How can I hire a Ladino-English translator?
August 6, 2018 7:59 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to pay to have two recorded songs in Ladino transcribed and translated to English. Unsurprisingly, given the status of the language, I've had trouble finding any professional translators. Does anyone know someone or know where I might be able to find someone who could do this?
posted by oftheheights to Writing & Language (7 answers total)
Ask a university instructor who teaches Ladino, for example:
posted by StrikeTheViol at 8:05 PM on August 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

the stroum center at U Washington has a sephardic studies center.
posted by brujita at 8:41 PM on August 6, 2018

I know a guy*; feel free to memail me.

* has a DMA in vocal performance, and speaks Ladino
posted by batter_my_heart at 8:48 PM on August 6, 2018

Having heard Ladino spoken, I think any linguist with a background in Spanish or Portuguese could probably do it. I saw a movie with Ladino spoken and as a non native speaker of both languages (and not an academic) I could understand it.

I have a friend (an academic linguist with those languages and more) who would quality or could direct you if you want to memail me.
posted by vunder at 9:51 PM on August 6, 2018

No, don't just go with someone who speaks Spanish or Portuguese. There are some differences, though I don't know enough to say what they are, and depending on the text there might be cultural elements at play as well.

Seconding the recommendation to ask academics. If that doesn't work you might also find something here, here, here, or here (contact address at the bottom of the page).
posted by trig at 11:55 PM on August 6, 2018 [4 favorites]

I am a translator of both Spanish and Portuguese, and I am fluent in both languages. I DEFINITELY DO NOT SPEAK OR UNDERSTAND LADINO. Catalan and Galician, yes, Ladino, no. All the Ladino speakers I have ever known are dead. I’d suggest checking with the American or European Translators Associations. They will likely be able to point you in the direction of a Ladino speaker, if batter_my_heart’s friend doesn’t work out.
posted by msali at 8:39 PM on August 7, 2018

You can probably find someone with lyrics-specific experience on the long-running Jewish Music Mailing List.
posted by nonane at 6:14 AM on August 8, 2018

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