Sunday, September 27, 2015

"BEARING ACROSS:" The Art of Translation

“The word 'translation' comes, etymologically, from the Latin for 'bearing across'. Having been borne across the world, we are translated men. It is normally supposed that something always gets lost in translation; I cling, obstinately to the notion that something can also be gained.” ~Salman Rushdie

Walt Disney tells us that it's a small world after all.  Well, it still costs over $1,200 to cross the Atlantic to Europe,  and going through customs can feel like an eternity, but the fact that we can go halfway across the world in a matter of nine hours is nothing short of miraculous.  The fact that a journey that used to take months now takes about five hours on an airplane is also pretty amazing.  Maybe Walt Disney has a valid point.

Now consider that in a few hours, at a well lit desk, a literary translator can open up a whole new world for the reader--a world that may previously have been a cultural mystery.  

So, as we are deeply involved in the study of human language, I thought perhaps it might be interesting to look at some of the occupations that specifically fall within the area of language and communication.  One of those occupations is a literary translator; a job that is projected to grow 46% over the next seven years!  So, what are the requirements of the job?  Well, for starters,  you need to be fluent in two languages, and familiar with the cultures (including the values, norms, idioms & expressions) of which those languages are a part.  As of 2013, the median salary was $42,420 annually on average, but with experience and the right literary connections, the salary can triple, making it quite lucrative!

So, what are the duties of a translator?  Well, to start, many book translators choose novels they admire to translate. Therefore, they must develop a knack for choosing exceptional novels and authors that publishers will want to publish. 

Book translators are constantly sharpening their writing and translating skills by practicing translation using various literary works. When translating a book, book translators may read through the text several times to ensure they grasp the book's concept, plot and theme, identify and preserve the author's voice, ponder any problematical translation areas and solutions and ensure complete accuracy. They may work directly with the book's author, if possible.

Translation references such as foreign language dictionaries, lexicons, encyclopedias, and digital vocabulary banks are part of the book translator's toolbox. These resources are especially useful during the multiple revisions that book translators perform to ensure absolute accuracy. To make future translations easier, book translators may compile lists of common terminology, colloquialisms and other useful information.


Book translators continually learn about the cultural affairs of the people speaking the languages from which they translate. In addition to staying up-to-date on the countries' current events, book translators stay abreast on which new books are being published and are constantly reading books from native authors in countries where the translated language is spoken.

In order to obtain familiarity with the society where each language is spoken, book translators may engross themselves in the culture by traveling to the country, reading foreign newspapers and magazines, partaking in daily life activities, watching foreign films and listening to foreign music (Study.com, Glossary of Career Education programs).

I have here attached two videos for you to watch about becoming a translator, and on how translations are selected by publishers.  Watch both and share your thoughts!  Anyone interested?  Could there be some future literary translators out there?  Might be fun to get lost in the translation...fun and profitable!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXh8jIKYfYI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apCPzt-AVrs


73 comments:

  1. Through schooling, and my parents, I have been told that being a translator can open a lot of doors for a person. My mom was a translator, and to this day she gets paid slightly more for her skills. Personally, I think being a translator could be really fun! I am currently working my way through IB Spanish to be certified in the language. I do fear however, that the person who needs to be heard, won't get their entire point across. Some things in Spanish don't directly translate into English, so where does that small bit go? Is it forgotten? Or is it up to the translator to make that point as best as they can to the other person? In the NYU video, I liked how translation is a class, and the students have so many opportunities to practice, and ask eachother questions. They said that alumni of the program are there to help, and I think having that experience could really help someone else. You can share your encounters with others, and help the students along their career path. All in all, I believe that being a translator is a great job for those who like to talk and listen (like me!), but it's not for everyone and if you're going to do it you should be fully committed, not only for your sake, but for those you translate for as well.

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    1. I think it would be a great job if you are at all interested. :) Will probably be very lucrative in years to come.

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  2. I know that this is very hard to do just with my own experience working in the classroom with other language text and trying to translate it for myself to help myself understand more clearly. I thought that the first video was quite cool in the sense that it is awesome that NYU students get to have that experience and that there is a certain program that specifically focuses on translating one language to the other. The second video was very interesting because I guess I didn't realize that editors chose different translation depending on whether they add drama and appeal to the reader. I have always thought that book translation were just straight translations from one language to the other. I mean, wouldn't the book or text still be just as powerful as the original text if it was translated word for word because it would have the same meaning. I also agree with the man in the second video when he was talking about how google translate helps the students to grasp ahold of the meaning and the context of the text, but there is a difference when translating the text into a literary piece and maybe that is why teachers know when you use google translate to write an essay in another language because it doesn't add the same effect as the original text does.

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  3. I'm going to go off on a slightly related tangent.
    In my theatre notes, I translated some terms into their original language. For example, Stanislavsky's emotional memory translates to эмоциональная память. Stella Adler worked at her parents' ייִדיש טעאַטער (Yiddish theatre). The very shape of the letters reveal a great deal about the people group who wrote them.
    The Yiddish letters have a very traditional shape, straight lines and curves but the letters then go off into tangents, broadcasting their enthusiasm. This seems true of the Yiddish people, who value tradition, but are very emotive in their ways.
    The Russian letter shape is very rigid. A look at their cursive letters reveal even more about their culture. (See link) http://img0.liveinternet.ru/images/attach/b/4/104/347/104347880_large_995482_605701212813268_734029885_n.jpg
    The different letters all look the same to us, but are distinctly different to the Russians. They must be precise and exacting in order to even write. Based on their handwriting, the Russians are rigid, cold, and formal.
    While I found this fascinating, I wouldn't want to be a translator. I don't want to fully immerse myself in another culture, and have little to no interest in learning another language. I guess I prefer viewing people groups from afar, rather than changing myself to become more like them.

