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Off topic: What is the most interesting thing you have ever translated?
Thread poster: hyperlingo.com
I was just thinking... The documents which translators translate can vary enormously - sometimes they can be boring, but sometimes extremely interesting. Translators often pick up knowledge on a wide range of subjects and learn about subjects they never knew anything about.
So that set me wondering - what is the most interesting thing YOU have ever translated?
| | patyjs
Local time: 20:08
Spanish to English
| Most are interesting || Feb 7, 2010 |
in some way. I'm a generalist so I get to work on all kinds of subjects. Some fields have become "specialties" simply because of the sheer volume of work I've done in them. Interest wise, I think NGOs often provide stuff worth reading whether it's for translation or not.
But the one job that really stands out is one I had last year. I was asked to translate the video of a speaker at a pro-life conference. She (the speaker) was an abortion survivor. That is, she was the baby! Whatever your views on the subject matter, it was mind boggling!
| | Rad Graban
Local time: 02:08
English to Slovak
| Care proceedings case || Feb 7, 2010 |
I've been working on for over 18 months now. Very interesting insight onto life of one family. Very sad.
| | PRAKAASH
Local time: 07:38
English to Hindi
| Few interesting tasks || Feb 7, 2010 |
I have handled several interesting tasks while working as a freelance translator:
Few months back, from an outsourcer, I got a task to translate around 2 minutes of so-called Nepali folklore. I accepted it as I thought it would be an easy task for me. But do you know...
1. The audio quality of the provided audio was really poor as it belonged to 1950's and was sung by a group of men in some remote areas of Nepal.
2. I had to listen to that audio tons of times to understand and write each word, before I could even start translation.
But, it was something different, interesting and a bit difficult task than I usually do. However, most Nepali translation jobs are interesting.
I got a task from a US based scholar to translate Karna Parva of Mahabharata from Sanskrit-English. As he was scholar, I felt it necessary to provide him translations with grammatical analysis.
I translated the stuffs as per my understanding. Bought some worthwhile Mahabharata epic from market, read the other interpretations and included them in the translation.
I included grammatical analysis with Shabd Roop, Dhatoo Roop etc. Sanskrit grammar stuffs.
At the end, the effort was appreciated by the scholar.
Because of the complications involved, Sanskrit translations are pretty much challenging for me as they consume a lot of time, to be brought near to perfection or satisfaction. I do not accept them readily. Have to think twice/thrice to accept any of them after calculation of time required. Interestingly, I got a task from Kali-mata devotee, who is curious to gain knowledge and has not bounded with a specific deadlline. I am loving to do his task as I can do all homeworks before translations. I have already submitted 2 lots out of total 3.
And, I love doing Sanskrit translations.
I translated an English poem to Hindi recently and it was appreciated by the client. I loved translating it too. Literature is my field of interest since many years.
The most boring translations are
The only interesting fact in technical translations is, each time, I have to use wikipedia and other stuffs numerous times and gain a lot of information and knowledge regarding same. I learnt a lot about software, hardware, e-com while doing translations as I never translate without understanding the original context.
[Edited at 2010-02-07 19:49 GMT]
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| A long text about immunology || Feb 7, 2010 |
I learned a lot and it helped me see how complex a tiny part of us (the cell) can be. Amazing! I wonder whether each of us is just a big colony of cells making us act for the best and longest life. We could perfectly be serving our cells, instead of our cells serving us.
| naughty letter || Feb 7, 2010 |
I translated a very naughty letter, and also with suggestions
was a howl
| | sokolniki
Local time: 20:08
English to Russian
| The movie "W" about George W. Bush || Feb 8, 2010 |
by Oliver Stone. Josh Brolin was so good that I almost changed my opinion about the village idiot. The best part was finding Russian equivalents to a couple of "bushisms".
| Better than an MBA || Feb 8, 2010 |
Materials that taught me that product development
is about much more than the ostensible use value
of the product.
The products in question were for killing bugs.
The differentiation point was to make the products
more entertaining for the consumer to use.
Since the chemicals and mode of delivery were
essentially the same as the previous product,
the interesting thing was how intangible value was
considered at every stage of product design.
The consumer would feel more clever than the cockroach.
More cunning than the fly.
@sokolniki: Wow, did you translate the whole script? Was it hard to 'tailor' the translation to suit the personality of the characters? How long did it take?
I think that's one of the things that can enrich the life of a translator - the fact that documents can vary so widely and that sometimes you can get an unexpected gem.
I remember once translating an analysis of the flora and fauna of the sea floor around Monaco. That was really interesting - lots of images of fish and rocks being conjured up in my mind.
Has anyone got any more?
| I like environmental stuff || Feb 8, 2010 |
I'm not an environmental campaigner but having had to translate all the terms for the different industrial pollutants that are in the water and "by accident" read a bit about their side-effects, I feel my whole concept of the world we live in has changed. On top of that I had to translate a patent for a foodstuff and that really brought it home to me how many chemicals we are ingesting every day, despite ourselves.
| A real-life spy story || Feb 8, 2010 |
Back in the 1990s after German reunification, I got to translate an enormous chunk from a court document which described how agents from East Germany had set up sham companies in the west during the GDR period, and had then tried to claim that these companies were their own personal property after the Communist system crumbled.
It was all in there - clandestine meetings, references to GDR public figures who were still regularly featured in newspapers and TV. Wonderful cloak-and-dagger stuff - almost as exciting as some of the Cold War novels by Le Carré and others.
| | John Rawlins
Local time: 03:08
Spanish to English
| Car insurance report || Feb 8, 2010 |
Last year I bought a new car and by chance I was asked to translate an in-depth analysis of the Spanish insurance industry a week before the car was delivered. The report was prepared for a British insurance company and discussed the strengths and weaknesses of the main Spanish companies and the nature of Spanish insurance contracts.
I confess to ruthlessly using the insights I gained when I started shopping around for an insurance policy. Later, when my wife suffered a serious collision in the car, I used the same insights to negotiate a better and quicker settlement with the insurer.
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