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Department ofModern Languages and Literatures


Francisco Jiménez, Ariel Schindewolf, Héctor Martínez and Mike Gómez

Francisco Jiménez, Ariel Schindewolf, Héctor Martínez and Mike Gómez

Pasos firmes: De niñez migrante a la Universidad de Columbia - Faculty & student translation collaboration

Student and faculty collaboration results in the publication of Pasos firmes translated by Ariel Schindewolf, Héctor Martínez ‘19 and Mike Gómez ‘19 in collaboration with Francisco Jiménez, the author.

Ariel Schindewolf (Modern Languages and Literatures), Francisco Jiménez (professor emeritus, Modern Languages and Literatures), Héctor Martínez '19 (Psychology, Spanish Studies), and Mike Gómez '19 (Accounting, Spanish Studies) (not pictured) had their book translation, Pasos firmes: De niñez migrante a la Universidad de Columbia published by Clarion Books, an imprint of HarperCollins. This translation of Taking Hold: From Migrant Child to Columbia University was the result of a multi-year faculty and student collaboration. In 2018, Ariel Schindewolf and her students Héctor Martínez and Mike Gómez worked in collaboration with the book’s author, Francisco Jiménez, to translate the book as part of an independent study course on literary translation in Spanish.  After the students graduated, Francisco and Ariel continued the editing process to prepare it for publication. 

"The whole translation process has been an incredible journey! I felt so connected to Francisco and his work after meeting him in 2016 that I designed intermediate Spanish courses around his first three books. Since the fourth book was not available in Spanish I approached Francisco about the possibility of translating the book in collaboration with Mexican-American students, Héctor Martínez and Mike Gómez. These students had taken a Modern Spanish Translation class, and an independent study class on translation with me. I knew they were talented and interested in the work of translating; they had also grown up reading Francisco’s books and been inspired by his stories. It was an amazing experience to work with these dedicated students in a second independent study on the translation of Taking Hold, in collaboration with Francisco. We are all so pleased that everyone now has access to read in Spanish, the fourth and final book of the amazing series that chronicles the life of Francisco Jiménez and his family. This unique and incredible opportunity to work on a project with the book author himself and students who share his heritage has resulted in a publication and memories that I know will stay with me and my students for the rest of our lives. I am profoundly grateful and honored to have gotten to play a tiny part in Francisco’s inspiring legacy." - Prof. Ariel Schindewolf

"Thank you from the bottom of my heart for translating the book with Mike and Hector. Collaborating with you and them was a privilege and an honor." - Francisco Jiménez, Professor Emeritus.

Read more about this collaborative translation project

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