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  4. Languages are a very amazing thing. Amazing in the sense that 5 different people could say the same thing that sounds completely different. Amazing that there are so many of them. English, Spanish, Russian, there is even a sign language completely spoken with hand motions. I also think it is amazing that a single person can speak 9, 10, 11 languages fluently. I heard once that once a person dreams and thinks in the foreign language, they have become proficient. Personally I can barely think in English, I can't imagine thinking and dreaming in more than one. I do believe learning languages is a talent and not something everyone is made out for. I have taken Spanish for about 6 years now and only know the basics. No where near being able to translate a book.
    When I was younger I remember my mom played these short DVDs that were to teach kids sign language. These movies were intended to teach babies to middle school kids sign language. The thing about them that I found the most amazing was that babies who watched them and could not even speak yet were able to pick up on it and use sign language to communicate. Being exposed to new knowledge earlier in life helps kids better grasp new languages. Children who grow up in a home where more than one language is spoken is another way they grow so proficient.
    On the flip side, some people, like I mentioned before are just gifted.
    Truly amazing!

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  5. Growing up I spoke two languages. I would sometimes translate for my parents, even though they know english. I would still translate to see if I was able to get the same message across in a different language. I sometimes still translate as much as I can just to practice both languages a little more. My mom speaks a little bit of Italian and Portuguese, and when she says something in another language I try to see how much I can pull out of it. Being a translator you would need to know the languages really well and have a wide range of vocabulary, so that you are able to choose the right word. I agree with the second video and how it said that being a translator can be exciting yet very intense. Even with just messing up one word can potentially ruin the message and the point you are trying to get across. My mother was actually considering being a translator. For this job you would need good communication and listening skills.

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  6. “Learning a foreign language not only reveals how other societies think and feel, what they have experienced and value, and how they express themselves, it also provides a cultural mirror in which we can more clearly see our own society.” (Chancellor Edward Lee Gorsuch). Language, in my opinion, is one of the most important aspects in the world! It is amazing that speaking a foreign language can change our perception of the world around us. It is rewarding that by just learning a foreign language can help us make connections with people overseas. I think in this day in age it is very important to know more than one language. We live in a multilingual world, where we are becoming more globalized and, therefore, making it very important to know more than one language. There are three reasons why I believe knowing more then one language is important which is, an additional language can help you progress in your career, you gain an awareness of other cultures, and help increase your understanding and knowledge of our own language. Language is the aspect that connects the world, and makes us all united.

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  7. The idea of being a book translator does have a certain appeal. I do not think that I would pursue such a career, but I am sincerely appreciative of those who do. In translating a book, a translator must walk a perilous line between fidelity to the original language, and capturing the true spirit of the idea conveyed by the words in the original language and culture, as was discussed in the second video. I've read translated works that inflamed my passions and created a desire to learn more of the culture, and I've also read translated works that left me cringing for the butchery of the book through direct translations.

    As for myself, in my career path, I will likely utilize a very refined form of English almost exclusively. Yet, I am also much intrigued by the French language, and I am working to learn it in my spare time. When I set about writing an original novel, it would be a most fascinating project to attempt my own translation, writing it in English and French at the same time. Such an ambitious project would require an extensive mastery of both languages and knowledge of the French culture and phrases, but I expect the personal reward would far outweigh the cost. Some of my deepest insights have come from reflection upon translated works by French authors, and it would be wonderful to immerse myself in the culture that gave rise to them.

    Thank you for sharing this, Mrs. Caraway!

    Thanks in advance to any aspiring book translators out there! I hope to have the delight of discovering new truths and new concepts from the works you translate!

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    1. French is a beautiful language! I recommend you take it in college and then do a study abroad in Paris to REALLY learn it. If you are interested, it is worth it!

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  8. I think having a job as a translator is a great opportunity for those who can speak multiple languages because it pays well, and it really advances your communication and reading skills. In today's society, it really helps to know more than one language because more and more jobs are requiring that skill. I like how the program at NYU is small so you can connect with your teachers and classmates easier, and how you get to go to New York and Paris to study. I would love to be fluent in two languages so that I could understand the language when I travel to that place, I could have better job opportunities, and I could be more educated in that language and culture. In Spanish class, my teacher actually showed us a video about being bilingual and how it improves your intelligence. It would be amazing if one day I could be fluent in Spanish, but I don't think I would necessarily want to be a translator.

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  9. I’ve always wished I was bilingual, I’m very jealous of those who are. Growing up my friends parents spoke spanish so there daughters had to translate for me. It seems really fun because in reality you have so much power with that. You can completely change what is being said because the people you’re translating for have no idea what the other is saying, that’s why you’re there. So translating literature is a really powerful job. If I could speak another language I would actually be very interested in that because you get to immerse yourself in literature and another culture, it’d be very satisfying and rewarding.

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  10. Honestly, whenever I think of translators I think of sit-com episodes where some how the girl ends up meeting a guy from a different country and they have to speak through a translator. It's been done a couple of times but Friends probably did one of the better versions of it. I can honestly say I envy the people who are able to speak multiple languages. Sometimes I can barely wrap my head around the English language. I do think being a translator could be an extremely fascinating job being able to communicate between two different cultures. It's defiantly a job in demand and isn't going to go anywhere anytime soon.
    Personally, if I could speak another language fluently, I would rather teach the English language in that country. I don't know why, but that's always been something I dreamed of doing. Sadly, even in the IB Mandarin Chinese class, I am not and may never be fluent in Mandarin Chinese so I won't be looking for jobs there anytime soon.

