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Lindsay Gallimore


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Lindsay Gallimore
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Published by lindsay_gallimore@sympatico.ca on 2012-03-23

I'm pregnant! Je suis enceinte! ¡Estoy embarazada!

 

Ah yes, in all three of my languages, I shall be a Mommy this coming September. My husband and I are thrilled, and although I could easily write an entire post about the joys (translation: vomiting) of being with child, this is clearly not the right forum. However, I have been looking into a variety of topics that combine translating and motherhood.

 

How is pregnancy and motherhood going to impact my career path? No matter what your profession, every mother must consider this important and inevitable issue. In fact, it was with motherhood in mind that I pursued my translation diploma. Teaching high school is more than a full-time job, you can’t just leave at 3 PM and devote yourself to your family. Yes, I know, everyone says, “But you have summers off!” This is true, however, from September through June, you work significantly more than 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. And this is not a complaint; I love teaching. It’s just reality. I would either be a so-so teacher or a so-so Mom, and neither are acceptable to me. I absolutely salute, chapeau, grovel at the feet of all of the millions of Moms who work full time and are amazing mothers at the same time. I am lucky enough to be in a situation where I can work less, and I am going to take advantage of it. That being said, I am too passionate about learning and about language to completely stop working for any significant period of time. Therefore, I see freelance translation as something flexible that I hope to be able to do from home. I can hopefully be with my baby and help “arrondir les fins du mois” as we say. Is this a lofty ideal? Could I manage a translation contract with a tight deadline and all my Mommy duties (the extent of which I am most surely underestimating)? I guess I’m not going to know until I try it.

 

I am curious how all of my fellow language professionals manage family life and professional life. If you work at home, do your children still go to day care? Do you only work when they’re at school or when your partner takes over? Women, how have you kept your brains active (given that it’s your most important tool) during the intense first year of raising a baby?

Please chime in in the comments section!

 

Lindsay Gallimore
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Published by lindsay_gallimore@sympatico.ca on 2012-03-12

So my initial test drive with WordFast Anywhere involved a random translation that I wasn't particularly invested in. I just wanted to see how the program worked. Step two was to use it for a translation I actually had to complete. I would have liked it to be some paid-work, but alas, volunteer-work is better than none at all. I translated an article for La Scena Musicale about an up-and-coming conductor named Jean-Michaël Lavoie, and I did so entirely using WordFast Anywhere.

 

What I liked:

- I used a setting where the automatic translation suggestions were immediately placed in my target section. Because this translation contained a lot of dates and proper nouns, this did save some time and ensured I didn't mistype any dates. Overall, it was only the dates and proper nouns that remained of the suggested translation, though I kept a few machine translations because they were exactly what I would have said anyway.

 

- Being able to work on your translation and access your TM and glossary anywhere with an internet connection is a definite plus.

 

- It is easy to learn the keyboard shorcuts and to translate in the WordFast environment. In some programs, I've felt like I'm not in control of my work, that I don't know how to go back and correct something without starting over again. This is definitely not the case for WordFast. I felt confident that I wasn't going to lose my work or mess up my document.

 

What I disliked:

- A TM and a glossary are not really useful unless you are translating a document heavy in terminology (I was not) and if you know you are going to be translating many similar documents for which you will often have matches in your TM or your glossary. The TM that was created by translating this document will probably never be of use to me, even if I am working on something else for Scena. The nature of the articles means there will not be much repetition.

 

- Using WordFast Anywhere rather than the program that integrates directly into Word means you do lose all the formatting of the original document when you copy-and-paste it back into Word. If you have a document with a lot different fonts, bold type, etc., this would be a headache.

 

- This may apply to most software of the sort, but it has to be noted that not all source texts are easily translated sentence by sentence. Sometimes entire paragraphs need to be rearranged, sentences merged or chopped up, additions or omissions made. This is not a possibility with a program that expects you to enter a translation for each sentence, and does not allow you to add or omit, nor move around segments.

