Two things this week:

  1. I’m currently spending much of my day translating Bestiaire, the book that made me want to become a literary translator. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to sit in front of my computer.
  2. At the minute I’m translating six pages a day, then checking the English back against the French. This is the only time I’ll do this. Future questions from revisers and proofreaders (and comments by the author) quickly make you realize how imprecise an art this is. It’s very easy to misread something, or miss something completely, and suddenly it’s too late to notice.


As I (inevitably) fall behind on the translation I’m working on, a big help this time around has been to come up with a translation schedule ahead of time. I always do this, scheduling a certain number of words to translate 4 or 5 days a week that will see me finished in X many months.

But I’ve been more specific this time around. Now I schedule per chapter as well. A quick glance shows me that if I finish Chapter 4 today, I can start Chapter 5 with a clean state next week and be right back on schedule.

It’s keeping me more accountable than trying to translate so many words per day has proved in the past.