Alter-ego

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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

[Revised]
最近忙得不可开交。除了更繁重的工作任务外,我还有另一项任务:把英语文章翻译成中文,发表到公司报纸上。虽然这份报纸只是一份内部媒体,不过读者很多。每隔一个月,或者两个月,该报纸会有一页外媒参考版。我以前不怎么读那份报纸。几个月前,一个同事让我找英文文献,并编译成一篇整版长度的中文文章,我才知道有这么一个情况。

这项任务绝非易事,需要两项技能。一项是找到一篇好的英语文章,总编辑临时告知一个主题,然后我得在google上用很多关键词搜索,选出最合适、在一个月内发表的文章。这就需要很快的阅读速度。另外一项技能就是翻译了。逐字翻译其实还好,就是翻译腔太浓。所以,需要很多技巧使其听起来像是一个中国人写的。我读英语文章的时候,觉得很流利很舒服,但是一翻译起来,我就得绞尽脑汁选词,还要改变句型,甚至是修改整个段落结构,要照顾读者的感受。我想在这里分享一个小秘密,中文和英语看待事物的角度还真的不同。翻译的时候,感觉自己被拉拉扯扯,很痛苦。

两个月前,总编蛮喜欢,并采用了我的文章。这一次,他又来喊我翻译了。多亏了经常在lang-8上的练习,我一个晚上就搞定一篇两千多字的文章,总编也决定采用。在读英语的时候,我发现我其实是在用另外一个自己在看事物,我不是很喜欢翻译,因为感觉有点精神分裂。不过,折磨和逆境总让人成长,有一个lang-8朋友建议我试试口译,我在想是不是以后去报名考个试,拿个证。