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  11. While learning different languages and seeing others that are bilingual, it has always been a very intriguing job opportunity. In all honesty, I don't know if I would be cut out for the job. You have to have proper register, tone, dialect, mood, and style. No only do you have to understand the language, but the formality that goes along with it! A translator solely, or even being able to translate while in your normal career is extremely demanding and highly recommendable. Experience, values, and expression are all key factors to being knowledgeable in multiple languages.

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  12. I wish I was bilingual because my mom’s said of the family is and I have the desire to speak to them in their native tongue. I love the idea of having a class specifically for translating. I feel if I was able to learn how to just translate one language to another rather than learning a new language would be more beneficial. I personally would never want to do this as a profession but I do believe there are jobs out there that would need a translator. For example using a translator for historical events. Although I believe it would be beneficial, meaning could be lost in the translation literally.

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  13. It is interesting how many different languages there are in the world. There are so many separate languages in the world and even then there are so many different variations of the languages that do exist that it makes it seem like there are an infinite number of languages. Each of these languages also have words that may not be able to be translated and have completely different meanings from anything in other languages. When I was younger, I always thought that you could just translate meanings word for word from another language, but now that I am taking Spanish it is easier to see how languages can be so unique from one another in how they are spoken and what words can imply for an underlying meaning, and this is just from Spanish to English. These languages are similar to begin with because they both stem from Latin. So the difference between a language like Japanese and an English could be ridiculous. That is why I think being a translator is so hard. It is not just a difference between words, but a difference between culture as well which also has to be translated.

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    1. You are right--having to bring culture and underlying meanings in it. It's not just words, but meaning and cultural assumptions that must be considered.

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  14. I always thought it was amazing seeing people being able to speak two, three, or even four different languages. I grew up with a god-sister who spoke both Spanish and English. I was always, and still am, intrigued to how she could switch over to either language. It takes a lot more skills to do what seems to be a simple transformation to another language. That is something I never realized before. As it was talking in the blog post of all the different requirements to be a translator and having to know the background and material to get the exact concept of the sentences the book is portraying I had found it very interesting about the people who translate books. It is a task that has a lot of different components to it. Being a translator for a book you have; to understand the correct concept, themes, the plot, and ideas that were all put into the book. It is a very committed job as said in the blog “They may work directly with the book's author, if possible.” When thinking about a translator it seems to be a fairly simple job but after reading the blog all of the work and time put into being a translator it definitely is a very difficult job that not just anyone could do. This blog has for sure changed the view on how I have looked at a translator’s job in the past.

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  16. Translating is not an easy task, especially when you have to put the exact same meaning in a different language and it usually does not convey the profound meaning that the text was intended too.
    I admire those who can speak multiple language and use it for an advantage. I slightly remember when you mentioned us that you were standing in a line (outside of the US, don’t quite remember), and a women kept going down the line asking others questions to guide them where they need to be and she switched to multiple languages. I found this mesmerizing! I wish I could switch back and fourth for more than two languages. Translating texts can be very difficult and those who do it have to be very passionate and have a desire to learn more and I love that.

    By the way, I love how one of the videos was from NYU. GO BOBCATS!

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    1. It's an amazing campus!! I hope you can go there and experience the culture of NYC someday!

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  17. Translating sounds like a wonderful job for people who love to read and figure out how to word things differently. It would of course be very difficult, because, as we discussed many times before, meaning across languages and cultures change. It sounded intense and high pressure the way that the second video talked about it because students will read a translation and that is how a classic would be viewed and remembered. Knowing two languages is also a great way to learn more about the world, and having to read books from another culture is certainly a perk for translators. I wouldn't want to be one, but it sounds fascinating all the same.

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  18. Growing up, my father had been taught what is called 'Street Spanish'. He learned it while transporting his business to Nogales, Az (very close to the border), so his businessmen would teach him Spanish and he would teach them English. Some of the men did not know very much English and if they tried speaking it, it would be extremely broken. When my dad would give them papers, he would have to retranslate it into the little Spanish he knew, somethings were definitely left out because language and tone is interpretable. Eventually, both parties were able to communicate sufficiently, but now that I have grown up being taught Spanish at home and at school, I can see a huge difference. The Street Spanish is a lot of slang, incorrect grammar, and the point is lost within a mix of useless words. When I talk to my fathers workers that speak only Spanish, I have to re-explain what I mean because just within the Spanish language is a whole new language. Translating it for my mom is a tad difficult because my mom can speak little to no Spanish and understand a little. Sometimes it is hard to translate because if the person keeps rambling on, you want to stop and ask them to get to the point, but just in case you keep translating word-for-word. Translating is sometimes fun, but hard all at the same time because you do not know if the person you are translating to is getting the same message that you got.

    I admire those who get the degrees in translating because it would not be the job for me! It is difficult, but when you are helping someone, it is all worth it.

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  19. To be completely honest, I had no idea translation was such a difficult or introspective job. I had always assumed it was a fairly straightforward "this means this" type of affair. It's amazing that there are so many possible ways to interpret a piece of literature, and especially that there methods can vary so wildly. Also, I found it incredible that there is such a large industry for translation, and that so much communication happens between translators. It seems like being able to create such rich meaning between people and cultures would be an amazing job. I would kill for the ability to have such an interesting job as this, especially if I could do it for more than one language. The only thing stopping me is that I can't really speak anything other than English. Oh well.

