Are you serious? The perfect translation doesn’t exist, and in this course you will begin to understand why not. On the bright side, your struggle to find the most appropriate translation will strengthen your language skills, test your determination and memory, and start you on the first step to becoming a professional translator if that is your goal. Of course, this class is only an introduction, but by its end you will probably know whether or not you’re cut out for professional translating. If not, you may just enjoy the linguistic and cultural knowledge you’ll gain along the way. Not everyone can be a translator. As Morry Sofer writes in The Translator’s Handbook, “Translation is a talent few people possess” (15). I think I’m a bit nerdy in that I think it is really fun, albeit a lot of hard work. If it turns out not to be your passion, I hope that at least you will have refined skills that will enrich you in some way whether professionally, intellectually, or in your communicative capabilities in English and Spanish.
Assiduousness should define your approach to this course if you hope to be successful. This is one of those classes where daily work is going to be necessary. Before you groan, think about the importance of finishing a project on time if you’re a professional hired by a private company who needs your translation yesterday; or think of the enormous pressure if you’re translating the words of an influential public figure, or the Spanish version of a computer game about to be marketed. Translators work under pressure and usually with a deadline, so we won’t be doing anything that translators haven’t had to learn!
My best advice: work hard, enjoy the learning process, and keep in touch with me if you’re having course-related problems.