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Aug 25, 2017 01:45
I’ve been up to my ears in work lately. Aside from a heavier-than-usual workload, I was given another task of translating English articles into Chinese for my company’s newspaper. Though this is an in-house publication, its readership is huge. There is a “foreign-media-reference” page every month or two. I had never read this newspaper and had only come to know about this outlet several months ago when a colleague of mine asked me to do him a favor: to find a long English article and translate/edit it down to a page-long Chinese article.

This task is not easy. It requires two types of skill. One is being able to find a good English article. The chief editor usually gives a topic on short notice, and I need to Google many different key words to find the most suitable article posted within the past month. This requires a fast reading speed. The other type of skill is, of course, translating. A word-for-word translation would sound pretty awkward. multiple skills are needed to make it polished. The English text reads so fluently/comfortably to me, but while translating, I have to struggle for the best word choices and restructure sentences, and even paragraphs. I’d like to share a little secret here: Chinese and English seem to see things in a slightly different way, as is shown in their linguistic structures….. The translation process often feels like a tug-of-war.

Two months ago, the chief editor liked and took up my work. This time, he asked me to contribute to the newspaper again. Thanks to my practice on Lang-8, I pounded out two thousand words overnight, and the translated/edited work has been accepted. While reading English, I found myself using my alter-ego to comprehend things. I don’t like translating very much because I feel like I’m ripping myself apart and suffering from "schizophrenia." However, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. A Lang-8 friend of mine said that I could give interpreting a try, so I’m wondering whether may take an exam and get a certificate in the future. ;-P