 

Conclusion:

- If I scored a contract to translate something that was naturally repetetive, such as an instruction manual, a recipe book, or anything that was in anyway formulaic, I would absolutely use WordFast Anywhere and maximize my productivity. The same goes for something laden with terminology.

 

And, just for fun, here are my favourite machine translation suggestions:

 

"I had a large blow of heart." (J'ai eu un coup de coeur)

"Pierre Swell" (For the name Pierre Boulez)

"It is thirty years old this month, and of the projects full the head." (Just try to guess the source sentence...)

 

Lindsay Gallimore
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Published by lindsay_gallimore@sympatico.ca on 2012-02-20

Even if you don't want to learn to use WordFast Anywhere, funny things happened to me while I was testing it out, so you should at least read on for a bit of a chuckle.

 

As I mentioned in my previous post, I don’t have a magical treasure trove of translation memories and glossaries saved up from all of my previous translations. I kind of wish I did. A combination of laziness and the fear of investing too much time in learning a new program before being able to tackle a paid job were what basically held me back.

 

Now that I don’t have any paid jobs on the horizon, I have time to fiddle around with some of the available technologies (the free ones!) but unfortunately no “real” translations with which to test them. I’m giving WordFast Anywhere (WFA) a shot using random texts from Health Canada, just to see how the interface works so I can get used to it when a job finally (hopefully) rolls in.

 

Alright, so let’s do a little play-by-play:

 

To get an account with WFA, you simply need to provide an email address and create a password. That’s it. No filling in your name and address, no phone numbers, just an email address and a password. If you want, you could even create a dedicated address for your WordFast account. I have had an account for a week now and have received no related spam or messages from WordFast, so that seems to be a good sign.

 

Alright, now you have your account. It’s time to translate something. You can either copy and paste a text or import something from your computer. I am using the copy and paste option, and because I refuse to read instructions, actually copying and pasting into the text box was my biggest challenge in learning this interface. After much trial and error, I can save you the hassle by telling you that you simply click “Upload using clipboard” under the File menu, which then allows you to paste directly into the text box.

 

Once you’ve pasted your text, click “send” in the top right corner and you’re ready to work. I have chosen (for no particular reason) to translate a document from Health Canada about bats.

 

You need to set yourself up with a TM and a glossary before you get to work, and you can do this by clicking the WordFast icon, which is the button with the coloured dots all in a circle. You can select your language pairs and name a TM and glossary to use.

 

(Hint: this is funny thing #1) My first translation unit is the title “Chauves-souris- Que sont-elles?” To start translating, I press “ALT + DOWN.” Automatically in the upper screen, there are machine translation suggestions for me. They are both fantastic: I can choose to accept “Bats- What is they?” or “Bats- Are they?” Needless to say, I am going to type in my own version.

 

When you have typed your translation and want to “finalize” it, you can use the shortcut “ALT + DOWN.” Keep in mind that if you are not a shortcut person, the buttons are there to for you to click on. If you weren’t confident about your translation yet, you could mark it as “provisional,” either pressing the yellow arrow button or by using the shortcut “F10.” All shortcuts are listed in the “Edit” menu.

 

Another thing I can do is maintain a glossary. Since the word “chauves-souris” is going to come up many times, I can add it to my glossary if I want to. By highlighting the term in the source text and clicking the glossary button (“G”) you can enter the English term and save it to your glossary. Next time the term comes up, it will be highlighted in the source and you will be able to place it in your translation. You must activate the highlighted term by clicking on it, then you can use the placeables button or the shortcut “CTRL + ALT + DOWN” to insert it where you want it in your text.

 

Two observations here. (Hint: Funny thing #2 coming right up.) Firstly, the aforementioned shortcut doesn’t seem to work for me. In fact, it TURNS MY SCREEN UPSIDE DOWN! Yes, it turns my entire desktop upside down. Secondly, the shortcut is practically as long as just typing “bats” again.

