Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Off topic: What's your best day as a translator been?
Thread poster: Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 09:38
English to Polish
+ ...
Jul 4, 2013

The present of translation is rather gloomy, as is the future, so I thought perhaps it was a good idea to look into the past to lighten the day. Well, evening in my case. This question is primarily aimed at the true veterans, but everybody truly is welcome to join. Thank you for sparing the time to reminisce.

 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:38
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
The day I got the results of my ATA certification exam Jul 4, 2013

No question about it.

 

Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:38
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Matin brun Jul 4, 2013

A couple of years ago my wife gave me a little booklet, Franck Pavloff's Matin brun. 'Read this, I'm sure you'll love it.' I did. It is a powerful dystopia about the rise of a totalitarian system. You can read in 15 minutes and you cannot forget it in 15 years.

I think many of us are like this: when I read something I really like, I start to think about how I would translate it. And as the whole short story was about 1200-1300 words, I could not resist the temptation for long.

How often do you get the chance to work on a text that it is really very well written? Without a deadline? How much pleasure can you take in polishing the translation again and again, and discussing it with others?

Discussing? Rather dissecting.

Dissector #1 was my wife. A native French and teacher of literature, she has a very good command of Hungarian. When reading my translation, she could pinpoint where some details became tilted, and explain deep nuances of the French original.

- You put a 'but' between the two clauses.
- Yes, because the second contradicts the first.
- But it is not in the original.
- So what? It sounds natural with it.
- But it should not sound natural. The logic of the narrator is not flawless. 'But' is a sign of confrontation. He does not confront the system. And this lack of confrontation shows in his language as well.

So, some of those minor stylistic changes that one introduces when proofing the translation monolingually had to go.

When I felt the translation was good enough, I sent it to my long-standing Hungarian translator partner, eagle-eye Katalin. And I duly received a list of inconsistencies, repetitions, suggested improvements, and questions. After bouncing some ideas back and forth, the translation was ready to go to a publisher.

Just there was no publisher.

Matin brun was a great success in France; over 1.5 million copies were sold to date. But its format – a small booklet for less one euro – was so unusual for the Hungarian market that publishers did not show much interest.

So, I phoned the French publisher, and soon I had the email address of the author's literary agent. After a couple of emails, we reached an agreement, and I bought the right to translate the short story into Hungarian and to have it published.

Some time later, a friend directed me to a publisher (Jószöveg Műhely) who were deeply interested in publishing the translation, feeling that, then and there, the topic was very relevant. I was asked to write a foreword, and to ask the author to write a postface.

So, a Tuesday morning I sent the author an email, asking him to write a postface of about 225 words, specifically for the Hungarian edition of the short story.

The text landed in my inbox the same evening. And what a text. It was poignant, clear, captivating. And painfully applicable. A text that I felt had been written to me.

That evening I would not have changed profession with anyone.


 

Evonymus (Ewa Kazmierczak)  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 09:38
Member (2010)
English to Polish
+ ...
:) Jul 4, 2013

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz wrote:

The present of translation is rather gloomy, as is the future


Is it? Why?
Ewa


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 09:38
English to Polish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Downward slope Jul 4, 2013

Evonymus (Ewa Kazmierczak) wrote:

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz wrote:

The present of translation is rather gloomy, as is the future


Is it? Why?
Ewa


Pay's getting worse and worse. Deadlines are. Source texts are. Proofreaders, editors and reviewers are. Clients too, I guess. And manners in the business. The list is long and depressing. Which is why I came up with a Prozac thread.


 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:38
English to Spanish
+ ...
It's all been good Jul 4, 2013

I'm sorry to see you feel that way, Łukasz. I think if you can find a way to have better control of your life as a professional, you will find it to be much less gloomy and much more satisfying. That's what I have always done, and for me it's always been good, all 42 years. Just take control and don't allow yourself to be kicked around by anyone. Do the work you want to do, choose the clients, set the deadlines, set the price and payment terms. Forget proofreaders, editors, reviewers and agencies. Forget the slave mentality, you're a freelancer, you be the boss. Take control.

 

Hin und Wieder  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:38
Member (2012)
German to Dutch
+ ...
History Jul 4, 2013

The day I got thousands and thousands of handwritten letters from German soldiers to translate into Dutch. I got carried away in a love story between a man and his wife, newlyweds. The letters covered over two years of WOII and gave me a very close look inside the War. I still think about Gretl, she never saw her sweetheart again.....

 

Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 13:08
English to Hindi
+ ...
Caption translation Jul 5, 2013

While I was employed there was a healthy competition between those who did English and those who did Hindi. The Hindi team was basically just me, and I was in both teams, as I am bilingual.

