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Swedish to English: "Arra" by Maria Turtschaninoff General field: Art/Literary Detailed field: Poetry & Literature
Source text - Swedish unavailable for copyright reasons
Translation - English The fire song was crackling calmly by her side, and the wind sang in her ears. Under her feet the earth rumbled. She held out the last drops of water on her palm and let them lie there a moment before she licked them off with her eyes still closed.
Now she could hear all four elementary songs at the same time. She forced herself not to rush, not to be impatient. Slowly, slowly, she weaved the songs together within her. The water ran joyfully in swirls around the wind, which stirred in the fire which burned within the earth. It wasn’t four separate songs, but one and the same. It was only different voices and movements of the same essential melody.
As soon as she realised this, singing the song of the earth became easy. She didn’t need to stamp, or search for the rhythm. The rhythm was already in her, she was the rhythm. Her heart, pulse and breath were already singing this very song. All she needed to do was open her mouth and let it out. And it gushed out of her like white water, like a gale of wind, like flowing lava. Surando staggered backwards, overwhelmed by the strength which flooded out of the blackhaired young woman before him. Her clear voice flew miles around and Bendiro’s army stood up and turned as one man to see the slender figure standing on the hill above them singing with the sun behind her. Surando’s men were awoken by the sound, they saw the two mighty assemblies at the two openings down to the ravine, and were soon on their feet with swords drawn and bows outstretched.
And the ground quaked.
It started under Arra’s feet and continued in rolling waves out over the plain and toward the ravine. At first the movement was small, like soft ripples on the sea on a still summer’s day. But Arra carried on singing and the movement intensified and the power increased until it tore up the ground in great waves. They met the rockface by the first opening down to the ravine and continued along one edge of the rocks like white water until they reached the second opening. But the ground down in the valley remained still.
Arra focused. Losing herself in the song didn’t scare her anymore, because now she knew that she was already a part of the song, and the song was a part of her. But it took immense effort to continue singing. It was time to command the music even more, and she weaved in thread after thread of her own will. She knew she had to put all the will she had into the song, and when it gushed out of her she became very weak. But she didn’t stop.
The undulations in the ground concentrated on the rocks around Bendiro’s men, and suddenly the tremors disappeared down into the ground. For a short time everything became still, very still. Then the earth began to tremble and shake, and Arra used the song to dig down deep into the earth and then heave it back up again. The ground split on either side of the two armies, and rocks and earth rushed up with tremendous force, up towards the sky into shaking, towering mountains.
The men leapt aside screaming and everything echoed with the earth’s rumble and the men’s screams and the weapons’ rattling. Arra took a deep breath. She was nearly spent. But the hissing fire and the howling wind and the water coarsing through her veins gave her the last energy she needed. She sang in a deep and mighty voice and the two mountains stretched further upward, came to a stop, and then launched down over Bendiro’s men with furious force. Massive boulders, clay, earth and stone rained over them, burying them completely.
When the dust and stones settled not a single man or horse was left. The ways down into the ravine were also gone. But Surando’s men didn’t have a single hair out of place.
Arra sank down to her knees and closed her mouth. It would be ten days before she could utter another word.
Swedish to English: "The Unknown Price of Freedom" by Anna-Lena Lauren General field: Art/Literary Detailed field: Journalism
Source text - Swedish unavailable for copyright reasons
Translation - English Zjamal Esenkanova sets down a bundle of firewood on the porch; kindling to set fire to the coal. It is evening and time to light the fire in the house. She keeps the house cold during the day, even though it is autumn and icy winds from Tian Shan Mountain chill to the bone. It is about saving fuel. There is no central heating here in the village.
Coal is expensive. Electricity is expensive. Life is a struggle for survival.
Several hundred meters from Zjamal’s fenced, whitewashed house spans an azure blue lake – one of the world’s biggest mountain lakes, Issyk Kul. Pointed mountain crests covered in snow glimmer on the other side of the field.
Between the mountain and the lake, Zjamal lives with her grandchildren Arlen and Azim, in vast expanses of moorland where horses, cows and sheep roam free. The sky is high and majestic, the air is harsh and crisp. You can see clearly for miles. The landscape does not feel overly hospitable but neither is it off-putting; it is beautiful in its gruff unpretentious way. People from Issyk Kul are well-known in Kyrgyzstan for being independent and strong, especially the women. They have grown up in an environment which produces the tastiest apricots, apples and pears in Kyrgyzstan, but a good harvest requires a lot of work. Everyone here is used to hard physical labour.
In these parts there could be fantastic opportunities to develop a thriving small scale tourist industry, if it was not for the fact that Kyrgyzstan is one of the most destitute amongst the former Soviet countries, with the second lowest GDP per capita after Tajikistan.
“Sure we have democracy. But it doesn’t make life easier. In Kyrgyzstan people think that democracy means the right to storm parliament whenever they’re unhappy with the government, but that’s not what people’s choice means,” says Zjamal Esenkanova.
She gives an interview in passing; she doesn’t really have time. It is evening, she has to light the fire and prepare dinner for Arlen and Azim. Their mother, who is a single parent, works in a nearby mental hospital. Without their grandmother the children would have nowhere to go.
Being over sixty years old and having grown up in the Soviet Union, Zjamal Esenkanova has a very matter-of-fact outlook on democracy and her country. For nearly twenty years she has been a local councillor in the little village of Tosor on the south bank of Issyk Kul. Now she is thinking of giving it up.
“It’s time for someone else to take over. I’ve already been there too long. Besides, I’m not especially popular with the decision makers because I always say what I think.”
Zjamal speaks a modulated and concise Russian without the slightest hint of an accent. Her appearance – a stocky figure in a gaudy multi-coloured headscarf, woollen cardigan, woollen skirt, black leather jacket and warm, practical winter boots – makes me think of a mixture of my own late grandmother and a Harley Davidson motorcyclist.
Master's degree - UCL
Years of experience: 13. Registered at ProZ.com: May 2011.
Russian to English (University of Manchester) Spanish to English (University of Manchester) French to English (University College London) Russian to English (University College London) Spanish to English (University College London)
Swedish to English (University College London) French to English (University of Manchester)
Adobe Acrobat, memoQ, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Office Pro, Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, SDL TRADOS, Wordfast
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• Published literary translator
• Certified translator from Swedish, Russian, Spanish, French into English
• Native English speaker with excellent English writing skills
• Masters in Translation from UCL
• Summary, proofreading and copy-editing services
• Expert in literature, philosophy, journalism, cultural and academic writing
So, what makes me an alternative translator?
Three ways to find out:
1) visit my website primetranslatrix.com
2) e-mail me [email protected]
3) read on...
Since receiving my MA in translation from University College London, I have translated four books - two fiction and two non-fiction. I have also worked as a commercial translator, copy-editor and proofreader for several years.
However, I am foremost a literary translator. I am highly sensitive to metaphor, imagery, structure and voice. My preferred texts are those with a touch of magic and mystery; where the words point to an unspoken underlying truth. For this reason I especially enjoy fantasy, mythology, crime, children's and young adult fiction, sci-fi, philosophy, esotericism and erotica.
My current pride and joy is Maresi by Maria Turtschaninoff, a Finland-Swedish fantasy novel due for publication in January 2015 by Pushkin Press in the UK and Abrams in the USA. My translation has received great praise from all sides.
Growing up in a bilingual family with an alternative lifestyle in the multi-cultural kaleidoscope of central London, I have always felt like a translator between people and cultures. I am a woman of multitudes and the paradox of translation is something I hold dear: the dual commitment to old and new; original and revival; essence and expression. It is an honour to serve the bridge across the gap.