Spanish & English literary work by London-based translator and writer Fátima López Sevilla. (http://fatimalopezsevilla.com)
Today I had a really short but touching conversation with my brother via Whatsapp. At least, it was touching and meant a lot to me. This happened on my way to a job interview for a videogames translation and localisation vacancy:
Me: I’m sure you prefer me doing this job rather than translating books.
Though it would be cooler to be translating travel magazines… or writing them. xP
Him: No, books. Better. [Yes, this is how he writes. And talks.]
You know I don’t play that much with the computer.
Hahaha. I know.
But with you… I never know…
Him: Or films.
Me: I’m glad to see that you’re with me.
Him: *Thumbs up*
Yes, I get touched by the tinniest thing. But the thing is that he was the first one in my family to completely understand the difference between translation and interpretation, as well as the different kinds of translations and interpretations. For us, this means a lot.
And, bearing in mind that he barely talks to me, because he’s like that, ice-baby-brother, when we get to finally talk on Skype, after me bugging him a lot (I don’t know how he never logs off and goes on watching TV), we end up talking about TV shows and films. And most of the times the conversations end with us discussing translations, mistranslations, references, versions… and/or wondering about the original version, possibles translations, etc. I love him. And I love to have managed to bring him to the dark side.
I wrote this in January, for his 21st birthday. Why? Because the hardest part of being away is missing my friends and my baby brother. I know that, if he reads this, he will be rolling his eyes and sighing right now, thinking ‘Why the hell do I have such an annoying sister? What have I done to deserve this?’ Well, I’ll tell you something, little bro: I am the person that loves you the most in our little family. Actually, I can’t say I’m 100% sure of this. But what I CAN say is that you’re the person I love the most from our little family (Hey, mom, dad. How are you? Well… after 21 years, I don’t know how you didn’t see this before). And this is why: I’m older than you, but by such a little amount of time that my first memories have you crawling around, even if it’s only in the background. In so many aspects, we are like twins. We’ve done a lot together. You’re always been there, no matter if I wanted or not.
So, this is for you. A late birthday present. Because I don’t need it to be a special day to say that I love you:
It was just another dinner. Like any other dinner we have had before. The four of us were sitting at the table, me with him by mi side, and we were eating paying or more attention to the TV in front of us. But, suddenly, something triggered his mind. And his tongue.
The news presenter started to talk about some crap the Sates were doing somewhere in Middle East. But, aren’t they doing always some crap somewhere around there? Or somewhere, anywhere?
Anyways, the footage of soldiers, civilians, children, a city, destroyed buildings and other main characters of every war started to roll before our eyes, and it was in the middle of the show when I heard this boy sitting at my right talk. And he started making comments and showing us his opinion on the matter as I never thought I would hear, and as I always wanted to hear. He was revealing himself as a man in front of my eyes and I just didn’t know how this was happening.
I just stayed at the table, with my mouth open, listening to him and not daring to utter a word, in case the enchantment would break. At some point I looked at my parents with amazement and wondering if they also hearing what I was hearing. Ha! Suck it! He’s not a little boy! He’s a man! And he’s mine! Mine!
When he finished I couldn’t but nod and we started the best discussion about the news and the state of the world, with a little help of our Government, which at that moment had its minute of glory on the screen, that we ever had. My parents just uttered a few words in the middle of our conversation. That surprised they were!
When we finished and the news gave way to the weather forecast, we fell silent again, but I couldn’t but keep looking in his direction now and then, as if checking that he was still there, that no aliens had taken him away and put some controlled being from outer space or something like that at his chair.
And, yes, I was looking at him with more love than ever. No matter what my mother thinks of him, I love him and I always will. And he will be mi nano for ever. Yes, we have shared pictures, documentation, videos and anger about what’s going on on the world, we have talked and talked about demostrations, politics, policies and police, we have exchanged news and we have been to demostrations together. We have talked about music and literature, exchanged tracks and stories, links and books. He has made me watch some films and I have made him watch others, and we have had long discussions about them later. We have even had discussions about translation and terms, for the Goddess’ sake! He was the first person to completely learn the difference between translation and interpretation, and between the different kinds of interpretation out of my translation-degree-suffering-friends. He even had to explain this nuances to my parents! We have shout at each other, cried and laught with each other. I’ve cried for him more than for any other guy. Because he’s mi bebé. And even when we’re in our 50s, he’s going to be. No matter what we have lived together and how much he has grown up and matured, he still needs a push and a helping hand. And someone to speak for him. Mostly when it comes to my mum.
But that’s what sisters are for, aren’t we?
* ‘Turimi’ means ‘my brother’ in quechua.
* ‘Nano’ is the pet name I gave him when I started to talk. My parents say that it comes from ‘enano’ (‘little one’, ‘rugrat’, in masculine) and, as they called us ‘enano’ and ‘enana’ (feminine), when my brother started to talk, he started calling my ‘Nana’.