At the beginning of the semester I did not know how I would be able to decide what topic or piece I would translate. I was listening to other peoples ideas in class, and while they had great ideas, I had no interest in the topics they would be translating and presenting.
After that, I decided to choose a topic based on things that I had an interest in, regarding the culture and society of Spanish tourism especially because I visit Spain on vacation almost every year. This summer, just gone, I went on vacation to Spain. I visited Barcelona, Cambrils and Tarragona and one thing that I noticed in all three places was not just the beautiful scenery and sun, but the petty crime such as robberies, pickpockets etc. that occurred. In all three places I witnessed someone being robbed and in Barcelona I was a victim of it myself. Due to this, I decided to consult with my lecturer on what I should look into translating. When I told her that I had an interest in the crime in Spain she shared different options with me and I eventually decided to focus on petty crime in Spain since that was the topic I had most interest in.
When I eventually decided on that topic I looked into different articles on petty crime and made a decision to focus on three pieces that stood out for me. These three articles stood out for me because the more I read down through them, the more interested I was getting. Although I am doing a project on crime in Spain, the rate of crime in Spain is not actually high, it is in fact very low. Statistics show Spain is one of the European countries with the lowest crime rate, according to a 2005 Gallop Europe research study. The rate of misdemeanours and crimes in Spain was 46 per 1,000 people in 2009. In 2013 Spain had one of the lowest crime rates in Europe. So this is why, when I was reading these articles, I was shocked at the amount of petty crime that takes place in a country that has such a low crime rate.
There was many more articles with information about crime in different parts of Spain, that focused on the likes of drugs and drug trafficking, and I was also interested in that side of crime. It was only when I was talking to my aunt over lunch about what I was doing in college and how I was going to be translating a piece about crime in Spain, that she influenced my final decision. When I told her I was deciding between focusing on drug related crime or petty crime such as robbery/pickpocketing, she said everyone hears about “all this drug malarkey” all the time and “all those gangs like your man Narcos” and even though I was sitting there laughing at how silly she sounded I agreed she had a point. You will rarely hear about robberies and pickpockets in Spain unless you’ve seen or experienced it yourself, but nearly every second person is talking about drug trafficking. Even myself, only that I had actually experienced it when I was on vacation to Spain, I would have never spoken about it or thought about writing about it and before I spoke to my aunt I probably would’ve swayed toward writing about drug trafficking too.
Finally, choosing a topic to translate and write about may seem like something so small, like you look through a few things and see what you like and then just choose. But you don’t ‘just choose.’ It is only when you look back at the process that you realise the different things that actually influenced your choice with out you even knowing it. That is why I wanted to write this piece about my choice because lots of different factors influenced my overall decision of writing about petty crime in Spain and I believe it is important to go back and acknowledge that.