 

Alright, so as you go along you can add things to your glossary and each of your translation units will be saved to your TM. Assuming you are going to be translating a lot about bats, this could prove quite useful. Things like numbers are considered “placeables” and can be selected and placed into your target text in the same way as terms from your glossary.

 

When you are done, you can have the translation sent to your clipboard, and from there, copy and paste it into your word processor and format it appropriately.

 

Next time you log in to WordFast, you can use the same TM and glossary as before, or make a new one. They are all saved to your account.

 

In case you were wondering (I was), your TMs and glossaries are private and “never shared unless you specifically invite others.” You can download your TMs and glossaries if required, which is great if you ever move to other software!

 

And, since this tool is free, I’m sure you’re asking, “What’s the catch?” According to WordFast, “WFA offers a totally free, full-fledged online tool to all translators, with no strings attached.” I suppose their hope is that if you like the online tool, you may later wish to invest in their software, which will have similar functionality but will be integrated into Word.

 

Stay tuned next time for my verdict… is this a worthwhile tool to integrate into my (and your) practice?

 

(And if my play-by-play wasn't enough to get you started, here are WFA's "official" instructions)

 

P.S.

I am sorry if the two funny things were not funny to you. I just couldn't stop laughing about "Bats- Are they?" I mean, ARE THEY BATS?? If they are black and look like flying mice... then yes they are. And then when my entire screen turned upside down (not unlike a bat hanging from your attic roof... coincidence, I think not) I thought it was hysterical. Maybe you had to be there?

 

Lindsay Gallimore
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Published by lindsay_gallimore@sympatico.ca on 2012-02-14

I have always been somewhat intimidated by translation software because of the initial investment of time required to feel comfortable translating in a new program’s particular environment. During my Traductique course at Concordia, I was able to explore SDL Trados through guided tasks provided by the professor. It was an interesting way to learn the program, but sometimes felt a bit backwards, as I would do certain steps without knowing until later what they were accomplishing. Unfortunately, if you were to now throw me in front of SDL Trados and tell me to start translating, I doubt I would be very good at it. Without the step-by-step instructions at my side, I would be at a loss, as I did not “learn” the program beyond the couple of in-class assignments. To learn any program, I know I have to learn it from scratch. Reading the manual might help with specific difficulties, but I learn best by trial and error.

 

Purchasing a program like SDL Trados is simply not feasible right now. It is a major investment and I don’t see it being profitable for me right now as my freelance jobs are few and far between, and so far not in overlapping domains. I have not built a translation memory or any termbases. I want to have my own TMs and TBs to turn to, but I don’t want to manually create Excel spreadsheets and I can’t afford Trados.

 

What’s a girl to do? I’m trying WordFast Anywhere, a free, browser-based translation tool. I have also used WordFast Classic in its demo mode, which integrates into Word. I  hope you’re curious about how to use both of these tools, and whether or not I think they’re worth the time to learn them. I'm in the process of testing out WordFast Anywhere, and my commentary will soon follow.

 

For now, I’m curious to know what programs my readers use. Have you purchased SDL Trados or any of the other translation suites available? Would you if you could afford it?

 

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Published by lindsay_gallimore@sympatico.ca on 2012-02-03

In my last post, I explained how to use the iPhone 4S dictation feature to dictate a translation directly into a Word document. Now I will let you know what I thought of the experience.

 

Translating aloud is a completely different experience from typing. When you type a translation, hesitation or doubts are backspaced out or fixed later on. To dictate a translation, you have to decide exactly what you are going to say before you say it. Being someone who often fails to think before she speaks, this proved very challenging! I found I still worked sentence by sentence—I wasn’t spewing out paragraphs at a time just because I was speaking. It is funny to say your punctuation aloud, but I got used to that quickly. I believe with dictation software there is a “spell” command allowing the user to spell out a proper name that the system doesn’t recognize. As far as I know, this isn’t an option with Siri, so I was stuck typing in the proper nouns like Yehudi Menuhin and Chostakovitch, part of my translation of a review for a Glen Gould DVD set.

