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Member since Jun '13

Working languages:
Indonesian to English
English to Indonesian
French to English

Availability today:
Partially available

May 2015

Indah Lestari
Crossing the boundaries of language

Paris, Ile-De-France, France

Native in: Indonesian Native in Indonesian
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About me
I have been a translator/interpreter for nearly ten years, full-time, part-time and freelance. I dealt with news (hard news and soft news), art exhibition curatorial, advertising materials, letters, business, economy (oil and gas, telecommunication, banking), short story, poetry and novel.

I am a native speaker of Bahasa Indonesia, have excellent command in English. I speak a little French and Hindi. I love language and am still amazed by its power. Though there are other forms of art, which I also love, language is the one that is closest to me.

I am also interested in Translation Studies. Translation is embedded with political, social and cultural values. Translation cannot be neutral, it says something about the translator's views. And it's interesting to see differences of style in the target texts!

I am currently a freelance copywriter/proofreader for a UK-based TAG - World Writers and Hogarth Worldwide. I also translate news articles for Indonesia's TEMPO weekly magazine English edition. Other translation works are on a project basis.

I also use CAT tool SDL Trados Studio 2011 Freelance.

I'm using SDL Trados Studio 2011

English rendering of Indonesian short stories is published online on US-based Dalang's website, click here.

Below is something more personal article I wrote:

Translation is about trust. there is, as George Steiner says, an investment of believe. That day, in the classroom, I was the only Indonesian there, the only one they can trust. It was only my third attendance for the course (bunking a lot :P). I was so worried because i didn't read anything in the previous class--when we were supposed to translate something, preferrably a poem, from one language, most probably our mother tongue, into English, the medium language of this course. Hindi, Bengali, Malayali have been offered, even Arabic. so I was totally aware that it was my turn.

And I was right... they could see me: they see my back, my hair, my notebook. They could also hear me: my pronounciation, the voiced phonetic symbols vibrated the air and reached each person's auditory system. But they could not, I assume, understand what I was saying. Couldn't grasp the meaning, the beauty, the glory of the story. Meanwhile, for me reading out the Indonesian poem was as pleasurable as doing the English.

The 'original', or even Indonesian language in general, is a spell, the Other. Until and unless they hear the english one, they won't be able to comment on it. But then we had discussion, tried to break down the languages, choose better words or expressions and so on. It was fun :)

This is a poem by Sindu Putra, followed by my translation.

Dongeng Anjing Api
anjing itu datang. -mengenakan tubuhnya
seperti yang dikenal kini: binatang malam
bersayap air. bertaring bunga. berkelamin api
dongeng pun tumbuh
perahu kupu-kupu.hewan geladag
bah dan gunung pasir
mengikuti cahaya. -sehitam malam, bayangannya
mengintai. serupa cahaya, meraih warna
tapi bebunga yang mewangi dari telapak tangan
hanya mekar hitam-putih
anjing itu mendengus
mengendus daging terbakar
anjing api itu tak pernah tua
tak pernah kehilangan lapar
dikenakannya taring rama-rama
diperasnya susu merpati
matanya tak lagi menunjukkan arah gelap
matanya berdarahsementara, -waktu adalah musim kawin
gonggongannya menjadi isyarat berbagi birahi
di dunia yang senantiasa basah oleh liurnya
seluas rumah potong terbuka yang abadi

A Tale of a Fire Dog

The dog comes. –with his body
Like what he’s famous for: nocturnal animal
Wings of water. Fangs of flower. Fire of desire
A tale then grows
Boat of butterfly. Untamed beast
The flood and the desert
Tailing the light. –dark as the night, his shadow
is stalking. Like the light, grasping colors
Yet the flowers’ fragrance oozing from the palm
is only blooming black and white
The dog sniffs
Snuffles a chunk of burnt meat
The fire dog never grows old
Never loses appetite
He wears butterfly’s fangs
Milking the pigeons
His eyes no longer show a tint of darkness
His eyes are blood red, -it’s mating season
His bark is a cue for sharing lust
In the world forever drenched with his saliva
spacious as an eternal slaughter house

This user has reported completing projects in the following job categories, language pairs, and fields.

Project History Summary
Total projects6
With client feedback0
0 positive (0 entries)

Job type
Language pairs
English to Indonesian6
Indonesian to English6
Specialty fields
International Org/Dev/Coop2
Government / Politics2
Advertising / Public Relations1
General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters1
Media / Multimedia1
Other fields
Education / Pedagogy2
Medical (general)1
Medical: Health Care1
Automotive / Cars & Trucks1
Keywords: business, politics, taxation, customs, annual report, copywriting, translation, editing, proofreading, Indonesian, Bahasa, Bahasa Indonesia, electricity, games, software, scientific, journal, localization, bahasa, business, annual report, information technology, advertising, TVC, script, subtitle, subtitling, novel, international affairs, mobile phone, printing, cosmetics, accounting, tax, technology, media, telecommunication, interpreting, construction, simultaneous, consecutive, finance, audit, financial report, embassy, magazine, article, review, insurance, courier, utility, oil and gas, banking, indonesian, art, culture, literature, social

Profile last updated
May 12