Changing times

I have been doing some practice translations of articles over the last few months to prepare for my Dip Trans exams and there are a few pieces that have really stuck in my mind …

… Jordi Amat in La Vanguardia in December, calling for a new middle way in Catalan politics (Gobierno de transición). He argues that parties across the spectrum need to rediscover the art of politics by negotiation and compromise, but underlines just how hard it will be to pull this off in an environment which, while calmer on the surface, is still deeply polarized: Catalonia, he says, has undergone a profound change and everyone needs to recognise the implications, even though that will involve swallowing some very unpalatable truths …

… a report in El País in November reporting on a ground-breaking new trade agreement between Chile and Argentina (Argentina y Chile firman el más ambicioso acuerdo comercial en 20 años). The journalist Federico Rivas Molina sees this as part of broader progress towards a free trade zone in Latin America, long an aspiration but held back by political differences; other reports draw the link to concerns about US protectionism under Trump. The Argentinian foreign minister, Jorge Faurie, is quoted as comparing the agreement to the historic crossing of the Andes by the liberation army of General San Martín in 1817, an iconic event in South American history …

… and a wonderful, allusive and very difficult article in El País Internacional by Mexican writer Jorge Hernandez (Al filo del Agua).  Published on 30 December, it is a reflection on the approaching new year which takes in some of the key transitional moments in Mexican history, takes a swipe at the current political establishment and presidential candidates for their failure to address the epidemic of violence in the country, and concludes with the hope that real change may be, just about, possible.

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