 

In the end, my dictated translation required significantly less revision upon completion. Dictating forced me to be more decisive on my word choices and saying sentences out loud had me immediately noticing if something didn’t work. As for Siri’s accuracy, it was very impressive. Only two sentences had errors, and the errors are hilarious:

 

“This boxed set is a must-have gnarly for pianists, but for music students of all instruments. The sex will please music lovers…”

 

Which was meant to be: “This boxed set is a must-have not only for pianists, but for music students of all instruments. The set will please music lovers…”

 

I think I’ll use Siri again to dictate a translation. One caveat is that you have to work in a completely silent environment, so it’s not an option when I feel like translating with some music in the background, or when others are around, daring to speak to each other or on the phone. If translation becomes more lucrative for me, I would consider investing in proper, integrated dictation software since I think it increases productivity and would certainly help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome!

 

I guess that makes me a dictator….

 

Lindsay Gallimore
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Published by lindsay_gallimore@sympatico.ca on 2012-01-25

So in my last post, I talked about the possibilities of using the iPhone 4S as a translation tool, specifically, to dictate a translation. I pondered about the possibility of using Siri, iPhone’s personal assistant, or, as I like to call her, my secretary, to dictate directly into a Word document on my computer. Many translators use dictation software, the most popular being Dragon Dictation. The software ranges in price from $99.99 for the home version to $599.99 for the professional. Let’s face it: I’m not entirely sure if my entire year of freelancing will bring in that much. I’m not ready to invest. However, I already have an iPhone (which is going to be one of my first “business expenses” on my 2011 tax return), and, isn’t there an app for everything?

 

Turn your iPhone 4S into a dictation machine:

 

Step 1: download the free app “Mouse Lite” for your iPhone.

 

Step 2: download and install the corresponding, free PC or Mac program for your laptop or home computer. 

 

Step 3: make sure your computer and iPhone are connected to Wifi.

 

Step 4: Open the app on your phone. Your phone now controls your computer. You can use it like a mouse to go and open Word (you can also use your computer’s mouse, whatever you prefer). Now that you’re in Word, press the microphone key that activates the iPhone’s dictation function, and dictate away.

 

Tune in next time to find out what I thought of my first translation dictation. It’s definitely a lot different than typing a translation!

 

Other uses for Mobile Mouse: control your laptop while it is plugged into your TV so you can watch streaming videos using Netflix or other sites. You can also use it as a clicker during PowerPoint presentations!

 

ps: Mouse Lite is also available for Android phones!

 

Lindsay Gallimore
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Published by lindsay_gallimore@sympatico.ca on 2012-01-20

Greetings everyone, and happy new year! If you've been following my blog posts for a while, you know that I've basically been begging to get an iPhone. Well, now that I have one, is it worth all the hype? And especially, is it of any use to me as a freelance translator? I'm happy to report that the answer to those two questions is an unequivocal yes. First of all, I'm not typing this entry, in fact I'm dictating it to Siri, my new secretary! So far, she hasn't made one mistake! But if she does, I'm not going to edit it, I'll publish this post exactly as Siri types it.

 

In this post and others, I will be sharing with you some of the apps and other functionalities that I think are useful for translators and are part of the iPhone or can be downloaded for free.

