Jun 9, 2011

The profession of the day: A Translator

From HUP:
Despite its drawbacks, translation is a wonderful way to make a living. I work at home in comfortable clothes, with my little dog dozing at my feet. From my desk chair, I journey through time and space and explore the most diverse disciplines imaginable: from Old Babylonia to the Byzantine Middle Ages, from the early days of cubism to contemporary Afghanistan and Iraq, from the Chinese literati painters to the gods of ancient Egypt, from Fra Angelico’s monastery to Toulouse-Lautrec’s Moulin Rouge, and from Mme de Pompadour’s opulent château to the tiny Gan kingdom in Burkina Faso. One day I might be following complicated arguments from Kant or Spinoza, and the next day I will be asked to translate advertising copy for a milliner’s shop in Paris: “Chez Katharina M, the hats twist into arabesques and whorls... They whirl and pirouette, so airy that—on seeing them—you imagine a bird in flight or the sweep of a rippling gown…” I have always had wide-ranging interests: my degree is in Comparative Literature and I wrote my dissertation on a psychoanalyst and a philosopher. But I can’t think of any other profession where I could learn so much about so many different things.
Who said translators don't have fun?

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