ith the recent death of Louis Korda, the Hungarian translator community has lost a highly-respected colleague and loyal friend. The ATA Language Chair for the Hungarian<English language pair was famous for his gentlemanlyalmost courtlymanner. Long before mentoring became an institution, Lou was always eager to help and encourage fellow translators who turned to him for advice and took obvious delight in their successes.
Lou's quick wit was equally celebrated. For instance, once we were both on an assignment on a Federal Court case. The prosecution put Lou on the witness stand as the FBI's long-time Hungarian language expert to elicit his testimonial about the translation of a critical letter. In cross-examination, the defense lawyer, in a move to trap him, asked Lou if he considered translation an art or a science. Clearly, no matter which answer he chose, he could be discredited. I'll never forget his reply: "I like to call it a craft." Even the poker-faced judge and jury members broke into appreciative laughter. The defense attorney had no choice but to conclude: "I have no further questions."
Lou, my good friend, may you be rewarded by the Lord for all your good deeds and the gifts which you so generously bestowed on everybody!