Say What?


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

The Impossibility of Translation

The strangest thing about translation is how out of nowhere it can illuminate.  Nicholas Froeliger‘s talk at last week’s ATA‘s 53rd annual conference packed exactly that kind of intellectual firepower.

A dialectic jutuxposing the logical tools privy to translators with their ever-expanding cyberscape, his session if nothing else scored an ironic coup arguing “for” the primacy of the human “analog” over anything digital at a conference dominated not only by incessant hawking of any and all avatar translation methods and means, but also by a categorical privledging of the virtual over the real in networking, hiring and socializing.  (Lest anyone think I’ve gone all Luddite, hey, I’m blogging about it.)

In the tradition of great French thinkers, his thesis made easy fodder of the professional shotgun marriage the majority of us either endure or risk persishing into obscurity.   But sans rancor, he wittily made his argument, recasting translators (in my mind anyway) as silent masters collaboratively dueling with their avatars.


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Mid-stream glance back at my resolutions

At this point in the year, most people can’t remember their New Year’s resolutions, much less have any foresight about upcoming ones.  That said, here is my review, measuring where I stand and how far yet I have to go:

I will revisit my business plan and examine how I’m targeting my ideal clients and niche market.  I have made the most progress here, discovering that my ideal client isn’t who I thought they were.

I’d like to really invest myself into my TM tools (Trados and Wordfast), and organize the vocabularies I’ve developed through my output.  I’ve had a very productive summer, and now that I have some downtime, will commit to making inroads here before September.

I’m going to work on becoming a “CT” (ATA-certified professional translator) in my language pair.   I will take a practice test I’ve purchased before the end of this month.

I’m revising my website, and would like to blog more this year, especially about what I love about my current and planned language pairs.  My website revision is almost complete, and I will be promoting it this fall.  Blogging still feels like I chore that I never fully “own”, i.e. trying to be “personal” as I discuss my business.  This reminds me though about the last point, which I do look forward to blogging about soon.

Maybe the ridiculously insatiability of crowd-sourced media and platforms, as bashfully “a-promotional” as a Versailles courtier, can be useful in simple, human terms after all:  accountability and goals.

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