Episode 3: Lost & Found in Translation


On any given day in this country, we're speaking about 150 languages: from Cantonese to Punjabi to Arabic. And that means the possibility of something getting lost somewhere in English translation is pretty high. Whether you're seeking justice in the courtroom, getting help in the emergency room, or telling your partner how you feel, choosing the right words is key. But how good are we at doing that? We're exploring: what's lost and found in English translation?


We'll meet a couple who lives in Montreal. Hector Vilar comes from Brazil, and Ula Matusik comes from Poland. Between them, they speak seven languages, but they communicate in English. Even though Google Translator is their best friend, it can mean that emotions can often get lost in translation.
With more Canadians speaking English as a second language, quality court interpreters are crucial to help ensure justice is served. We'll talk to certified court interpreter Yolanda Hobrough about the alarming shortage of skilled interpreters across Canada, and how that's affecting the justice system.
The need for quality interpreters isn't just in our courts; it's also in our hospitals and clinics. Many Canadians need someone to help explain their health problems. We'll find out how medical interpreters in Calgary are helping interpret, and the challenges they face.

So much for interpreting into English. We also need help interpreting English itself!  That includes emails, text messages and police interviews. That's what forensic linguists are for. We'll find out more from Lorna Fadden
And finally, we'll ask: what's in a name? A lot -- especially for those people whose name get mangled when people try to anglicize them. We'll talk to musician Donne Roberts, whose original name was chronically mispronounced on stage. And we'll hear from Vigen Nazarian, who actually invented software to ensure nobody gets his name wrong. 
What's lost and found in English translation for you? Tell us your stories right here on our website!