Rant on Technique

Finding a way to translate has been difficult for me. Leaving aside all the theory of it ― metalanguage, ethics, religion, the hermeneutic motion, politics, feminism, gender, eurocentrism, questions of fidelity, identity, foreignization, word-for-word, sense-for-sense ― I could go on, but I won’t because that’s not what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about where and how I do my translations. I know it might seem strange, but harder than grasping theory or prioritizing source text vs. target text or wrapping my mind around the idea of rights towards an author I struggle with finding a method towards the physicality. It took me far more time than I wanted to spend to discover whether I preferred typing my translations directly, or writing them by hand. Over the course of a semester and a quarter I realized I preferred by hand ― at least at the outset. Following this, I had to discover what type of by hand I wanted, and honestly, I’m still not sure.

Currently all I have really established is that I prefer writing the base translation in some sort of notebook, typing that by hand, printing it out, and writing on it again. Here is where it gets messy though, because after a while I run out of space on the page and transition to writing it by hand, but I can’t decide whether writing in a journal or on a legal pad is better, and then I struggle with at what point do I type things up again, because typos are really annoying and cause mistranslations on a scale that is quite frankly covered in malignant slime. I once negated a positive and somehow wrote ‘perfection’ for ‘copia’ which is just flat out wrong. Turns out I wrote ‘reflection’ and misspelled it and autocorrect took things into its own hands.

Speaking of autocorrect, until I learned how to turn off the auto-capitalization function on OneNote and Word, every time I tried to write a poem, or even just type a completed poem up, resulted in auto-capitalizing every enjambment and while I love my computer I tended to get the urge to throw it against the wall. Fortunately, I restrained myself, and dug deep into settings to root out the source of the problem. OneNote Options → Proofing → Autocorrect Options, you’re my fav.

I digress, my point is that before I can even process what I’m doing, I need to find a process. The way things are going tends to work, but it also tends to make me want to light my papers on fire when I can’t find the right one. Luckily, I don’t actually have anger issues, I just like euphemisms. Even if this isn’t the most efficient way, I’m still producing content, so I’m just gonna keep going the way I’m going until I find a better way.