Spanish by Ahmedmaged3000


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									                                                                                                                      Postdoc Alejandro Aballay translates biomedical
                                                                                                                      research news for Spanish-speaking readers.

                                                                                                       cedures for which Spanish words may not
                                                                                                       yet exist. No word for “screening,” for
                                                                                                       example? No problem. Aballay combs the
                                                                                                       literature and consults with his wife, Gra-
                                                                                                       ciela Vidal, a language instructor and
                                                                                                       trained translator. “It’s a team effort,” he
                                                                                                       says, and together they’ve compiled a glos-
                                                                                                       sary of terms (see box). In some cases,
                                                                                                       they’ve had to create phrases such as exam-
                                                                                                       en genético, for “screening.” Vidal first
                                                                                                       worked with scientific language while help-
                                                                                                       ing Aballay edit his doctoral dissertation,
                                                                                                       which was written in both English and
                                                                                                       Spanish. “She has always been involved in
                                                                                                       my writing,” he says.
                                                                                                            Aballay says translating is “especially
                                                                                                       gratifying” because of inadequate communi-

                                                                                                   AS I A K E P K A
                                                                                                       cation between his homeland and the world-
                                                                                                       wide community of English-speaking scien-
                                                                                                       tists. “In Latin America, not many people
                                                                                                       study English, even in science,” he says. His
Science News for the                                                                                   work helps researchers in Argentina and else-
                                                                                                       where keep up with the latest news and also

Spanish-Speaking World                                                                                 serves lay readers who usually see little in the
                                                                                                       way of science reporting. Watching his sto-
                                                                                                       ries make their way into local publications
       ike most postdoctoral fellows, Alejan-       never translated professionally before, has        has been satisfying for Aballay, who says

L      dro Aballay has to balance research,
       publishing and presentations at scien-
tific meetings. (He has already landed a
                                                    found the work rewarding. “We’re really
                                                    doing something to help people understand
                                                    current biomedical research,” he says.
                                                                                                       “we’ve been telling the whole Spanish-speak-
                                                                                                       ing world what cutting-edge science is.”
                                                                                                            He and Vidal will be going back to
research job, or he’d be looking for work,               Aballay enjoys the linguistic challenge       Argentina in the next year or so, where Abal-
too.) The Argentinian researcher at                 of translating news about subjects and pro-        lay will become an investigator at the Conse-
Boston’s Massachusetts Gener-                                                                                         jo Nacional de Investigaciones
al Hospital also does some-                                                                                           Científicas y Técnicas, or CON-
thing quite separate from his          ¿Cómo se dice?                                                                 ICET, in Mendoza. He’s using
efforts to learn how organisms         Alejandro Aballay has created more than 100 words and phrases while            the remaining time in his cur-
respond genetically to infection       translating HHMI’s research news into Spanish. Here’s a sample:                rent position to build a base for
from food-borne bacteria: he                                                                                          his independent research.
                                       English                         Spanish
explains scientific advances to                                                                                            Aballay will be happy to
the Spanish-speaking world.            brain-cell-clogging             placas cerebrales obstructivas                 return to friends, family and
     Aballay is the translator for     down regulation                 regulación por disminución                     soccer; like most Argentinians,
HHMI’s biomedical news serv-           expressed sequence tag          secuencias de expresión marcadoras             he says, “I miss asado [grilled
ice, a part-time position in           gel-mobility shift assay        análisis de rastro en gel                      meats] and dulce de leche [milk-
which he translates—on dead-           gene shuffling                  intercambio de genes                           based caramel].” No matter
line—reports about research            genetic linkage analysis        análisis de enlace genético                    what the future brings, Aballay
discoveries. HHMI distributes          genome-wide scale               escala de la amplitud del genoma               says he hopes to continue
the free news service via e-mail       nonsense-mediated decay         degradación mediada por el antisentido         working as a scientific transla-
to Spanish-speaking readers            prion proteins                  proteínas priónicas                            tor so that he—and other
worldwide. (The articles are           scattering studies              estudios de dispersión de rayos X
                                                                                                                      Spanish speakers—can keep
available at                                                                                       tabs on the latest science news.
                                       wiring                          patrón de conexiones nerviosa
research-esp.html.) Aballay, who                                                                                             —CAMILLE MOJICA REY

                                                                                                                                  hhmi bulletin | july 2001             31

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