 

I'm on the iPhone's default features, I have found that the agenda is actually very useful. I was skeptical about using an electronic calendar, as I do really like a paper agenda. I haven't given up the paper agenda for keeping track of deadlines, but the electronic agenda has features that are impossible to obtain in paper form. For example, I can check my iPhone agenda using iCloud on the Internet, anywhere, anytime. Sometimes, I have felt totally lost when I left my paper agenda at home. Not the case when all of my information is also in electronic form on my phone and available to me on my iCloud account. I use the color codes to be able to see what deadlines I have that are for translations. Other aspects of my life, such as my day job, are another colors. (sic- I said "other")

 

I also really like the list function which allows me to create a to do list but I can also access online at my iCloud if I don't have my phone with me. I'm an obsessive list maker and it helps me keep organized both with my translation jobs and other aspects of my life. Instead of carrying around a bunch of pieces of paper with lists on them, I have a nice electronic list that I can check off and you still get that satisfying feeling of having completed a test. (sic, I said "task")

 

Overall, the number one benefit to my freelance career of having an iPhone is immediate access to my emails wherever I may be. Of course, this is available with any smart phone. It's great to get a job offer in real-time, and be able to promptly respond, even if I'm not in front of my computer.

 

So, that concludes my first blog post dictated to Siri. I'm impressed with your (sic- I said "her") accuracy, it's the first time I've really used the dictation feature. All in all, she made two mistakes. (Three, actually, since she made a mistake when I was complimenting her accuracy... she probably got embarassed.) I know a lot of translators using dictation software to dictate their translations. That software is often expensive. I wonder if it would be useful to use Siri's dictation function when translating?

 

Debrief:

Okay, it's me at the helm now. I let Siri take a much-deserved coffee break.

 

Observations on her first day of work:

- I think she is remarkably accurate. I didn't speak especially slowly or enunciate much differently than normal. Of course, there's a natural tendency to speak clearly, moreso than in normal speech, but for over 500 words to make only 3 errors is impressive. The errors too were understandable as they were words I noticed I mumbled a bit or tripped over.

 

- Since you have to say "period" so she knows when to end a sentence, what happens if you want to write something that is talking about periods? (Punctiation or otherwise)

 

- How does this accuracy compare to that of Dragon Dictation? I've never used it and don't have the software. Dragon does have a free app though, and I could try that. (I couldn't wait... the results of the test are below.)

 

- Anybody out there have any productivity apps they are finding really helpful?

 

 

FYI: I dictated my post into a free app called "Plain Text." It creates a text document that automatically syncs to my Dropbox account. In theory, if you wanted to dictate a translation, you could use this and then copy and paste the text document into Word.

 

Update:

 

If you have an earlier version of the iPhone without Siri, download Dragon Dictation's free app. I just dictated the first paragraph of this same post, and it came out perfectly. I was hoping the app would be available for other smart phones; sadly, it is not.

 

Both Siri and the Dragon app seem like valid substitutions for a freelancer who wants to dictate translations but doesn't want to pay for the software, don't you think?

 

Lindsay Gallimore
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Published by lindsay_gallimore@sympatico.ca on 2011-12-29

In lieu of insulting anyone, I offer you this gift in honor of the George Costanza-invented “Festivus, for the rest of us.”

 

When I first wrote about WeBiText and Linguee, I received a message from Simon McDuff, who works for a new, free bilingual concordancer: TradooIT. I confess that I am not crazy about the name, but I don't have a better suggestion, so let's just go with it. Title aside, I absolutely adore this site. WeBiText, with its threat of only temporary freeness, has fallen totally off my radar.

 

I’ll start with what I don’t like about TradooIT, because that’s the short part. I don’t like that it is only for French and English, since I also translate from Spanish. Fin. That is my only complaint. And guess what, this is the next language pair they are working on!

 

What I like, otherwise known as “Why TradooIT is AWESOME”:

 

  • Free. Eternally free. (There is a caveat: I have been told by Mr. McDuff that there will eventually be a 5 second advertisement shown to non-subscribers using the site.)
  • In-site Termium listings. If your term is available in Termium, all Termium listings are displayed right on the page.
  • Highlighting of source and target term, which seems more accurate than Linguee.
  • Suggested terms when you make a typo.
  • Speedy! (And it tells you how speedy it is by listing search time in seconds.) I recently timed WeBiText, and it took a whopping 1.5 minutes to bring up results!
  • Grouped translations. You can click to see a certain target term only.
  • Translations based on source. You can show only translations from a given source.
  • Use of TV show and film subtitles as sources for bitexts. They use “OpenSubtitles.org,” so we have access to a lot more slang and current terms. What do you do when you want to translate “bromance,” “legit,” or “hot”? Use TradooIT to find how these terms are translated in movies and TV shows!
  • It’s pretty to look at. It has a much more appealing layout than WeBiText and Linguee.

