Marisa Condurso de Nohara, a translator specialising in pharmacology and medicine, discovered through volunteering that translators can help to connect people by spreading information and understanding. Moreover, after participating in some projects for the Community Eye Health Journal, she found that The Rosetta Foundation helped her to lay the foundations for a new specialisation in ophthalmology and to enhance her portfolio.
1. When did you start working with The Rosetta Foundation? How did you find out about us?
I started working with TRF in 2009. A colleague from the US who knew that the Foundation was looking for translators specialised in pharmacology and medicine invited me to join the group of volunteers.
2. What languages do you work with?
Although I studied several languages, I mostly work with the pair English-Spanish, and sometimes Portuguese-Spanish.
3. You are specialised in pharmacology and medicine. Can you explain which TRF projects you have participated in? Were all projects related to your specialisation?
Every time I participated, I coincidentally translated for the same organisation which issues the Community Eye Health Journal, the International Centre for Eye Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, in collaboration with the World Health Organization for the program “Vision 2020: The Right to Sight”. The CEHJ journal aims to provide professional information and advice to eye healthcare providers and workers in low- and middle-income countries, where proper eye health care is out of reach.
The first time I participated, ophthalmology was not among my specialisations, so I had to research and study a lot. But later, I had the opportunity to work on that subject for a major drug company many times. So, in fact, The Rosetta Foundation helped me to lay the foundations for a new specialisation and to enhance my portfolio.
4. How much time do you usually spend on projects?
As much as I can, trying to keep the balance between volunteering, customers and my family. When you are willing to help others, it does not mean a burden but lots of satisfaction.
5. Why did you decide to be a volunteer translator and spend your free time working on translations for non-profit organisations?
I am very sensitive to other people’s suffering, so whenever I can lend a hand, I do it. After having worked with TRF for the first time, I discovered that I had a tool which could help to connect people, spread information, and understanding. The reward you get by building this bridge is immeasurable! So much so, that afterwards I joined two further groups of volunteer translators: Translators Without Borders and BabelFAmily (the international project to defeat Friedreich’s Ataxia).
6. Why do you think it is important to provide free translations for non-profit organisations?
First and foremost, because these organisations respond to a human need and the strong will of others to relieve the poor, the ill and the forgotten. Moreover, because we, translators, have the mission to make people understand each other. It is a profession, of course, but besides making a living from it, one can turn it into a tool for peace, care, and mutual understanding. What goes around comes around, so eventually we are doing this for ourselves, too.