It's not every day that a translator publishes a book. And it's not every year that this is a book on translators. That's why it was exciting to see the news about a book by our colleague, Magda Phili, called "Tapping Into Translators' Creativity." We are publishing the most interesting excerpts from the book.
By Vova Zakharov
1. On creativity
"Translators show their creativity in many ways. Not just in their work, but also in the things they choose to do in their spare time. Their creativity is also obvious in the way they develop ideas into books, create brands and establish a social media presence that many people would admire and learn from."
2. On (in)visibility
"People who are not aware of what translation work entails, can only judge the final result. A manual, a game, a website, a brochure in another language. The path translators follow to get to this result is invisible."
3. On inspiration
"Translators will always be inspired by other translators or authors. It is through inspiration (and training) that translators can produce work of the highest quality and explore their potential. For some linguists, this potential is reflected in diversified or ancillary activities such as copywriting, designing, marketing, branding, networking."
4. On translation beyond translation
"Translation is embedded into life. In some way, we all inadvertently translate things in order to understand them. When we read a text or a piece of information, we are bound to interpret it according to our perception of the world. A similar process could also apply when we create something. Our creations derive from how we interpret the world around us and our experience within it."
5. On novelty
"If we were to look at original new art, which has no obvious reference to the past, it is difficult to perceive how creativity can be sparked by a complete tabula rasa. Whether it’s painting flowers or writing a story, our creative work assimilates the collective knowledge of the world. Nothing is completely new."
6. On additions
"Translators will always add something of their own to their work, often without the public becoming aware of it. Their own 'luminous blue' is reflected in the ways they find the best possible solutions to translate obscure, tricky, vague, complex wording into their native tongue while staying as true as one can be to the meaning intended in the original text."
7. On worldview
"[Translation] is not just a job. It is a way to see the world and make sense out of it. Translators have amazing analytical skills because of the transformative power of their work. To analyse every bit of information that passes from your hands stimulates your brain and fuels your creativity."
"Tapping into Translators' Creativity" cover, by Sofia Polykreti
If you liked the excerpts, you can buy "Tapping into Translators' Creativity" on Amazon.