupe avec le VIe ENELL (Encuentro Nacional de Estudiantes de Lenguas y Letras - Rencontre Nationale d'Étudiants de Langues et de Lettres) à La Plata, où nous avons pu partager des réflexions, des critiques et des interventions très intéressantes qui nous ont bien permis de connaître les compétences concernant les programmes de différentes universités. Nous vous invitons à y participer avec nous, par le biais de vos suggestions et vos idées tous les mardis à 18 h. à la fac. On vous attend!

A propos de nous Under Rue: La Troupe des Langues

The Language Team Under-Rue: The Language Team! We are a group of students of Modern Languages (English and French) which, along with aule (the student organization), aim at taking an active part in those careers. We devise and carry out debates on different aspects of our syllabuses, seeking to incorporate and cover key topics such as gender, linguistic policies, different translating practices, and so on. This year, the Team was part of the 6th ENELL (National Meeting of Students of Languages and Literature) in La Plata. There, together with students of several universities of Argentina, we had the chance to share various and varying interesting opinions, thoughts, points of view and ideas about different matters related to our courses of study which allowed us to make a more critical and broader analysis. We encourage you to join us, to be part of the Team, to get in touch with us, to come and bring us your ideas and suggestions. We meet every Thursday at 6 pm in the Faculty (Facultad de Humanidades). We're looking forward to meeting you!

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Workshop on Interpretation The 18th of November, we will be holding this workshop which will be conducted by Translator Laura Marifil who has graduated from UNLP and who is currently in her last year at the McDonough Interpretation School. With this meeting, we aim to provide new skills to develop this fascinating area of expertise. By means of our Participative Platforms, we could see that the students of Modern Languages were in need of a space like this one, a space that deals with areas of study such as interpreting, and that is why we got down to work and devised this opportunity that is open for all students of Modern Languages that wish to attend! [Time and Room will be confirmed in due course: All information (including workshop programme) will be available at aule's table on the ground floor]

Useful Links AATI (Asociaci贸n Argentina de Traductores e Interpretes)

Fundaci贸n Litterae.

CTPCBA (Colegio de Traductores P煤blicos de la Ciudad de Bs. As.)

Modern Languages Department (UNLP) academica/Areas/lenguasmodernas


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A quel temps sont les verbes suivants : Ils ne voulurent pas d'enfants, mais en eurent deux. Au préservatif imparfait.

Pourquoi est-ce que les poules pondent des oeufs et que les coqs ont des ailes? Parce que les poules ont besoin d'eux et les coqs ont besoin d'elles.

Quelle différence y a-t'il entre un œuf et le temps? Le temps passe et l'œuf dur!

Phoneme + Poetry = poetry about phonemes A curvaceous young phoneme called schwa Said "I never feel strong. It's bizarre! I'm retiring and meek And I always sound weak But in frequency counts - I'm the star!"


Phonemetry - The Schwa

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short story

The following short story was written by a student of Modern Languages who kindly offered it to us so we could include it in this publication. The author prefers to remain anonymous, so we will respect his/her wish. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

It was a cold Saturday evening and the sky was absolutely clear. Joe was sitting on the grass admiring through his blue eyes the astonishing contrast between the blue sky and the gray smooth sea. There was such peace in

strongly and from some close hidden place, he could not see. Little did he know, the boy was only hidden to his accustomed eyes, for if he had looked and actually seen, he would have noticed how the little boy stood out from the

the salty air that he felt he could lay like that forever. “Certainly, this is something I could do for the rest of my life” he thought to himself as he gazed at a white seagull that kept diving to try and catch some kind of lunch. Suddenly, he remembered that his father was about to arrive any minute now and would still be upset about him missing school today. With the laziness of he who knows he is about to come across something he doesn't want to deal with, he rose up from the wet green grass and walked down to the beach. He had known the cliffs that guarded the beach since he was a little boy so he was confident with both the path and the scenery. Therefore, when the eyes of a little blond boy found him coming down the hillside towards the dessert beach, he did not see the odd glow in them nor the warmth familiarity of his looks. The only thing he noticed was that he was being stared at,

rest of the scenery. Yet fortunately, as he buried his feet in the warm sand, he felt like looking back; it was only then that he truly saw. Their eyes remained fixed for 4 eternal seconds but the minute he looked back at his father, the boy was gone, leaving only a blank spot where he had been standing seconds ago. “I could swear I know him from somewhere” he thought as he looked away from the weird tree that now stood alone in the middle of an empty circle of light, and turned around to let the wet salty air of the sea fill his lungs with as much oxygen as he was capable of. Had he know that moment would make his life turn around wildly, he probably would not have turned around. But as we all know life has a funny way of turning out. And ten years would go by before Joe came back to that dreamlike beach. He was a twenty-eight year old geography

teacher the moment he found himself again gazing at the very same sea, with his feet buried in the very same warm sand. Memories from that odd afternoon rushed back to his head as if he had only been away for a week or two. Eventually, the little boy showed up, staring back from his memories as intently as ever. With a rush of adrenaline, he looked for the tree. It was then that his heart bumped: the little boy, not so little any more, was waving at him, a smile upon his face and something brown and square on her right hand. As quickly as he could, he climbed the hillside and got to the side of the tree. All he found, when he got there was a white seagull with a book In its beak, but as he tried to reach it, it open its wings and flew away mockingly. Exhausted because of the effort he sat by the tree and gazed at the sea once more. The peace he had not felt in a long time, came back to his heart, along with the joy that long forgotten things bring to our lives whenever we find them out of serendipity. A familiar warmth bathed him as he laid his head back and gave in to sleep. He woke up shivering several hours later and realized he would be late for dinner (as for life and reality), and made his way back as fast as he could, not once looking back but knowing he would be back soon, to look for the unbelievable peace that place gave him. Maybe even the little boy, if he happened to be still around somewhere other than in his mind. 'The third time Joe had tried to find her, that


beloved peace of his, (he was a married man by then) he had searched the hillside for the tree --- the one whose roots grew backwards (or at least that was what he thought), knowing that only there would he found her. It was a cold Saturday evening and the sky was absolutely clear. He dragged his feet the way he would have done about 40 years ago, enjoying the flow of hot sand caressing his skin and tickling under the soles of his feet. Slowly he reached the weird tree, and rest his back against it. Out of the blue, an old seagull landed on his stretched legs and looked straight at him. Moving as an old lady would, she went behind the tree and brought back and old leathercovered brown notebook, which she left next to Joe's leg. As he opened the book and started reading, he found his life written into somebody else's handwriting. Every little thing he had done, was registered there. Even that very same moment, and as he turned around the page and saw the blank space staring back at him, his old heart started beating faster and faster until he could not stand it anymore. After a few moments had gone by, he found himself waking up to a new life from where he could cross the sky and dive into the sea trying to catch some kind of lunch. A little blond boy gazed at him in wonder and thought “Certainly, this is something I could do for the rest of my life�.

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border writers revista de lenguas modernas