Translation Work

There’s money in translation, folks. This month I made a thousand dollars (in 4 different currencies), and I don’t have much time to dedicate to translation. I have a very research-heavy workload, I travel, people came to stay with me, I chair my department, prepare for the Fall semester, read. So it’s not like I can work on translation all day. Or every day.

Also, all the blather about the dangers of automation to translation is bunkum. The kind of stuff I have been translated will never be automated. It would be way too expensive and probably not even work.

My translator persona is part of my grieving process. When my friend died, I colored my hair in her color. When my father died, I started doing the work he had done for his clients. He didn’t have much hair, so I had to do this instead. For some reason, this is what helps me grieve. I kind of become the person who passed on. It might be weird but it works for me. Plus, I will now teach my translation course more effectively because I’m actually doing it and learning how translation changed since I last did it.

The most rewarding translation project I’ve done was subtitling in English video testimonials of Ukrainian refugees in Poland. It was emotionally grueling, plus I had to learn to make .srt files. But the translation is very easy. It’s conversational Ukrainian or Russian, which I can do in my sleep. And I feel like I’m helping to get these stories out.

4 thoughts on “Translation Work

  1. How are you finding the clients? I feel like that could take up quite a lot of valuable time in and of itself.

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    1. That’s where the grieving part comes in. These are my father’s clients. I didn’t have to look for them.

      But you can make a profile at ProZ.com and get orders you can bid on through the website.

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      1. “My translator persona is part of my grieving process” — this is very sad but also very beautiful. I am so very sorry for your loss.

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