Helping to translate an award-winning playwright’s script from Spanish to English has taught senior Susana Madrigal about the importance of teamwork, communication and detail.

And how every word counts.

“Each word has to be perfect and properly translated so that the audience can perceive exactly what the author has written,” says Madrigal. “This experience has given me more insight as to how important it is for translators to translate exactly what people have written, word for word, as opposed to paraphrasing.”

Research role

Madrigal began working on this translation project last fall in her role as a research assistant for Professor Iani Moreno in the World Languages and Cultural Studies Department.

While Moreno was responsible for taking the lead in translating the play Nosotras que los queremos tanto (We Women Who Love Them So Much), Madrigal assisted her each step of the way.

Their combined work on the play, shortened to the title We Women, will take center stage from 1-2:30 p.m. Thursday, March 6, at the C. Walsh Theatre.

Other key participants in the We Women reading have close connections to Suffolk. Playwright Hugo Salcedo visited the College of Arts & Sciences as a distinguished visiting scholar in March 2008. With the assistance of student translators, Salcedo spoke in numerous classes and now returns to campus for the dramatic reading and to answer questions from the audience.

We Women director Colleen Rua, a 2000 alumna who studied in the Theatre Department and now is an assistant professor of Theatre at Bridgewater State University, has been “totally committed and invaluable” to this project, says Moreno

The play deals with deprivation and abuse of women of all ages and social classes around the world. Professional actors from the Boston area will perform readings of seven of the play’s 10 scenes.

Successful collaboration

The translation project required Moreno and Madrigal to work closely for many hours. The professor and student would meet in person, communicate through e-mail or—with Moreno on sabbatical this semester —chat via Skype.

“This has been a collaborative effort from beginning to end,” says Moreno. “Susana has invested a lot of time on this project, and she really believes in it. She has been faithful in preserving the work written in Spanish by the playwright and translating every word precisely into English.”

Madrigal, a McNair scholar who is majoring in Spanish and Sociology, describes her translating experience as a valuable learning tool and a successful endeavor. “I feel good about everything and that I accomplished what I set out to do.”

Team effort

Moreno is delighted that the We Women event involves so many members of the Suffolk community.

“It’s wonderful to see everyone come together, and it has been a team effort,” she says.

The reading is sponsored by the World Languages and Cultural Studies Department, the Spanish Club, Sigma Delta Pi, and the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program.