The History of Translation

I grew up reading a lot of the classic authors: Shakespeare, Jules Verne, Allan Poe, Khalil Gibran, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Charles Dickens, Tolkien, Mark Twain, the Brontë sisters, and many, many others. I wouldn't have enjoyed their books if they were not translated into Spanish, the language that opened up the doors for me to the fascinating world of the written word. It was much later that I came to the realization that I was reading a translation of the original books, but that never prevented me from enjoying and being transported by these stories the first time I read them.

This article gives a great walk through history about the role of Translation and why it's a Work of Art. It might not feel like it when we're translating a manual of instructions, an app, an infomercial, a menu, an ingredient list, or a product catalog. But that doesn't take away from all the creativity that the translator has to put to preserve the core storyline, idea, or message that the original creator tried to convey with their production, being a book, a film, a short video, a marketing slogan, a news article, or a website. 

Translation might seem today, more than ever, to be serving a more practical purpose because it's an exciting time for international expansion and globalization for companies and organizations, and localization is serving the purpose of allowing products to reach out to new markets. But for those of us who still translate out of love (with all my respects for those who make a living from different roles in the localization industry -- it's also my daytime job, by the way), I still believe that TRANSLATION is an ART.

That's why I created my blog "Eating With My Five Senses", where I publish subtitles for videos that I really enjoyed watching or have learned something valuable from it, so that I can help to make them accessible to many, many more people around the world. This volunteer project is something really out of my personal love for translation and the romantic belief that Translation is an Art.

(*) There's a small typo on the Infographic that came from the source. It should be "The Philosophy of Plato".

Where Locals Really Eat in Brooklyn's Crown Heights / Adonde los neoyorquinos van a comer en el Crown Heights de Brooklyn (Nueva York)

Description (from original video): "The Brooklyn, New York neighborhood of Crown Heights is known for the vibrant amalgamation of cultures represented, especially up and down Nostrand Avenue, the spine of the area that is dotted with a myriad of restaurants and shops. In this collaboration with the Museum of Food and Drink, Eater looks into the culinary makeup of the neighborhood, spanning everything from cou-cou and flying fish from Barbados to Trinidadian doubles."

Descripción: Crown Heights, un barrio de Brooklyn en la ciudad de Nueva York, es famoso por la vibrante amalgama de culturas que representa, sobre todo en Nostrand Avenue, su centro, que cuenta con una gran variedad de tiendas y restaurantes. En esta colaboración con el Museo de los alimentos y las bebidas, Eater investiga la gastronomía que identifica al barrio, como el "cou-cou" y el pez volador de Barbados y los "doubles" de Trinidad.

Cheung Fung (Rice Noodle Rolls) Recipe / Receta de "cheung fung" (rollos de fideos de arroz)

(Original video and recipe in English and Chinese)
(English and Chinese subtitles are part of the original video)


200g rice flour
20g potato starch 
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoon of oil
550ml water
3 scallions
30g dried shrimps

For the sweet soy sauce:
4 tablespoon of soy sauce
3 tablespoon of boiled water
1 tablespoon of sugar

For the other sauces:
Hoisin sauce
Peanut butter or sesame sauce
Toasted sesame
Chili sauce
Tomato ketchup
Sesame oil


200g harina de arroz
20g harina de papa
1/4 cucharadita de sal
2 cucharaditas de aceite
550ml de agua
3 cebollines (cebolletas)
30g de camarones (gambas) secos

Para la salsa de soya endulzada:
4 cucharadas de salsa de soya
3 cucharadas de agua hervida
1 cucharada de azúcar

Para las otras salsas:
Salsa hoisin
Mantequilla de maní (cacahuate) o salsa de ajonjolí
Ajonjolí tostado
Salsa picante
Aceite de ajonjolí

Food As A Religion / La comida como religión (By Adam Melonas , TEDxCambridge)

"When did the way we feel about food become an extremist religion? Adam Melonas explores the divide between healthy food and junk food. He aims to pave the way towards a world where we can make decisions based on a simple question: What flavor do I want?."

"¿Desde cuándo la forma en que opinamos sobre la comida se ha convertido en una convicción extrema? Adam Melonas explora las diferencias entre la comida saludable y la comida chatarra. Su objetivo es abrir camino hacia un mundo donde podemos tomar decisiones basadas en una simple pregunta: ¿Qué sabor deseo?".

(English) Subtitler / (Inglés) Subtitulador: Tanya Cushman
(English) Reviewer / (Inglés) Revisor: Peter van de Ven
(English) Approver / (Inglés) Aprobador: Peter van de Ven

(Spanish) Translator / (Español) Traductor: Valentina Benzo
(Spanish) Reviewer / (Español) Revisor: Luisa García
(Spanish) Approver / (Español) Aprobador: Jenny Lam-Chowdhury