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  20. This article was very interesting, and relatable for me because I am bilingual, fluent in both spanish and english. When this article put into perspective how introspective and challenging being a translator is, I felt like I had super powers. I know how difficult it is when someone asks to translate a piece of writing, and when you deliver the translation, you know it's not translating straight over with the same meaning.
    As for more than knowing one language, I know I experience my own difficulty at times switching between languages, and I can only imagine how much more of a challenge it is between 3 or 4 languages. Thankfully, the industry continues to grow for this talent that can double as a job. It made me think of job potentials for myself. Even though I cannot translate a full book and deliver it's true equal meaning and rich literature, I can translate fairly well. Maybe something I should continue to work out for it could really expand my horizons.

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    1. It is definitely a job with lots of growth potential in our society today! Could be very lucrative!

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  21. As the only member of my family (extended included) that cannot speak French fluently, I know the struggle and frustration that comes with learning a language. My little cousins, who have been taking French for six years, are completely fluent and have never struggled because they were immersed to it when they were young. However, when I started taking Mandarin and Spanish in the seventh grade, they never clicked and I never understood them. I still don’t understand Mandarin completely and this is my fourth year taking the language. I could not imagine trying to major in a language or even fathom trying to immerse myself in it.
    When I saw the two videos about the translators, it was very intriguing. The programs at NYU seemed intense and highly needed, but the fact that I would have to attempt to learn another language kind of scared me off. I would be highly interested in devoting myself to another’s culture to understand it better, but trying to learn the language would be something highly challenging to me. Part of me wishes that my parents had spoken French with me when I was younger, but I understand why they didn’t. There are going to be other people who are just going to love the idea of being a translator, however I doubt that person will be me.

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  22. First off there is no way I could be a translator, it would just be way to hard, and frankly I would probably find it boring. However the work that has to be put into translations must be very dificult. Its not stimply translating word for word, its translating what the author intended to not only be said but felt. That is a dificult task, as different languages express thoughts and meanings through different types of words. For instance translating the Bible must have been very difficult, as in certain instances it was written in a very symbolic way utilizing the tools of a specific lanuage, translating that over to English or any other language would be very difficult, especially while trying to capture the same cultural meaning that the author intended. Important job? Definetly, the right one for me? Definetly not, but I am very appreciative of the people that can and are willing to do it.

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  23. I think that being a literary translator would be a great career choice. After all, there are innumerable languages out there, and we since we can't speak them all, there'll always be a demand for translation and understanding. Despite our technology advancing leaps and bounds, google translate will never have the finesse of the human mind in conveying the meaning or meanings (gotta keep in mind that new criticism, post-structuralism, and reader's response!) from the original text. Like the people in the video said, they have to sort through countless different ways to say the same thing with different meanings, practically creating a new text themselves in the process!

    As amazing and dazzling as the wide world of translating seems, I'd have to say that it's something that I personally would not be interested in. I've been taking Spanish since fifth grade when Odyssey started, and can hardly begin to scratch the surface of full comprehension and translation. It probably also doesn't help too much that I sometimes have a difficulty understanding my own native language (but don't we all have those moments?), let alone a foreign one! Nonetheless, new languages are doorways to enrich one's self with a new culture and view of communication, and is always something to be pursued. It is often found that the greatest challenges have most fulfilling, usually intangible rewards.

    The level of difficulty and thought required to attack and conquer such a varied, challenging profession seems daunting, making it all the more a role to be respected. If you want to become a translator, don't give up. I'm rooting for you!

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    1. Love what you said about technology never having the finesse of the human mind when it comes to translating. Well put!

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  24. For me, I find book translating fascinating. That doesn't mean I'll ever do it because in all honesty, I have trouble finding the author's purpose, and all the elements of the book, in English. In the first video and in the article, it talked about how they not only translate the text, but they have to truly understand the foreign culture and stay up to date on what's happening in the country. My two worst subjects are English and History so I would never be able to do this job in a million years.

    The video talked about the program at NYU and to grasp the sense of the other culture, they live there for a couple months then come back to the US. I think that would be an amazing experience if I were to ever join this field of work. You get the opportunity to start over and forget about what our social norms are. You focus on what the other culture thinks is acceptable and learn to live how others live around the world. They're not just learning a new language, they're learning a new lifestyle. I could never be a literary translator, but I admire those who are or those who have the potential to be one.

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  25. This article was very captivating since I speak two languages. My entire family speaks English and Spanish (mostly Spanish). My parents never really taught me much Spanish when I was a kid, as in they didn't pressure it on me. That is why I am not fluent in the language. I do not speak it perfectly nor do I always understand what someone is saying in Spanish. Although, I am very good at speaking, understanding, and writing in the language now (after taking a Spanish class since 6th grade). Yes, I have trouble at times and need help when I do, but that means I are learning. While I wish my parents had made me speak spanish the first time I was able to speak. It would have given me an advantage. I wish I was born into the language so I wouldn’t have to struggle at times when speaking Spanish.

    We translate all the time. In Spanish class, the teacher would give us a piece of text and we’d have to analyze and summarize it in English. In english class, we translate a text in our own minds and opinions. Another example is Shakespeare. Many people have created versions of Shakespeare’s plays with the modern english translation of his words in order for the readers to understand it more easily. Even without the English translation, when we read his plays we have to analyze and translate what the author is trying to say and what they mean. In freshman year when we read Romeo and Juliet, I had to underline and circle the words that I didn’t understand. We would talk about the words he used throughout the play and try to understand what it means (what words he combined together, etc.).

