A translator’s musings on translatorial flexibility…
Blog post by Elvira
… Or how I ended up specialising in two quite unlikely fields for a language graduate, with a detour in my kitchen.
Well, one thing I am pretty proud of is my ability to make food from almost anything but rocks, so I endeavoured to try my hand at mixing drinks for an introductory post on our future non-translation blog section, The Beer Corner.
And then this happened:
- Opened the fridge and noticed I have potential ingredients (rosé wine, lavender syrup, and fruits ) for a Transylvanian kir or sangria. Bear with me, they wouldn’t have been neither one, nor the other, but Transylvanian versions because I live in Transylvania, and all those non-traditional ingredients are indeed Transylvanian.
- Decided it’s too hot for kir or sangria and thought I might make a nice non-traditional spritzer. Looked in the freezer. The ice cubes were not as icy as expected. Nor did I have any sparkling water because I only drink it in spritzers. And I don’t drink enough of those, either.
- Stood in front of the open fridge, mumbling about my inability to gather the ingredients for a decent summer drink, other than cold mint tea.
- Looked at the content of the fridge and decided a nice glass of cold beer will have to do this time and took out the Transylvanian gazpacho, because I was hungry. Yeah, that one is non-traditional, too. Garlicky enough to kill a battalion of vampires, this time.
- Decided that, as I had some of it yesterday, it needs some revamping and grabbed an egg and a big slice of ham.
- Boiled the egg and fried the ham. Added them to the gazpacho, took a picture with the unopened can of beer, because I still have some work to do and I translate sober, edit sober.
What this has to do with my specialization in medical and technical translations?
Well, it was the same life path. Started as a “dear” linguist, realized that there’s way too many of us in general and legal translations, and noticed I am not creative enough for marketing and transcreation. Remembered that I finished high school with a sciences baccalaureate, and that I know quite a lot more math, physics, and chemistry than the average linguist. Also, along the way, realized that I am quite a science geek and that I do enjoy looking for the right word for an obscure type of clamp than I would looking for the right synonym of “great”.
The conclusion of these ramblings? We should be using what we have to end up where we’re comfortable, be it in the kitchen or in translations.