Sunday, March 18, 2012

illustration friday (shades)


I was a professional translator for thirty years before declining health forced me to leave the rat race of industrial and commercial translating. Translating is in my blood, though, and I love it with an abiding intensity. But these days, instead of translating for clients, I translate for my own pleasure, and at my own pace-- mostly literature, which is another thing I love. It thrills me to examine all the shades of meaning for a Japanese word, and choose just the right English counterpart to fit the context. (I'm very good at it. ;p)

23 comments:

  1. You are good at translating words into images and images into words, as well. I love your blog entries.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi,Debbie,
    I heartly admire your so rich mental lexicon and the super translation ability that examines texts and contexts. Your bilingual background impresses me. The text you chose(*eg.Miura Ayako)is not easy. Once, I was recommended to try a translation unit in linguistics, but I knew my English vocabulary was not enough. I assume you've read through TONs of Japanese & English books. One day, if I could see you in person, I'd love to listen to your talk over translation.
    Please take care.
    Best wishes,Sadami

    ReplyDelete
  3. How impressive! I am currently a scientific translator and although I appreciate the fact that I learn new things I would not normally be interested in and stretch my boundaries, it's not conducive to creativity. I hate having to please clients who would rather have something to fit their ideas than to have something that sounds good. But it's nice to know that there are choices out there for the future. Thanks for being an inspiration! Also loved what you did in Tomo!

    ReplyDelete
  4. You surely are Debbie and I enjoy your word play and how you tie it in with your wonderful illustrations! A treat!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I found it interesting that you included the "peace" symbol. It is so intrinsically tied now to Japanese culture -- first, because of the "peace amendment" in the post-war constitution; also because flashing the peace sign appears de rigueur when having your photo taken!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for visiting and for your comment. I used the images for "love" and "peace" in my etegami because they are two words that people often self-consciously employ, as though simply using the words gives them a kind of PC righteousness. Unthoughtful use of words makes me sad and angry. There are many valid meanings for both those words, but they should be used carefully and thoughtfully.

      Delete
    2. In the matter of photo taking, it's easy to confuse the peace sign and bunny ears.

      Delete
  6. That sounds like such an interesting profession! I love this blue microscope and those ingenious little slides you made. Really great!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Being able to translate well is a very special gift. I think some translators focus on what they would like the text to say. I don't speak Japanese, but I imagine it has as many (or more) nuances than European languages. I have read different translations of Kafka, and the interpretations have been entirely different.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yes and I am still wondering about these translations sometimes... how I would like to read each book in the original version.
    You just added one more language to your skills: etegamis! Words in translation.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wonderful! I really like this piece, especially the peace sign and heart slides :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. OH what a great take on the prompt! "Shades of meaning of words"...whether in translation between two languages or communication between two people of the same tongue, that is a huge concept!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I really like your use of a microscope to illustrate translation! Examine the nuances indeed! translation is a fascinating process.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Am I the only guy reading this? Anyways, would love to see you translate some of the classics that be found in the インタネット図書官

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're not the only guy reading this, but guys rarely leave comments. I sure do appreciate yours. I'm actually have a long-term commitment to two authors, but I'll check out the classics you mentioned. :)

      Delete
  13. So many delicious shades of meaning in this piece! Nothing pleases me more than a good science-word-art-nerd mash-up. It makes my brain tingle. :-)

    I have the greatest respect & even awe for good translation. It is a subtle & demanding art, & because I love to read world literature, I'm very grateful for meticulous, sensitive, thoughtful translators such as yourself!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I agree, A great interpretation of the prompt! and I love the drawing of the microscope.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh, having that talent to translate is such an amazing gift. Well, not really a gift, I'm sure you worked very hard to attain the skills! And those skills are much more valuable than my ability to recognize an "upset" chicken voice. :)
    We're all fortunate to be on the receiving end of your translations, I always love the Japanese poetry and writing that you use with your art!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Great editorial piece! Very clever spin on the theme! Well done!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Super! Your idea for this illustration is really original!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hey Deb! Great take and wonderful illustration!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Your illustration is perfect for this..wonderful, Debbie!

    ReplyDelete

I REALLY appreciate feedback. It may take a while for me to moderate comments so don't worry if your comment doesn't show up right away. And sorry, please no anonymous comments.