My friends…I created this blog to share my experience as a translator, to hear your comments and to answer your questions. I am not doing this for fame, money or recognition. I’m doing it to help my fellowman (and woman), and, if in doing so I can help just one person,then my time is well spent.
If you are seriously considering a career in translations, this is your blog. A professional translator working freelance and providing he/she can walk from A to B without dropping on his/her face, can be making low six figures in just a few years, working from home!
So let’s get on with it.
The métier of a professional translator cannot be defined in one sentence, in one paragraph or even in one entire book because it’s as dynamic and ever-changing as language itself, as complex as culture itself, and as difficult as life itself. Yet, of all the professions I know, translating is by far the more cultivating, the more invigorating and the more rewarding I know. And the U.S. labor Department has indicated that no other profession is growing faster and in need of more professionals. So you are on the right track.
Translators are craftsmen and women working in one of the oldest professions on earth. And because communication is the most fundamental of human abilities in society, translators must learn to develop a personal culture of effective communication in more than one language system and more than one culture.
The complexity and long learning curve involved in the process of learning how to write professionally – in just one language, is mesmerizing because learning to write takes natural ability and many years of training and experience. Translating professionally is that same process… on steroids.
Because a translator is a word craftsman who has mastered precision; a translation must be expressed in accurate and precise language allowing no latitude for interpretation because there’s no such a thing as something lost in translation the same way that, although there’s more than one way to skin a cat, there’s only one way to translate copy with top cultural and linguistic accuracy; all other attempts might be correct, but they are not the most accurate or precise.
The professional translator must continually transcend the limitations of his/her own comprehension by boldly plunging into exhaustive subject research and gain a true understanding of the heart and soul of the source copy (the text to be translated); then he must accurately create a quasi-mirror image of that source copy in the target culture. The professional translator must translate with deliberate care and accuracy investing body, emotion and mind in order to communicate the original writer’s intentions.
In other words, he/she must communicate the new and significant ideas of an original mind meant for one culture and one language, in another language and for another culture. And in doing so, he/she must capture, register and communicate all significant ideas of fundamental importance, as well as all the minute details buried in the maze of the source copy. He/she must get the fundamentals right and have a quick and pensive eye for the little details.
That’s it for today. I welcome your questions and comments!