 

Other things that are interesting:

 

Currently, the “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” icons allow users to “vote” on certain translations. Currently, these votes are used internally to help “improve our alignment algorithm,” Mr. McDuff tells me. 


Tradooit is more than just a concordancer. Mr. McDuff tells me: “We have at least 3 others tools used by private companies for the last 2 years that should be rolled out to the public in the next year.” I am curious what these might be!

 

Here is a link to Mr. McDuff’s blog post, explaining TradooIT.

 

Well, what are you waiting for? Go Tradoo IT! (I couldn’t resist.)

 

You can click on a particular translation.

 

Here are the results for some slang!

 

 

Lindsay Gallimore
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Published by lindsay_gallimore@sympatico.ca on 2011-12-20

When I first came to Québec, landing (of all places) in Rivière-du-Loup, my love affair with Québécois French began. It later translated to a love affair with a Québécois, which is why I now call Montréal home. Upon arrival, with my BC-learned, high school French in my pocket and some Canadian dollars (my Nana was concerned about the exchange rate over in Québec…), I stocked up on books like Le dictionnaire pratique des expressions québécoises. As a matter of fact, I won that particular gem as the strongest member of my French class at the summer language exchange program in RDL. Seven years later, I am a fully assimilated Québécoise de souche, and I revel in the astonishment of my interlocuteurs (I don’t think there’s such a succinct, idiomatic way to say that in anglais) when they learn that I am, in fact, a BC born-and-raised anglo.

 

Now that my focus is back onto my native tongue, after about 15 years spent perfecting my French, I am noticing the amusing and fascinating phenomenon of Québécois English. A lot of my colleagues at the Montréal English private school I call my day job are either born-and-raised Québec anglos, or anglos from other corners of the country who have slowly (like me) adapted to this particular type of English that I think is unique to la Belle Province.

 

At first, it was just using French words with an English accent, and not realizing that they were not, in fact, English words at all. During a heated shouting match with my younger cousin, I threatened her with a punition. This did not have the desired effect. Instead, she looked at me quizzically and asked, “You mean, a punishment?” Well, yes, I did mean a punishment, and in either language, she was still going to get one. To the delight of my west-coast family (always eager to mock me) and my own surprise, Québec English is more and more my own, and this interferes with my translating, since nobody likes a Gallicism! I know my classmates translating into French have it infinitely worse. There are anglicisms everywhere, and based on teachers’ reactions, they must be the little-known eighth deadly sin. The problem is that as native speakers translating into our native tongue, we are supposed to have the ear— the instinct— for what is idiomatic in our language. The cohabitation of English and French, and the frequency of near-perfect bilingualism in Québec, make things that sound bizarre to any other native speaker sound perfectly normal to us lot!

 

  • I pass the vacuum.
  • I close lights and open televisions.
  • I go to the dep when I run out of milk.

 

Other things that I have assimilated that confuse my non-Québécois family members are the chain store names that have French equivalents: Bureau en gros, Pharmaprix, Couche Tard, etc.

Then, there are the things that are perhaps unique to my couple. My husband unabashedly speaks his own version of English that I think could perhaps qualify as its own dialect, with different grammar and different vocabulary. And sometimes only comprehensible to its only native speaker…

 

  • He makes parties and naps.
  • He puts our cats’ necklaces on them before they go outside.
  • He asked me to inscribe him in a bee-keeping class.
  • He has many pairs of underwears.
  • He comes at places. (Eg: “Tonight I’m coming at my Mom’s,” and I swear his intended meaning is not erotic nor incestuous.)