    I believe that translating literature is a fantastic job opportunity. Although, it seems difficult because it necessary to keep the same tone, mood, purpose, and meaning that the author wanted to convey to the readers. This job has two difficult aspects in one job. Despite the fact that I love literature and learning/speaking a new language, this job is not for me.

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    1. I must say, I really enjoyed reading your response. Very articulate. :)

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  26. Translators are wonderful people. They act as the only source of breaking down a frustrating barrier between two cultures. It would be such an incredible job-being a translator. I’ve had to translate for a few people before, but never on such a scale that I am getting as involved as the people in the videos were. I take to languages very well, so it would be possible for me to do this as a career. Although, I’m already set on what I want to do. What I love the most is the way you have to immerse yourself into the culture. Experiencing something first hand helps you to embrace it. I believe that is why they make the translators understand not only the languages, but where they came from. It’s just a beautiful thing.

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  27. I feel as though the word translation itself can also have a similar meaning to the word interpretation. Take culture for example. You can translate a custom from one country to the next, but it will be viewed slightly different each time, until it becomes something entirely different. I remember when I was younger I would put song lyrics into Google Translate and change the language from English to Spanish to Mandarin to Amharic.. etc. until I came back to English. The song would not be the same anymore. Granted, Google Translate isn't the most reliable source for languages, but I always found it interesting how different the song became and how the meaning had completely changed. I feel this would be an interesting occupation, though I don't feel it would be the best for me.

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    1. Yes! I agree--translation is more than just exchanging one word in one language to another language, that is for sure! So much meaning can be lost and interpretation will be so different.

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  29. I’ve always admired translators; I would never be able to one. That is just way to difficult, and I would not have that type of patience to do it. I’ve spent years here at this school trying learn Spanish and I just can’t get it. For some reason it just won’t click. I’ve always admired and envied people that are bilingual, it is such a great talent. It takes so much skill to translate a whole book from one culture and language to the next. Although being a translator is some thing I would never do, I find it very fascinating.

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  30. Translators are very talented people. I will never know how they are able to learn multiple different languages, and be able to speak fluently in all of them. I'm in Spanish, and it is hard as it is to just learn that language for me. I probably could never be a translator, as I have an "English only" type of voice. That being said, I would love to be a translator though. I think it would be really cool to connect two people who don't understand each others language and they can still have a conversation. I'm sure translators make mistakes, and that reminds me of a video my Spanish teacher showed us about a translator who didn't speak the language she was translating so she made up the conversation. Overall, I think being a translator would be an interesting, and enjoyable job, but it would require me to learn many languages which I don't have the patience for.

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  31. Literary translation is an extremely important job in today’s society. Our society has become more focused on experiencing and seeing aspects of life through the eyes of other cultures. There is no definitive explanation for this, however, because of this desire to understand other cultures we find that more and more often foreign literature is being used to teach scholars about different aspects of literature. For instance, manga and anime (a Japanese form of art and motion pictures) have become more popular in the United States. Many of the people I know watch Japanese shows and read Japanese comics. This calls for translation.

    This is not the only way that I have seen literary translation in my life however, before I ever even heard of anime, I read my bible. Many people will question this and say, “But that is in English.” Although my bible is in English, the original translations are written in Greek and Hebrew. In order to get the bible I have now, literary translators who specialize in translating Hebrew to English and Greek to English had to translate it carefully in order to give me the words I see in my bible. These videos reminded me of the importance of a literary translator, if they did not do there job, I would not have anything to base my beliefs of off which is a very important aspect of my life. It also reminded me of how difficult their job is. The bible has many different books, some of which are written in different writing styles. The book of Psalms for instance is all poetry while Matthew, Luke, Mark, and John are written as an account of their experiences with Jesus. As they said in the video, the people who are translating this book are not only trying to translate it correctly, but are also trying to get the original rhythm, rhyme, and cultural points across as well which is why there are different versions of translations of the bible. Some focus more on helping the reader understand the cultural references, others the rhythm and rhyme, some try to translate word for word, and some attempt to do all three.

    With all this in mind, I was very glad to hear that our ability to translate texts now is even better and there are even better translations of texts out there. This gives me confidence in my reading of the bible or any other texts because I know that the translations will be the most accurate we have as of today and are worked on and checked several hundred times to make sure the translation is to the best of their ability and is correctly expressing what the author wrote.

    Finally, this week’s blog reminded me of how much of a pain my Language B class, Mandarin is. It is extremely difficult to understand a language and know what they actually mean by what they say. Already we have learned so many things about how their culture differs from ours from saying “No” to their reaction to someone who sneezes. These all differ and makes it hard to translate English to Mandarin and Mandarin to English. You can’t always directly translate it. For instance, the phrase “changed my mind” is completely different in Mandarin because if you translated it literally it would be more like saying, “I opened up my skull, removed my brain, and replaced it with another one.” I would assume however, they might still understand me, but regardless it makes it hard to establish a point in the setting or tone you desire when translating languages. I don’t like it!!! Therefore, although I greatly respect literary translators and admire their hard work to translating literary works like my bible, I will NEVER be doing that job. It would be cool, but I would be terrible at it and it would be too much pressure for me to correctly translate and still make the tone of the writer present. I have enough of literary translation in my Mandarin class to keep be stocked for a lifetime.

