Say What?


on audiovisual and literary translation, subtitling, and the French & American film industries

Dear World, remember me anew?

Most bloggers seem overly perky (or at least savvily ironic), and lately I (and more importantly my translator career) have been anything but.  Through disappointments (a huge last-minute job cancellation), frustrations (taking two jobs that were somewhat outside my specializations–audiovisual, financial and legal), and setbacks (flunking a translation test with a key LSP), I’ve turned to my fellow bloggers for wisdom, and hope to report more on that in the new year.

A year ago almost exactly I was innundated with work, but the more contact I have with LSPs, the more measured my response to them, having seen the gamut from flaky (one LSP twice promising jobs and work and never getting back to me) to exasperating (asking for a rate cut off the top and then another after delivery) to sublime (consistent work with allowances for rush jobs).  I certainly don’t envy their task–promising perfection at nearly the speed of light with an attractive but profitable cost.

I endeavor to add more value to every translation job I do, without rewriting.  Yet I’ve often wondered over the past year not only whether translation is right for me, and if the business itself isn’t morphing into something more anchored in MT (machine translation) with some CAT (computer-assisted translation) and/or human editing in the final stages.  To some of my fellow bloggers, this might sound blasphemous, but I feel like this is one of many professions for which recessions and depressions are like tides wiping away tasks that human proxies are much better suited to, freeing us up to do more interesting and challenging things.

I am still very much “a writer who translates“, and have decided in the near future to delve deeper in the web/blogosphere for things that inspired me to translate in the first place–what I love about French and France, and my (I hope) sooner, than later, third language, Yiddish.  Meanwhile, happy holidays!


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