Then vs. Now

Coming into this class, I thought translation was expressing the sense of something someone was saying or had written in another language. I thought this class was just going to be reading a translated version of some type of work, such as novels or poems… something a little boring. Starting with 19 Ways of Looking at Wang Wei, I knew my classmates and I were going to be reading a direct translation of the poem by Wang Wei.

However, what I was not prepared for was the fact that not only will I be reading many different translations of the poem, but I would be making my own version, or translation, of the poem. In doing so, I realized that translation is much more than just another way of conveying something being said or written in another language.

I realized that translation became a sense of interpreting what I was reading or seeing into something that I felt while reading what I wanted to translate. I realized that translating is more than just reiterating what someone said in your own words, but putting your own twist on it, bringing your own flare to it, and including your own experience(s) in the translation.

Throughout the other works I read through this course, I understood how to use translation as a way to convey one’s own experiences and feelings.

These novels gave me more insight on how translation is change. In translation, there is a tension between fidelity and originality. This blurs the line between what it should be to what it could be. It changes how the text is interpreted and used in order to convey change and experience according to the writer.

Translation is a journey into the translator’s emotional and intellectual life in which the translator reflects on cultures and experiences of his/her life.

Before, I thought translation was one cut-and-dry action. Now, I believe it is a way of change and new experiences.

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