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  32. I found this article very interesting because I speak two different languages fluently. I never thought about how hard being a translator could really be. I always thought that it would be very easy to translate something in whatever language it was in, but it's actually not that easy. I remember once my stepmother was asking me a question about what a text message she had received said, and it took me awhile to translate it because i had to make sure that i was using the right words. Some translators just have to be very dedicated to their work because for me that would be something hard to do. I do not think that I would choose this as a profession because although I speak two languages fluently I don't think i would be as dedicated as some translators are. Although I would not choose this as a profession I think that speaking more than one language is an advantage because a lot of jobs require you to speak two languages, therefore giving you more options and more opportunities.

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  33. I respect people that know more than one language so much! How incredible is that? Learning a second language has always scared me because what if I offend someone while trying to speak their language. I can absolutely see why people would want to be translators though, you seem to get a lot of incredible opportunities. How cool would that be to translate your favorite book into another language? Or be able to connect two people that wouldn't be able to communicate otherwise? If I had a knack for picking up different languages better I would look into this as a career!

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    1. It really is a job of connection, isn't it? Really kind of magical when you look at it that way.

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  34. I don't know how translators do it! Taking beautiful pieces of literature or even the spoken word and reforming it to have the same depth as its intentions is truly remarkable. I could never do it. I know the money is amazing but I personally find learning another language is so difficult. Scientists say that it is easier to learn a language before you hit puberty. This makes me wonder if most of the translators have learned the majority of their language before this time in their lives. Translators must really have a passion for translating as well because their work must get so tedious and stressful which is probably why the jobs pay so well. Even at a regular job you can get payed more because of this niche which shows what a great feat this must be because not many people are able to do it. All in all even if I had different types of translating techniques or people along side of me to guide and direct me, I still wouldn't do it because of its intensity.

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    1. The same depth as its intentions....very well said!

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  35. I honestly did not know how hard translation could be.Translators are very fascinating people because I feel like you really have to have a certain passion for languages. I admire translators for that because it must take months or years in order to fluently learn a language and I know I certainly do not have the patience for that. I was raised speaking two languages, both fluently because Spanish was all my grandma spoke. My grandma has lived with me since I was born and all my family spoke was Spanish at home so learning that language so young helped me know as much about that language as I do today. So I served as her translator in many cases, I kinda thought knowing another language and translating the words she spoke into another was second nature as it is to me. Both of my parents speak Spanish as well. I feel like knowing another language is really an advantage that you have that others don't because knowing languages and knowing how to translate things into other languages can open up doors that others do not get the chance to experience. Such as jobs in certains fields of jobs you get paid a tad more money just by knowing a second language, which is awesome in my opinion. I respect the art of translating because in my opinion it's cool how these translators can know several languages or know that this is their job. Even though I am bilingual I don't think that I could ever do it simply because of the fact I think I would feel uncomfortable to speak in another language that I do not know already.

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  36. Well for me I do feel that it is fun and exciting to learn about other languages and cultures, however with the way my brain works I am constantly distracted or when there is a stressful situation it is hard for me to articulate. What if there is something urgent and I don't remember the proper grammer or words? I do think it would be really challenging for me at my age to learn a whole new language fluently in order to translate directly, and possible travel would be another factor in that. Personally I can find myself unintentionally attached to someone who needs my help in something so I would want to travel with them to make sure they get to where ever they need to be safely.

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  37. There was a time that I wanted to be a translator actually. I wanted to translate Chinese, since its one of my favorite classes right now. But I ended up changing my mind. However, I don't know if I have the right mindset to do something like this, since it requires you to do a lot of outside the box thinking and attacking each thing from different angles. I have a mind that thinks in a linear way, and its a big reason i have issues with note taking as well, when it comes to certain kinds of notes. But something like this seems like an amazing experience to learn about a culture drastically different from ours and then understand it, getting to travel around and meet new people. It sounds like a blast. I see people like my pastor who know like 5+ different languages and it blows my mind how well these people can communicate with the world.. And it makes me wish i had the patience and ability to learn it all like they can. Bringing the world together is such a beautiful thing and being apart of that would be even better.

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    1. Oh, gosh me too! Any reason to travel and see other parts of the world!

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  38. Considering the fact that my dad can speak and understand Spanish but didn't teach me really irritates me. My dads family also speaks Spanish and I hate that I can't speak it fluently around them. I've been taking Spanish for four years now and I still can't speak the language. Like I said my dads family speaks it and I have many friends at church and at school that can speak Spanish and I feel so left out when they speak it around me and I don't know what they're saying. Maybe one day I'll learn Spanish. I would love to learn multiple languages. I don't think I could ever be a translator because it seems very very time consuming and to me boring because of my personality I guess. Thank god there are people that enjoy that so books and things can be translated.

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  39. Quite the joker you are, Mrs. Caraway. Me? A translator? I would not, could not, ever be a translator. for one, I have never been fluent in any other language. And even while not being fluent, I'm just plain bad at all things not English. I am really impressed thorough with the time consuming hours it takes to become a successful book translator, since every culture and language is SO different. And to really put so much energy into that sort of thing is insane. Hey, I cant even put in enough effort to get through Shakespeare plays. And that guy is SPEAKING THE SAME LANGUAGE AS ME. (or so I'm told, still doubting it though).
    If you're a successful translator, I send you all of my respect, love, and patience. Your'e going to need it.

