What makes great translators great?*
Si desea leer esta entrada en español, haga clic aquí. ¡Gracias, Karina Pelech!
Pour lire cet article en français, cliquez ici. Merci beaucoup, Amaury Lainé!
About one month ago I received a LinkedIn invitation from Amaury Lainé, a young French translator who wrote to me asking this question: “What makes great translators great?”
2. Great translators know that their reputations rests exclusively on every working day. They know that many other things help, but at the end of the day only a few terminological and style decisions matter.
3. Great translators are endlessly curious (Internet changed their lives in an inconceivable way, and they are so grateful).
4. Great translators are indescribably humble, generous, and well-mannered (so Nature prevents them from answering to the key question in the title). By the way: this is useful also for movie makers, speleologists, and French chefs, among others.
5. Great translators DO read a lot and they read unceasingly until the end of their days. If you are unable to share what you are reading about at any given moment or recall its title, then sadly the world of translation is not for you! A translator would not even achieve mediocrity without a pasion for books.
6. Great translators do not take professional criticism as personal. Not even when it is personal. Humbleness helps here again.
7. Great translators love their job. They consider themselves a rare kind of artists who try to convey info in the source language into the translator’s best mother tongue, leaving no trace of their admirable work. Have I mentioned humbleness?
8. Great translators are not afraid of machine translation. They know art is not a machine issue. They are watching and trying to figure out how machine translation can work for them rather than against them.
9. Great translators correct all the time, mainly their own job (but also other’s; many times they are regarded as opinionated).
10. Great translators feel the need to share their knowledge with beginners in order to make their way a bit easier (and shorter!). This tip’s boundary with exhibitionism remains unclear.
NOTE: My wonderful cousin Carmen Prosser was so kind to help me with the writing, but I did not follow all her advices. Shame on me.
Me ha costado más de dos segundos recordar el título de la novela que estoy leyendo.
Pero es que… Ah, no, que no hay excusas que valgan.
Sólo me queda el suicidio. (._.)
Muchas gracias por tu comentario, whoever. Tranquilo: estoy considerando ampliar el plazo a 5 segundos, jajaja.
Pablo: ¡gracias por esta entrada tan original! Mencantó.
I myself am still trying to become a great translator. In the years to come, I guess. xD
Muchas gracias a ti por tu comentario, Flor. I am trying too. See you at the top! Besos.
The Bancroft Strategy. by Robert Ludlum. Y encontré un error de gramática (whomever cuando debió haber sido whoever). Los traductores no podemos ser lectores normales, LOL. No podemos con nuestra almita…
Un placer inspirador leerte, gracias a vos por recordarme lo mucho que me gusta traducir 😉
Gracias por tu comentario, Niki-K, pero no te entiendo bien, discúlpame. ¿Me recomiendas el libro de Ludlum? Lo buscaré, gracias. Respecto al error, no veo «whomever» en mi texto, pero gracias igualmente. Saludo.
Muchas gracias por tu comentario, Karina. Estar enamorado de tu trabajo es maravilloso, a mí también me pasa. Saludos cordiales.