Translation

Underneath it All

Let’s put grammar and translation theories aside for once. Today, I wish to share with you my real passion. I love languages and translation, but above all, communication is what motivates me like nothing else.

I use the word communication in its broader scope; limiting communication to business correspondence and reports or marketing is to strip communication of its essence.

Communication is first and foremost an act of communion. I learned English in order to expand the pool of people with whom I can communicate; the process of learning other languages will be undertaken for the same reason. To me, speaking somebody else’s language is about displaying respect and consideration, about being open-minded to different cultures and people, and about wanting to understand their  reality as depicted through their language.

Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Personally, I think difference is about complementarity, not division. Most everything in life is a matter of perception. If you bring together the many perceptions of a concept, you see and understand it in a more comprehensive way. And this is where translation comes in. One cannot translate without interpreting the message. Translation is not about transposing words from one language to another – this is what Google Translate does – but rather conveying an intent, a message (letter and spirit of the letter). A translator needs the ability to interpret what he or she reads  – to have more than one perception –  in order to pick the one that suits a specific context, and to interpret adequately, he or she has to know “everything else that it could be”. Long story short, one needs to perceive fully to pick the accurate detail, one must comprehend fully to understand and “communicate” faithfully.

Translation is a cerebral exercise – make no mistake, it is exhausting! However, the satisfaction of knowing you did your very best to convey the original text in your target language – through accuracy and faithfulness and impeccable writing – is a great feeling.

My mission, as a translator, consists in breaking down the barriers to communion.

1 thought on “Underneath it All”

  1. I agree from own experience about learning a language to connect with a culture and show your respect. I learned Catalan not just because my husband is a native speaker, but also because I wanted to learn more about the culture and when I visit Catalunya, be it Barcelona or any other city people really appreciate my effort and we usually start a conversation.

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