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Off topic: Translator Mary Hobson decided to learn Russian at the age of 56, earned PhD at 74
Thread poster: LegalTransform

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:33
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Apr 23, 2016

Translator Mary Hobson decided to learn Russian at the age of 56, graduated in her sixties and completed a PhD at 74

http://rbth.com/arts/literature/2016/04/22/learning-russian-has-given-me-a-whole-new-life_587093

[Edited at 2016-04-23 15:37 GMT]


 

Kuochoe Nikoi  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 07:33
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
It was going so well Apr 23, 2016

I was enjoying the story until the part where she left her disabled husband because she was tired of caring for him. Umm. Yeah.

 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
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Croatian to English
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Mixed feelings Apr 23, 2016

TransAfrique wrote:

I was enjoying the story until the part where she left her disabled husband because she was tired of caring for him. Umm. Yeah.


My reaction too. That part was kind of a downer.

[Edited at 2016-04-23 22:52 GMT]


 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 09:33
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
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Russian is easy Apr 24, 2016

In Russian one gets by with a few key remarks. It is important to get a good phonetics teacher, but that applies to all languages.
The script is hard. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between the p, the i, j and sh in cyrillic. Achieving fluent reading takes time. I started at 45 and stopped seven years later, when I realised I will not make a living as translator from Russian but rather concentrate on Finnish. And that Russia was not developing into a democracy after all. Now I regret it, since I would like to read the Read Wheel April 1917, which is not translated into either English or German. Perhaps I should just start reading though again.

Now at 67 I've taken up Spanish as an additional hobby to tenor sax, piano and alto violin. Studying should keep the brain young.

Mary did make the right decision. A wife should not be a nurse to her own death, neither should a husband.


 

Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:33
Portuguese to English
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Hear, hear! Apr 24, 2016

Heinrich Pesch wrote:
Mary did make the right decision. A wife should not be a nurse to her own death, neither should a husband.


Rudolf's and TransAfrique's comments are entirely inappropriate. You go be a full-time depressed nurse to your wife for 28 years and then come back to me to tell me what that's like.

Because, you know, why congratulate her on her achievements, when you can put her down instead.


 

missdutch  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:33
Member (2010)
English to Italian
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Seconded Apr 24, 2016

Diana Coada wrote:

Heinrich Pesch wrote:
Mary did make the right decision. A wife should not be a nurse to her own death, neither should a husband.


Rudolf's and TransAfrique's comments are entirely inappropriate. You go be a full-time depressed nurse to your wife for 28 years and then come back to me to tell me what that's like.

Because, you know, why congratulate her on her achievements, when you can put her down instead.


Heinrich, learning to read and write cyrillic is the easiest thing about Russian, the only easy one. Grammar is a whole different kettle of fish though, but maybe for a German-native speaker it's less difficult than for an Italian.
Go back to Russian, you'll be generously rewarded.

I started learning Russian when I was 15 y.o.; I loved it so much that all that was difficult and frustrating about it actually did add to the experience, like making someone fall in love with you.

I'm in awe of this lady, it's no mean feat at all, yet she did it so well. Translating Puškin is extremely difficult, his poetry has such a crystalline quality to it, almost impossible to recreate in another language. Well done to her for trying and – possibly – nailing it.


 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:33
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
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Inappropriate? Apr 24, 2016

Diana Coada wrote:

Heinrich Pesch wrote:
Mary did make the right decision. A wife should not be a nurse to her own death, neither should a husband.


Rudolf's and TransAfrique's comments are entirely inappropriate. You go be a full-time depressed nurse to your wife for 28 years and then come back to me to tell me what that's like.

Because, you know, why congratulate her on her achievements, when you can put her down instead.



I never denigrated her achievement, which is impressive in itself. I just found the part about leaving her sick husband a little jarring and cold. Maybe there's more to that part of the story, who knows.





[Edited at 2016-04-24 10:59 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-04-24 11:02 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-04-24 19:35 GMT]


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:33
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
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I found most news about translators features literary translators Apr 24, 2016

Maybe in the journalists' terminology, a translator always means a literary translator. Are they aware that there are translators specialized in other areas?

 

Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:33
Romanian to English
+ ...
Agree with Rudolf and TransAfrique Apr 24, 2016



[Edited at 2016-04-24 18:12 GMT]


 

Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 13:03
English to Hindi
+ ...
Inspiring Apr 24, 2016

At 54 I have started learning Urdu, a language which is very closely aligned with Hindi, my main working language. Many consider the two languages to be the same at basic grammar level, but they are entirely different in their literary forms and of course in their script.

Urdu draws vocabulary from Arabic and Farsi, while Hindi mines Sanskrit. Urdu is written in a modified form of the Arabic-Persian script, while Hindi uses the Devnagari script. Urdu may not seem to be the most difficult language to learn for a Hindi-speaker, but it is no cake walk either.

I recently passed a certificate level exam in Urdu, and have now enrolled myself to a BA course in the language. I have opted for the open university mode (from IGNOU, Delhi), so I do not have to face the ignominy of having to sit in class peopled by students half my age. The internet is proving to be a great resource, and so is omnipresent Bollywood, which almost wholly uses Urdu, particularly in their songs.

I intent to pursue the study of Urdu as far as I can take it, up to phd level perhaps. Mary's case is a great inspiration to me. Like her, my chief interest in learning Urdu is to read the great writings of Iqbal, Faiz, Mir, Soz and other Urdu writers, in the original language.

I have now almost mastered the Urdu script, but my vocabulary is still abysmally poor. I am working on it.

