Off topic: The elation on completing a big translation
Thread poster: Anne Lee

Anne Lee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:48
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Jun 14, 2004

One of the major benefits of this job must be the thrill felt when a large project you've worked on for weeks finally reaches completion. The feeling of excitement and relief when you press that 'send' button on completing a large project, inevitably accompanied by a list of notes/questions/spelling errors/inconsistencies in the source text, can only be compared to the elation (and exhaustion!!) women feel after giving birth. I remember driving down the motorway minutes after completing a huge assignment while listening to heavy metal music. The drums seemed to echo the joy I was feeling, all the other car drivers were smiling at me and everything was alright. (On hearing the same song later, I wondered why it had sounded so magical at the time.) If only we could bottle that feeling!

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Valeria Verona  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 13:48
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Right! Jun 14, 2004

I agree... you have put it nicely!
I am also usually *SO* exhausted that I feel like sleeping 24 hours non-stop
But it feels good, yeah...
Greetings from Buenos Aires.
Valeria


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Susana Galilea  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:48
English to Spanish
+ ...
only 200 words to go... Jun 14, 2004

...and I'll treat myself to some overdue Ray Charles

Nice to know this is a universal experience

Cheers,

Susana Galilea
Accredited Translator EUTI
sgalilea@ispwest.com
www.accentonspanish.com


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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:48
English to Polish
+ ...
Actually... Jun 15, 2004

For the first couple of days after finishing a job (a few weeks' worth) I catch myself feeling guilty for playing with my daughter in the park and not clacking away at the keyboard. It passes, though and then - the next phone call.

Cheers,
Pawel Skalinski


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Sarah Downing  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:48
German to English
+ ...
I know exactly what you mean Jun 15, 2004

I've got just under 500 words to go and the project I've been working on for about 6 weeks will draw to a close. These kind of projects are nice in a way, because it means something to do for a long time, but as I always have something to do anyway it's hard to fit everything else in, so it usually means extra work.

I'll be glad to see it draw to a close because it was a real toughie, including some terms that I couldn't even find on the net (very specific antiques and wine ...), so all in all it was hard-going, even though it didn't have a fixed deadline (only an approximate period in which it had to be finished) - This, of course, has its pros and cons, because although it means added flexibility, it also means you having to give yourself a kick up the **** to motivate yourself.

Enjoy your feelings of elation! I'll certainly enjoy mine!

All the best,

Sarah


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Maria Belarra  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:48
French to Spanish
+ ...
Alive again Jun 15, 2004

The first 'real' project I made after I freelanced took me about 9 weeks. When I finally pressed the 'send' button I was completely exhausted. It was a Saturday evening, in summertime. My friends took me to the flat of one of them, cooked me dinner and it was such a beautiful night we ate it crammed on the balcony, anf afterwards we stayed there talking until daylight. I had the feeling of being alive again, after so many weeks stressed working 25 hours a day.

Now I'm at the final stages of a veeeery long project- I have been working on it since end March, and I have still three weeks to go But afterwards..


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NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 12:48
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
Nothing like it Jun 15, 2004

I just have to share with you:

I had four days off this weekend!!!

And it was hot & sunny (nearly) the whole time~! (thundershowers at night)

That's a pretty good feeling too.

But this morning, 4 jobs came in from regular clients.

So... it's back to work for me. But I must say it's refreshing to get out to weed-pulling and petunia-planting for a nice, relaxing change.

Have a great (work)week everyone!

Nancy

[Edited at 2004-06-15 19:52]


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Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 19:48
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Different experience Jun 15, 2004

Just to add something new to this collection of freelancers' feelings: I feel a bit jealous...

I translate books, and almost any of my jobs takes it longer than a month. Some years ago I felt the same when I finished yet another book, but not now. Sometimes I feel a relief, sometimes I feel sad because it's difficult to part with a book which became a part of you...

So I'm never feel exalted *after* the work is finished, but at some precious moments I feel like this *during* my work.

[Edited at 2004-06-15 20:35]


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NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 12:48
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
Translating books, eh? Jun 15, 2004

Wow... what kind of books do you translate, Kirill?

N.

[Edited at 2004-06-15 21:36]


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Lorenzo Lilli  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:48
German to Italian
+ ...
postpartum crisis Jun 16, 2004

Anne Lee wrote:

One of the major benefits of this job must be the thrill felt when a large project you\'ve worked on for weeks finally reaches completion. The feeling of excitement and relief when you press that \'send\' button on completing a large project, inevitably accompanied by a list of notes/questions/spelling errors/inconsistencies in the source text, can only be compared to the elation (and exhaustion!!) women feel after giving birth.



I couldn\'t agree more! I call it \"postpartum crisis\" (no wonder \"delivery\" in English has a double meaning ). IMHO it\'s as close as we guys can get to the experience of childbirth It has just happened to me as some days ago I delivered a 230-page book about quantum physics (popular scientific literature, with a simple approach), probably my largest project so far. And on the one hand I felt relieved, satisfied etc., but on the other hand I started worrying: \"OMG, there are lots of potential readers out there and if I made mistakes no doubt they\'ll notice and I\'ll make a bad impression etc. etc.\".
But I also agree with Pavel: sometimes I feel guilty if I have nothing to do. Probably this feeling comes from university, when we were supposed to do something useful (eg. reading papers in a foreign language, practicing sight translation etc.) whenever we had 5 spare minutes.


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Giusi Barbiani
Sweden
Local time: 18:48
English to Italian
+ ...
Feeling of guilt? Jun 16, 2004

Don't know what that is (or pretend not to)...

Whenever I deliver the translation of a novel or an essay - a process which takes several months, usually longer than expected - I am worn-out, completely drained.

So, why do I translate books? Because I love it and - probably - am a masochist: the greater the fatigue, the more I feel elated.

Wish the economic reward equalled the sense of lightness we all experienced, so I could leave for an endless vacation. I fancy a secluded retreat in a wood lodge with no phone line...

g


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NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 12:48
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
Delivering babies + Cabins in the woods Jun 16, 2004

Giusi Barbiani wrote:
I fancy a secluded retreat in a wood lodge with no phone line...
g


I know of a few of those around here (still plugging my July 9 pow-wow)

You are right, though - nothing like even a single day floating on the St. Lawrence to rejuvenate one's senses (not to mention get a nice tan after so many weeks in the cave - er, in the office) 8)

As for comparing large projects to childbirth, on delivering Pride and Prejudice (or was it Sense and Sensibility ? I can't remember) Jane Austen declared that this work was her baby.

N.


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Lorenzo Lilli  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:48
German to Italian
+ ...
masochism? Jun 16, 2004

Giusi Barbiani wrote:

So, why do I translate books? Because I love it and - probably - am a masochist: the greater the fatigue, the more I feel elated.



I think you're right Giusi, IMO every translator - especially a literary translator - is a little bit of a masochist. And as far as I'm concerned there's a bit of sadism, too: at the end of a book I'm so stressed out, so drained that I can't help hating the author (no matter if he or she is actually the "father" of the baby )


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Sandra Alboum  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:48
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
To Finish, Ah ... to Get Paid, Ahhhhhhh! Jun 16, 2004

Like everyone, I'm thrilled to finish a big job and get it out the door. It's usually following by a nervous feeling of whether it was edited perfectly or read like a dream ... but that soon passes.

But the best part? Ahhhhhh ... the best part is to get PAID for that big job! Does anyone disagree?!


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