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    1. Yes, I am afraid I don't have the chops for it neither, but I have been quite envious of those fluent in multiple languages. There is a power to that I would love to know! I love the idea of any job that allows me to travel and absorb another culture, however...

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  40. Translations of language are a complicated subject. A language barrier can create so much miscommunication because you can't fully comprehend what someone is saying. You may be able to get the general message of what they're talking about due to the inflection of their voice, their facial expressions, or hand gestures that they make. However, to truly understand the message of what someone is saying if there is a language barrier, you need a translator. Translators are very important because they help people of different cultures connect to one another. Being a translator is a great profession because I feel that it would give you a sense of pride to be able to see a connection between two people. I personally don't think that I could be a translator. I think fully being a translator would be very stressful because you always have to be aware of the communication around you and be able to relay the message correctly. In different languages there are many different words, with some similar meanings, but they're not exact. Translators can't just directly translate words, they have to translate the meaning of what was said. This would take so much thought, but it would have to happen very fast, and to me that seems like a huge challenge.

    When I think of translation, I immediately think of an episode of Friends that I've watched a few times. In the episode, one of the main characters goes on a date with someone who doesn't speak English. They need a translator to communicate, but eventually the translator gets angry at the two and leaves them stranded. When this happened they had such a hard time communicating and could only name specific objects that were in front of them, not nearly enough to carry out a conversation. You may be able to tell if someone is sad, or happy just by looking at their expression, but if there's a language barrier you may not know why. That's why translators are so important to our society, so we can have open minded people who communicate with others around the world.

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    1. Very true--I like the distinction you made between just translating words and translating meaning!

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  41. I have wanted to be multilingual for a long time. When I was little, I was obsessed with Japanese games and television shows, and I really wanted to learn Japanese. It would be incredible to be able to comprehend so much more of the world. I personally have a lot of envy for those people who grew up learning several languages, as it has always seemed like such an advantage. I really hope that at some point in my life I do learn more than one language, as I feel like that is a life skill that most people should develop in their lifetime. If everybody grew up learning several languages, I think that the world would feel like such a smaller place, because we would all be more connected.

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  42. Okay, I have a new found respect for translators, I mean that is so hard. You have to know multiple languages and know what you are saying and make sure that they make sense in both languages. For me half of my family is Jewish so part of my mom's side knows Hebrew. I mean it looks hard enough to read let alone know what its actually saying. I felt left out when we had events and I didn't have a clue what was being said. I could never be a translator, I don't have enough patents for people.

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  43. I grew up in a bilingual environment. I speak English at school with teachers and friends, and at home I speak Spanish. When I was younger I actually thought everyone spoke two languages, it was normal for me to think this because that is how I grew up speaking. It wasn't till later that I realized not everyone could switch from one language to another. Then I realized it wasn't easy to learn a new language and language was more than just a form of communication. Learning a new language is like being introduced to a whole new culture, hearing words and praises you are not used to hearing and saying. When people say, "Oh well I learned how to speak Italian in a week." Did they really? As someone that speaks from experience I have a few tips to those who wish to be fluent in another language. When you truly want to grasp a new language you have to listen to others speak it in different dialects, practice speaking, talk to yourself or others. Don't stress over not being able to say something, take your time. Most of the time people will be patient with you if you're trying your hardest. If you limit yourself to thinking you can never learn a new language, then you will never learn a new language. Trust me if you tell yourself you can do it then you can. Being bilingual brings many opportunities in careers and communicating so get as much help as you need.

    I have to admit translating is a bit difficult. I have to translate most of the time for my parents and I do struggle. You have to be fast and all of the pressure is on you. Both people rely on you to get their communication across. It takes a lot of thinking power but it does help with strengthening your use of both languages.

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    1. Thanks so much for relating to your experience! I bet it is tough to translate quickly. And I really like what you said about taking your time to absorb the new language and believing you can. Powerful notions!

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  44. This is relatable to my life because I grew up in a bilingual family, with Spanish being my first language. From a young age I was a always a English to Spanish translator for my grandparents. I never really liked it because i thought i was being put on the spot, or kids in spanish class want me to 'help' them with their spanish work or project. At times it's a curse and other times a blessing.

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  45. After watching the videos, a literary translator is not something I would want to be/do when I'm older, even though it would be cool to travel to different countries. To me, translating books from one language to another, doesn't seem as exciting as they try to make it seem. However, this is a very important job as it helps us understand different cultures through written works in their language. I've wanted to learn to fluently speak new languages for a while now and knowing this is a skill required to become a literary translator, this could be something to fall back on. Overall, not something I would want to do, but am glad there are people who do.

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  46. Language is a universal communicative tool.

    I never considered just how in depth the occupation of a literary translator could be. This passage mentions, "One of those occupations is a literary translator; a job that is projected to grow 46% over the next seven years!" The fact that the business is planned to grow this much surprises me. It makes me wonder what will change in the community on a global scale that will have such a major impact on this occupation. I believe the constant increase of communication and the many different platforms must have some kind of influence on this job.

    Culture is becoming much more important and people on an individual level are becoming more globalized and worldly aware. The world isn't as separated as it used to be with the relatively recent bloom in communicative tools like social media.

    I also found it interesting how these literary translators go about translating novels and books. It requires much more work and accuracy than I would have guessed. The fact that they learn multiple cultures and languages and know how to switch between then as they are the medium intrigues me. Personally I think it would be great to be able to do this and get the chance to see the world and its cultures. This business will soon be very lucrative, as stated in the reading, and is definitely interesting.

