Why I’m doing this

There are a few reasons behind this blog. One of them is to try to get a bit of a discussion going. Not because I’m short of things to do or in need of the company but because the world of literary translation seems to be a bit secretive and something of a closed shop. Which is obviously frustrating to anyone on the outside trying to get in. So I plan to do my bit to share the little that I do know.

It’s funny. At any company I’ve ever worked for, people have been reluctant to share what they know with others. You can talk as much as you like about everyone pulling in the same direction, but a grand total of one person ever shared their translation memory with me. I don’t know the reasons behind everyone else’s reluctance. Maybe they thought what I had to offer in return wasn’t worth looking at. Maybe they thought I was trying to steal their job.
It has to be said that I never look at collaborative translation memories online. Maybe that’s my loss, but I have concerns about the quality. Looking at how a trusted colleague translates word X is one thing, but seeing how a complete stranger does it and not knowing if English is their first, second, or third language or if they’re taking a total stab in the dark à la 90% of people of wordreference.com… well, they seem two very different things to me.
So I’m all for sharing, within limits. And what limited knowledge of the system I do have I’m willing to share. Mainly because the people who know most about the process, I suspect, respected literary translators like Sheila Fischman and the like, most likely have better things to do than go around writing blogs about getting started in the world of translation.
I think it’s a shame that there are so few resources out there, but there you go. What I do manage to find, I’ll put up here. I mainly hope to use this blog to shed light on the funding process and what publishers really are interested in (hopefully through interviews with translators, publishing houses, and the people providing the funding). Any resources I do find will be linked to on the site and I’ll also be using my translation twitter account (xlationarticles) for quick looks at websites and blog posts that might be of interest.