As we were into educational communication and were into informal education, we worked with a variety of media and a variety of target groups and a lot of creative writing was involved. Often a text would be written in one language and translated into the other. The challenge was to make the translation as good as the original.

Once an English writer came up with a very creatively written booklet aimed at children which was full of smart titles and witty writing. The general feeling was it could not be translated. I of course took up the challenge.

After reviewing my translation, the original author came up to me and said he really enjoyed the captions of the Hindi and he thought that the Hindi was even better than the English.

Now considering the intense rivalry between the two teams, that was indeed some praise and I found myself in the seventh heaven.

I count this as one of my best days in my translation career.


 

Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 02:38
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Atenea Acevedo Jul 5, 2013

When I met Atenea Acevedo. She was the link to alternative information sites wherein I translate for the peoples of the world.

 

Clarisa Moraña  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 04:38
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Every single day! Jul 5, 2013

I do enjoy every translation I do.

 

Geetha Ramapuram  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 13:08
Italian to English
+ ...
The day I translated this amazing document Jul 5, 2013

I had this opportunity to translate this amazing document on architecture. I don't remember the client but I remember the document. Each word I translated was fascinating. I was truly a labour of love

 

B. D. Laux  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:38
Member (2009)
German to Norwegian
+ ...
The day I checked in to a nice hotel Jul 5, 2013

paid by my client! It never happened again...

 

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:38
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Three weeks in Paris Jul 5, 2013

Rather similar to B.D. Laux. An agency paid all my expenses to work in-house as a translator in Paris for three weeks at a firm in the aircraft industry. They turned out to be very nice people to work with.

Hope it's not considered off-topic if I also mention the opposite. I once translated an aircraft accident report. An engineer had got too close to the front of an aircraft engine while it was running. He was sucked in and spewed out of the back as mincemeat. It included a map showing the large area over which bits of him had been found. A gruesome job I was glad to finish!

[Edited at 2013-07-05 07:24 GMT]


 

Anna Sarah Krämer Fazendeiro
Germany
Local time: 09:38
English to German
+ ...
Agree! Jul 5, 2013

Henry Hinds wrote:

I'm sorry to see you feel that way, Łukasz. I think if you can find a way to have better control of your life as a professional, you will find it to be much less gloomy and much more satisfying. That's what I have always done, and for me it's always been good, all 42 years. Just take control and don't allow yourself to be kicked around by anyone. Do the work you want to do, choose the clients, set the deadlines, set the price and payment terms. Forget proofreaders, editors, reviewers and agencies. Forget the slave mentality, you're a freelancer, you be the boss. Take control.


I agree with you, Henry. I'm afraid people are creating their own self-fulfilling prophecies, get into this spiral of fear and submission ('I have to accept this job, because times are hard') and things get worse and worse for them. I am sorry for that. Of course there are always many things we can't control. But there is always so much left that we can influence. I will officially start whining a lot when I am homeless and hungry. Until there, there's room to wiggle and I won't be too concerned. Since the industrial revolution and especially after WWII, the Western world has had an incredible increase in life quality - we live longer and most of us are a lot more wealthy than our grandparents were. Since the sixties and seventies, we have more personal freedom than ever before - we choose who to love, what to wear, what to believe in. Now this wealth and freedom starts reaching the developing world. If that is not times to enjoy, I really don't now what people are waiting for!

And, for this not to become totally off topic, here's my best day so far (I'm by no means a veteran, so there might be even better days to come) - I had made a translation test for a very, very high ranking and important client, waited some weeks for the results (and for different reasons these were very complicated, miserable weeks) and then, punctually on the day when the rest of my life turned better again, I got accepted in their team of translators. I am still working for them and enjoying it a lot! I return to this moment when things get tough and it helps me work through complications - I know there will be sunshine, earlier or later.

But I wouldn't mind a nice hotel - so if any of my clients reads this - you might have the chance to provide for the happiest day in my career! icon_biggrin.gif

Best regards,
Sarah


 

Silvia Montufo Urquízar  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:38
French to Spanish
+ ...
Where is the like button?:-) Jul 5, 2013

Henry Hinds wrote:

I'm sorry to see you feel that way, Łukasz. I think if you can find a way to have better control of your life as a professional, you will find it to be much less gloomy and much more satisfying. That's what I have always done, and for me it's always been good, all 42 years. Just take control and don't allow yourself to be kicked around by anyone. Do the work you want to do, choose the clients, set the deadlines, set the price and payment terms. Forget proofreaders, editors, reviewers and agencies. Forget the slave mentality, you're a freelancer, you be the boss. Take control.



Yet one more very interesting contribution from our dear Mr Hinds.


 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

What's your best day as a translator been?

Advanced search






Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »
BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, ProZ.com integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search