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  47. It really surprised me how big of a job a literary translator has. We are able to learn about places and people we never would have known if it weren’t for these people. Not only do you have to know the language but you have to know the culture because they are so very interconnected. I can relate this to my Spanish class where literal translations won’t make sense in English because the cultures are different for hispanic countries. Keep in mind though that the structure of the languages are also different. Having the job of a literary translator has a large potential to be a very interesting and exciting job. You become a discoverer for the people who speak the language you translate for. It’s important that this happens or invaluable information from the past will be forgotten. Literary translators make sure that doesn’t happen and I respect that. I don’t think it would be the job for me but I will salute those that have taken the job.

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  48. I wouldn't really enjoy being a literary translator, even after watching the videos. Language and learning about it and it's arbitrariness is fun, but to have a job where you just read books, learn about their meanings, and translate them, sounds like it would get pretty boring pretty fast. I definitely respect someone that has the ability to do that so that other's can enjoy these foreign novels, but I like work that's more hands on and in action. Being a translator for a business or for people, that sounds like it could get interesting. Something that did surprise me though is that the translators have to know the culture and the plot and meanings of the book. I thought that would just be carried with the translation, but I was mistaken. (This was late because I missed school)

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  49. This is a very relatable topic to me. My first language was Spanish. Once I started school I started to lose my Spanish. Eventually throughout the years I had to start translating what my grandparents said to me. It was not easy, because sometimes I was unsure of what they were trying to say.

    Being able to be bilingual is such an amazing tool to have nowadays. A lot of jobs pay more just because you can speak more than one language. But, being a translator is not always an easy job. I think that it is cool that NYU has a program for Literary Translation.

    I would consider being a translator. I think it is a very unique job and you can gain a lot of knowledge out of it. Even though it would be a challenge, I would be up for it.

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    1. The travel does sound exciting--so does the program at NYU! Studying abroad is something I have always regretted not doing. :)

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  50. Being a literary translator seems like a challenging job. I would do it for the challenge because I love to push myself and try new things, but I'm not sure that I would be able to do it for a job. I could see it getting very repetitive and in a way, boring. I don't think it would be as exciting as Martin Puncher makes it out to be, but I've never been a literary translator so who am I to judge. The process of becoming a literary translator sounds quite rigorous and time consuming, and I am not sure I could handle the stress of translating one language to another. Although this job seems a bit boring and very hard, I have mad respect for those who do this, and I am sure they are making some good money!

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  51. Being a literary translator would not be the kind of job for me. It seems like a very challenging job, but also informative and important. Without people like these, a lot of famous literary and novels written throughout the time periods would be lost forever. I think to allow a great book to be "lost in translation" is a crime, and every effort should be made in preserving these titles and their messages. There are a lot of important jobs in the world, this being one of them, however, I do not see myself as a Literary Translator. It seems like it would be very boring, sitting at a desk and translating a language. You would have to read and reread the same text over and over, finding all the specific translations for the particular language. If I were to want to pursue a career in translating, I would not be a Literary translator, but instead taking a more hands-on approach in the appropriate culture. I would want to travel to the different country and use my knowledge of that language in a more tangible way, whether translating for large companies or working as an ambassador.

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  52. I am one of those people that takes 4 years to get the basics of language, even when I truly apply myself to do so. I am good at English and that is about it.

    Also I can not sit still. I couldn't have a job of translating books. I would surely go crazy from the boringness of it. I would be much better if I was, (If i could actually learn the language) a language teacher where i could be interactive with it.

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  53. I strongly belive that we, as humans, take everything we have for granted. This has is no exeption when it comes to one of the most important gifts that were given to us, which is Language. Language is something that you use every single day, from telling your mom that you love her to telling your waitress what you want to eat. Because in life, communication is key. "How does this all connect to the world", I can hear you saying in a less than enthusiactic voice. This world would mean absolutley nothing without the ablility to communicate. You wouldn't have your phones, becuase the Japanese company who made it wouldn't be able to ship it to your local phone store. Heck! We wouldn't be having to do this Blog enrty without communication. That's the reason why Translator are so important! As the world becomes more and more expansive, we need to be able to talk to those we couldn't talk to ourselves. Language is necessary. It's everywhere. And Translators are the people that make the world understandable.

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  54. I've been a translator for the majority of my life. Being in a bilingual family has its benefits, one of them is being able to understand both languages fluently, without any hesitation. I took a few quizzes about what kind of jobs would suit my personality and interests, each result would have about five choices, the most popular job I kept seeing was translator. I personally would love to translate for others, not only do I enjoy editing and helping others with their Spanish, I would love to travel to Latin America to do so. I'm so familiar with my Spanish that I think any other language would bore me.

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  55. Being a translator would have its pros and cons. But to me those cons outnumber the pros and I wouldn't want to be a translator. It is however a important job and i think that people who pursue these careers are very talented and have a certain patience few can match when translating.

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  56. The aspect of knowing more than one language would be amazing, and I wish I did know more than one language, because it would be interesting to translate things for people and be able to understand different people, and convey the message they may be trying to send to someone else, but I feel that being a literary translator would become boring, and I would get the feeling that I may have messed up with some words which would bother me.

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  57. I think that it is crazy that someone is able to learn a different language well enough to translate books. I also don't think I could do it because at times I find it difficult to translate things from English to Spanish. It would be cool to know two languages so well because then that person would be able to live in more places because he of she could understand that country's native language. I think these videos would be a great motivation to people learning a new language because it could bring up a possible career choice for them.

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