Lost In Translation

No matter how I explained, he just wouldn’t understand. Or probably it’s just his pretensions which offer him his rights to insist on his own idea. Show your stubbornness long enough and other people would mistake that for your strength. What a wish. Go your own way; enjoy your freedom of making your own mistakes and suffering the consequences. It is no surprise that he works seven days a week–a common immigrant virtue or vice depending on one’s perspective–but it is a little surprise to me that he expects that other people work seven days a week too and Saturday is the right time to deal with issues that he should have done during the weekdays.

Being a translator must be an undesirable job. I had not realized this before I became the regular go-to person for two or three of my friends whenever there’s such a need–home improvement negotiations, government agency phone calls, and many more. Not that I’m a professional translator. I am not. Just an amateur who can’t stop telling other people what I know. One of my friend’s mother used to call me artless and I actually agreed with her. I am quite artless under her cunning observation and I have none of her (and her daughter’s as well) microscopic evaluation of human advantage and her quiet calculation of a path for advancement. If I was brought up by a normal mother like her and if I have a contentment for easy comforts, I know I would become exactly like my friend and her mother. Unfortunately such an upbringing is out of my reach. I was left a victim of inspiration and acknowledgement. The problem is when inspirations turned out to be illusions, I often suffered the misfortune of becoming disillusioned. And acknowledgement can be so unsatisfying–when you don’t get it, you fret over it; when you get it, you despise yourself for being so vain or so stupid to take casual sweetness so seriously.

Translation itself is not difficult, but the problem is one has to deal with two egos which expand uncontrollably in their own language. The expansion is limitless, owing to the fact that the opposite side is of different language and culture. The translator becomes the person who’s squeezed in between two inflated balloons and often feel crushed under the pressures from all sides.

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