We continue our introduction to The Terrific Translation Team of Onward To Our Past®!
We could not bring you the dozens and dozens of exclusive, never before in English, translations from the pages of the Czech-American journal, Amerikán Národní Kalendář with the amazing talents and help of our Terrific Translation Team. So here they are!
As soon as we dug into this project we quickly realized we were going to face some serious challenges and we were quickly going to need some high quality help! So we began to assess what we needed to attack and translate these incredible, information-laden articles.
Immediately we identified some unique challenges our future team would face and that they would need to be able to overcome. The following are just a few of the many:
First, we discovered the issue of ‘old Czech’ vs. ‘new Czech’. In our very first translation effort we were informed of there being a significant difference between the Czech language, as used in the 1800s, and the Czech language as used today. This meant we needed to find translators who were knowledgeable in Czech usage from the 1800s and were able to then translate it into English in a manner in keeping with those times. No easy feat!
Second, we encountered the issue of used terms no longer common today as well as the employment, by the authors, of vocabulary, which are now seen as dated. We needed translators who were able to pick up those uncommon terms, understand them, and often times provide us with the necessary background so we could educate our readers. One example, which particularly stands out in our memory is the use of the word “mira” as a unit of measurement. Not a common term by any means today! However, one of our fabulous translators was immediately able to tell us “Míra” was an old square measurement and it was 1,918 square meters.” A second example came from a recipe, in which one of our translation team members was able to explain to us the fact the title was actually a joke based on the traditional name for this recipe.
Third, there is always the importance of understanding the historical context in which these volumes were written! We couldn’t have someone calling an individual born in the 1800s a Czechoslovak, or one born in Bohemia, Moravia, or Silesia in that same time period as having been born in Czechoslovakia. Plus we needed our translators to have an appreciation of the importance of the history of the times. A prime example of this is when one of our translation team members, knowing the importance of the fact several individuals who were mentioned in one article as “forty-eight’ers” had no biographical information on them available in English, so he took to the archives and reference books and provided us with additional biographical information on these important Czech patriots!
Finally we knew we needed team members who had a comfort level with dealing with beliefs and views that may not be seen as generally acceptable today, nor perhaps within the comfort level of the translator. Many of our articles deal with descriptions of groups of people using what by today’s standards are not considered correct, but these were the terms used in those times and by these authors so we needed the translations to be authentic to both the authors and their times. Additionally, several of our articles are written by penmen who were ardent Freethinkers. We needed translators who, perhaps while personally not agreeing with this view of religion vs. sectarianism, would not alter the words, feelings, and statements of our authors of old.
You can see from the above we were looking not only for folks who could translate Czech to English, but also had an extraordinarily high-caliber background in order to meet our standards and be able to overcome the above challenges and hurdles, plus a few more.
So let us introduce the five members of what we proudly consider the best Czech translation team in the business! We always list which of our team members was instrumental in bring you each of our exclusive Amerikán Národní Kalendář translations!
Dr. Mila Saskova-Pierce
We truly believe we could in no way comprise a better team than these wonderful folks, who in addition to being translation team members, often go above and beyond the call of translation duty and help us out in a myriad of additional ways! They are integral to the future of our efforts and deserve the thanks and appreciation from all who cherish their Czech heritage, genealogy, and history!
So join us in saying a huge thank you to our team and stay with Onward To Our Past® for many, many more high quality and exclusive English translations from the pages of the rare and difficult to find volumes of Amerikán Národní Kalendář!