Dos and Don’ts of Translation

6 Dos and Don’ts of Translation:

  1. Do not accept any translation unless you know about the field. You cannot master all fields of knowledge. So, select one or two and gradually learn them. Gather a couple of paper and online dictionaries or even books on the topics you have selected to master.  
  2. Do not hesitate to say: “I don’t know”. You are not supposed to know all the words in a language other than your mother tongue. Even in your own language, you may sometimes hear words that sound unfamiliar to you.
  3. Do not be embarrassed to use dictionaries. Dictionaries are translator’s weapons. Using different kinds of dictionaries bring an understanding of the aspect of the language you want to know more about. You may need to check collocations, expressions, phrasal verbs, thesaurus, etc. So, feel free to look them up in valid dictionaries.
  4. Do not start translating unless you know the gist of the material you are going to translate. Try translating the text when you understand it thoroughly. For doing so, you can even consult the writer if he/she is available. Otherwise, you can consult Uncle Google. 😉
  5. Do not hesitate to say: “No!” to people who underestimate your job and abilities. Do not accept translations with very little or no money. Respect your own value and that of your profession.
  6. Do not accept translation projects when you are busy or you are not interested in the topic. Take your time and follow your heart in determining what to spend time on.

Good Luck!

Bastard of Istanbul

The Silver Rule of Prudence for an Istanbulite Woman: When harassed on the street, do not lose nerve, since a woman who loses her nerve in the face of harassment, and thus reacts excessively, will only make matters worse for herself!

The cab driver laughed, the horn of the Toyota behind blared yet again, the rain hastened on, and several pedestrians tsk-tsked in unison, though it was hard to tell what exactly they were reprimanding. Amid all the tumult, Zeliha caught sight of and iridescent bumper sticker glittering on the back of the cab: DON’T CALL ME WRETCHED! it declared. THE WRETCHED TOO HAVE A HEART. As she stood there blankly staring at these words, suddenly she felt tired beyond herself_so tired and taken aback that one would suppose it wasn’t the everyday problem of an Istanbulite that she was dealing with. Rather it was some sort of cryptic code that a faraway mind had specifically designed for her to decipher and that she in her morality had never managed to crack. Soon, the cab and the Toyota left and the pedestrians went their separate ways, leaving Zeliha there, holding the broken heel of her shoe as tenderly and despondently as if she were carrying a dead bird.

Bastard of Istanbul written by Elif Shafak

Black Milk: On Motherhood and Writing

There, in a city as spiritual as Mount Athos, beyond a wooden door, sits Dame Dervish_her head bowed in contemplation, her fingers moving the amber prayer beads. On the tray in front of her there is a bowl of lentil soup and a slice of bread. Her thimble is full of water. She always makes do with little. On her head is a loosely tied turban that comes together in the front with a large stone. Patches of hair show from beneath the turban. She wears a jade dress that reaches the floor, a dark green vest and khaki slippers.

Seeing she is in the midst of a prayer, I sneak in and listen.

“God, Pure Love and Beauty, may we be of those who chant Your name and find restoration in You. Don’t let us spend our time on Earth with eyes veiled, ears deafened and hearts sealed to love.”

I smile at these words and I am still smiling when I hear her next words.

“Please open Elif’s third eye to Love and broaden her capacity to grasp the Truth. Connections are the essence of Your universe; please don’t deprive her of Your loving connection.”

“Amen to that,” I say.

She flinches as she surfaces from her thoughts. When she sees me standing there she breaks into a smile, lifting her hand to her left breast in greeting.

“I need your help,” I say. “Have you heard the question Ms. Agaoglu asked me? I don’t know how to answer it.”

“I heard it indeed and I don’t know why you panic so. God says He sometimes puts us through a ‘beautiful test’. That is what He calls the many quandaries we face in this life. A beautiful test. There is no need to rush for ‘the answer’ because all answers are relative. What is right for one person may be wrong for another. Instead of asking about motherhood and writing, ask God to give you what is good for you.”

You can heal your life

Deep at the center of my being there is an infinite well of love. I now allow this love to flow to the surface—It fills my heart, my body, my mind, my consciousness, my very being, and radiates out from me in all directions and returns to me multiplied. The more love I use and give, the more I have to give—the supply is endless. The use of love makes me feel good. It is an expression of my inner joy. I love myself; therefore, I take loving care of my body. I lovingly feed it nourishing foods and beverages. I lovingly groom it and dress it, and my body lovingly responds to me with vibrant health and energy. I love myself; therefore, I provide for myself a comfortable home, one that fills all my needs and is a pleasure to be in. I fill the rooms with the vibration of love so that all who enter, myself included, will feel this love and be nourished by it. I love myself; therefore, I work at a job that I truly enjoy doing, one that uses my creative talents and abilities, working with and for people whom I love and who love me, and earning a good income. I love myself; therefore, I behave and think in a loving way to all people—for I know that that which I give out returns to me multiplied. I only attract loving people in my world, for they are a mirror of what I am. I love myself; therefore, I forgive and totally release the past and all past experiences and I am free. I love myself; therefore, I live totally in the now, experiencing each moment as good and knowing that my future is bright and joyous and secure—for I am a beloved child of the universe, and the universe lovingly takes care of me now and forever more. And so it is.

Written by Louise L. Hay(1999)