“I never imagined that the [translation] process would make me confront how much Spanish I had forgotten,” says Esmeralda Santiago, author of Cuando era uertorriqueña.
Esmeralda moved to the United States when she was a teenager, went to Harvard, and originally wrote her story in English. The book entitled "When I Was Puerto Rican" was published back in 1993. Realizing the appeal that the story had among Latin Americans and immigrants in general, her publisher asked her to translate her own work into Spanish.
Thinking that would be quite an easy feat, she soon realized that the language she had been speaking in the U.S. as an adult was, indeed, Spangligh. In order to provide an accurate Spanish version of her words in English, Esmeralda had to relearn how to think in her native language and get back in touch with her roots.
Full article by John Sledge available here