December 21, 2009 | Italian

More on the Italian Job

I go back to work translating.

I felt exhausted when I woke up today, but I was determined to go for a run in Central Park. I managed only five miles, though I did get some VocabuLearn done while I was out there. It is icy and slushy and snowy and cold. Yuck.

I got to my new Italian gig at 1 p.m. and did translation work until almost 6 p.m. I don’t know whether I’m doing a good enough job. Luca had a cold today, which I worried I might have given him, and seemed irritable. Under the circumstances, I didn’t want to bother him to ask whether my translation was adequate.

My growing impression: the original document is poorly written, which is making the translation more of a challenge. And really, why should this document be any different from the majority of American business writing? Especially internal documents that the clients never see, which is what this is an example of. The sentences are extremely long and convoluted, a syntactical nightmare. Also, I think it is full of jargon, though since I still can’t understand significant swathes of the language, I’m not yet sure about that one.

In any case, no question it is an incredibly boring document. Probably no one ever reads it in Italian, and I doubt anyone will ever read my translation either. Which is presumably why they don’t mind having an Italian neophyte like me working on it.

I do find myself interested in the process nonetheless.

One downer: I thought my spoken Italian was going really well for a while, but over the past few days I have been feeling lamer and lamer. My conversational skills with Luca have been horrible, to the point that I’m getting almost too embarrassed to talk to him. Maybe the problem is that I still have a cold? I hope so!

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