[Edited at 2016-04-24 16:36 GMT]


 

Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:33
Serbian to English
+ ...
the key point Apr 24, 2016

or to use what apparently is my favourite, the "relevant" point is not about this

Diana Coada wrote:

Heinrich Pesch wrote:
Mary did make the right decision. A wife should not be a nurse to her own death, neither should a husband.


Rudolf's and TransAfrique's comments are entirely inappropriate. You go be a full-time depressed nurse to your wife for 28 years and then come back to me to tell me what that's like.

Because, you know, why congratulate her on her achievements, when you can put her down instead.


Mary was perfectly right to do what she has done - there will be always someone to find something wrong with you if you stick your head over the parapet - sad fact of life not worth dwelling over.

What I see as the most relevant bit of this story is that's never too late to make better use of your capacities.

[Edited at 2016-04-24 20:21 GMT]


 

Kuochoe Nikoi  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 07:33
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
I make no apologies Apr 24, 2016

Diana Coada wrote:
Rudolf's and TransAfrique's comments are entirely inappropriate. You go be a full-time depressed nurse to your wife for 28 years and then come back to me to tell me what that's like.

Because, you know, why congratulate her on her achievements, when you can put her down instead.

Congratulations on learning Russian at age 54! It is an inspirational story, to be sure.

I have no doubt that being a full-time caregiver is a stressful, soul-crushing task, but I hope you will please forgive me for not giving her a standing ovation for leaving her sick husband in his worst moments.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 08:33
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I hope I never have to face that situation Apr 24, 2016

TransAfrique wrote:

...

I have no doubt that being a full-time caregiver is a stressful, soul-crushing task, but I hope you will please forgive me for not giving her a standing ovation for leaving her sick husband in his worst moments.


Who says it was his worst moment? I don't know Mary Dobson's circumstances, but what she did might have been best for both of them. I would not want anyone to make an invalid of themselves for my sake - professional carers can do a lot of the work, with proper working conditions and rest. Spouses need that too, or it destroys them to see a loved one fading incurably away.

Before I started translating, I worked in the home-care service, and one day I visited a woman who was recovering physically and mentally, like Mary Hobson, from nursing a sick husband. At first she nursed him alone, and it nearly killed her. Where would he have been then?

She asked for professional help, and her husband was moved to a care home. She was able to do her share, but also to have some time for other things. She had children to think of too. When I met her, her husband had just died, and I expressed my condolences. She said:
"Oh, no, don't be sorry. Now I can enjoy all the good memories, and I am just getting him back. I really lost him five years ago, when he could no longer recognise me!"

Another couple of formerly good friends are still together, trying to 'care' for each other, and believe me, it is unbearable to watch. They will not separate for the shortest break, but they cannot even be civil to each other for an hour or two when visitors come. It is total war, and it breaks my heart. Earlier, they helped each other through rough patches. They were always there for neighbours who needed help. Now they are totally burnt out, but refuse to be helped except with shopping, and they make life intolerable for each other.

I think it is above and beyond the call of duty to struggle on to breaking point - then there are two invalids needing care from others, and possibly neglected children as well.

Everyone has a right to a life, however needy their spouse may be. It may take courage to admit that one simply has nothing more to give, and leave, but in some cases I am sure is the right thing to do.



[Edited at 2016-04-24 21:33 GMT]


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:33
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
There are a lot of nutrients in your posts Apr 24, 2016

Christine Andersen wrote:

TransAfrique wrote:

...

I have no doubt that being a full-time caregiver is a stressful, soul-crushing task, but I hope you will please forgive me for not giving her a standing ovation for leaving her sick husband in his worst moments.


Who says it was his worst moment? I don't know Mary Dobson's circumstances, but what she did might have been best for both of them. I would not want anyone to make an invalid of themselves for my sake - professional carers can do a lot of the work, with proper working conditions and rest. Spouses need that too, or it destroys them to see a loved one fading incurably away.

Before I started translating, I worked in the home-care service, and one day I visited a woman who was recovering physically and mentally, like Mary Hobson, from nursing a sick husband. At first she nursed him alone, and it nearly killed her. Where would he have been then?

She asked for professional help, and her husband was moved to a care home. She was able to do her share, but also to have some time for other things. She had children to think of too. When I met her, her husband had just died, and I expressed my condolences. She said:
"Oh, no, don't be sorry. Now I can enjoy all the good memories, and I am just getting him back. I really lost him five years ago, when he could no longer recognise me!"

Another couple of formerly good friends are still together, trying to 'care' for each other, and believe me, it is unbearable to watch. They will not separate for the shortest break, but they cannot even be civil to each other for an hour or two when visitors come. It is total war, and it breaks my heart. Earlier, they helped each other through rough patches. They were always there for neighbours who needed help. Now they are totally burnt out, but refuse to be helped except with shopping, and they make life intolerable for each other.

I think it is above and beyond the call of duty to struggle on to breaking point - then there are two invalids needing care from others, and possibly neglected children as well.

Everyone has a right to a life, however needy their spouse may be. It may take courage to admit that one simply has nothing more to give, and leave, but in some cases I am sure is the right thing to do.



[Edited at 2016-04-24 21:33 GMT]


Very enlightening points indeed.


 

missdutch  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:33
Member (2010)
English to Italian
+ ...
Wise and kind words Apr 25, 2016

Christine Andersen wrote:

Everyone has a right to a life, however needy their spouse may be. It may take courage to admit that one simply has nothing more to give, and leave, but in some cases I am sure is the right thing to do.



[Edited at 2016-04-24 21:33 GMT]


 
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Translator Mary Hobson decided to learn Russian at the age of 56, earned PhD at 74

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