"Never knew what eternity was made for. It is to give some of us a chance to learn German." (Notebook #14,11/1877- 7/1878) Supposing one took for granted Mark Twain's opinion on mastering a foreign language, it would be incumbent on us to redefine eternity.
While translation as innate calling implies a keen obsession with words - the building material for any document - as a regular job, it requires a whole range of skills which need constant care: sense of direction in different fields, good judgment in self-appraisal, rigorous and totally earnest stance towards the written text. When it comes to the translation itself, the most natural style in performing the chore seems to be that of a silent river running in a matter-of-fact and unassuming way across the imaginary border between two different languages, far away from the gibberish and the electronic hiccup of machine translation, so hard to swallow.
But the translator's CV proves, more often then not, deceitful. The keen competition compels him to show off his high descent right from the top of an ancient etymological tree, ready to cast its profuse shades laden with meaning all around the world wide web.
As good luck would have it, the potential client finds him easily, at a click's distance. In order to get a proper translation, the man in need proceeds hastily with scanning and mailing the instructions for a certain Bayer product, the only hope for curing his next-door neighbour's mother-in-law, critically ill with logorrhea in the 3rd degree.
He gets the German text rendered into the mother-in-law tongue in no time, pays the bill via Paypal, prints the translation and hurls it over the fence in self-defense, hoping against hope that silence will descend upon the neighbourhood as soon as the garrulous lady swallows her first pill according to prescription. But, alas, it proves a sheer wayward dream in the end, and all that due to a trifling clerical error.
On second thought, the act of translation seems to be a rather risky undertaking, after all. A mere turn of phrase could end up in a a fatal turn for the customer: failure instead of nice returns, downfall where uplift is expected.
No wonder that a translator's fee defies description sometimes: while the lower range might strike one as pleasantly acceptable at first, only to arouse suspicion after a few moments of mature thinking, the higher it gets, the stronger the sense of confidence in a worthwhile merchandise, at the cost of a lighter purse, of course. The final decision rests with you. E.E.Pop
As a Bucharest-based sworn translator in Japanese,
I'm offering translation & interpretation services covering
law, technology, engineering, literature and other fields of expertise.