 

And then there are the Québec English terms that are simply not the same as those I am used to on the Best Coast. For example, I drink pop. I do not drink soft drinks. It’s pop. And, for P.E. class, I change into my gym strip. Not my gym clothes, my gym strip.

 

I know all of you have different Québecois English tidbits to share, and that’s what the comments box is for!

 

 

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Published by lindsay_gallimore@sympatico.ca on 2011-12-07

I love to read. Over the summer, I read 15 novels. Since I went back to work in September, I have read two. And one of them I read in a frenzy, the threat of deletion after 21 days looming. (If you didn't already know, the BANQ now has e-books via the OverDrive app.) Is That a Fish in Your Ear? Translation and the Meaning of Everything took me three months to read, but not because I didn’t enjoy it!

 

I took one Translation Studies course during my recently-completed Graduate Diploma in Translation. It was one of the most mind-bendingly challenging courses I have taken in all my years of postsecondary studies. Sentences like these made my brain hurt, and I understand French just fine, thank you very much. I needed a translator for the language of traductologie:

 

« Pouvoir ainsi reconstituer l’horizon d’attente d’une œuvre, c’est aussi pouvoir définir celle-ci en tant qu’œuvre d’art, en fonction de la nature et de l’intensité de son effet sur un public donné. » (Jauss)

 

« Dans le chronotope de l’art littéraire a lieu la fusion des indices spatiaux et temporels en un tout intelligible et concret. » (Bakhtine)

 

« [ ] Proust a donné à l’écriture modern son épopée : par un renversement radical, au lieu de mettre sa vie dans son roman, comme on le dit souvent, il fit de sa vie même une œuvre dont son propre livre fut comme le modèle [] » (Barthes)

 

 

If these passages speak to you, I bow down to you in deference. I love translation, and I love to think about translation, but I just couldn’t wrap my mind around the theories expounded by Bakhtine, Barthes and Jauss.

 

I really wish that Bellos’ book had coincided with my Translation Studies course. This book made talking about translation, evaluating translations, philosophizing about translations… accessible, and fascinating. I think anyone who loves writing and languages would enjoy it, translators especially, of course.

 

Bellos addresses the following questions in his 32 chapters:

-          What is it that translators really do?

-          How many different types of translating are there?

-          What do the uses of this mysterious ability tell us about human societies, past and present?

-          How do the facts of translation relate to language use in general—and to what we think a language is? (as listed in Ch. 1)

 

If you’re anything like me, the promise of answering those queries alone was enough to make me want to dive into the book!

 

One of the main topics of my Lecture critique des traductions class was how to evaluate a translation. What is a good translation? A bad translation? I think Bellos states it perfectly:

 

“A translation can’t be right or wrong in the manner of a school quiz or a bank statement. A translation is more like a portrait in oils. The artist may add a pearl earring, give an extra flush to the cheek or miss out the grey hairs in the sideburns—and still give us a good likeness.” (Chapter 30)

 

He makes some very interesting comments and states some fascinating facts about the predominance of English as a target language. I will get to that in my next post.

 

In the meantime, go buy Is That a Fish in Your Ear? Translation and the Meaning of Everything! And remember, even if you can barely draw a stick figure, you are an artist!

 

BAKHTINE, Mikhaïl (1978). « Formes du temps et du chronotope dans le roman » in Esthétique et théorie du roman, Paris, Gallimard, p. 237-238.

BARTHES, Roland (1984). « La mort de l’auteur » in Le bruissement de la langue, Paris, Seuil, p. 61-67.

BELLOS, David (2011). Is That a Fish in Your Ear? Translation and the Meaning of Everything. New York, Penguin.

JAUSS, Hans Robert (1996). « VI. VII. » in Pour une esthétique de la réception, Paris,Gallimard, p. 51-58.

 


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