Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bicentennial of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875), Macedonia

Since today's theme at Viridan's is free to choose, I knew what mine would revolve around to...however, it was not that easy to decide what would be most suitable, since I have no actual stamps related to the event (I dont even know if any such stamps have been issued), so this in a way was closest to what I think would be appropriate...


and the actual event is that September 30 is the International Translation Day...and being a translator by vocation, I did want to commemorate it somehow today. So this FDC issued by the Macedonian postal service seemed to fit into the subject, since translations and books go together...and even though children's literature is really specific and does require loads of skills and knowledge to be conveyed the right way, Id really love to actually have the chance one day and work on the translation of Andersen's works. I enjoyed reading some of his stories when I was little (the Little Mermaid is actually by Andersen, and that Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen is actually there since Andersen was Danish).
Some other famous stories by him are for example The Princess and the Pea (boy, I LOVED reading this one over and over again when i was little...i was amused by her sensitivity to something as small as a pea grain), then the Ugly Duckling (yup, another one of my childhood's favourites, which taught me a lot I think)....or The Little Match-girl...probably one of the saddest of his stories...I am the kind of person who so much gets involved into the books she reads, I found this one really traumatic...I mean, a child is reading about another child dying on New Year's eve..do you know how shocking it feels to kids? Still, due to the fact Andersen's stories can really touch the reader's heart, is why i love and appreciate his work, and it would be a real challenge to be able to convey that effect into Macedonian. If someone thinks that translator's work is easy....trust me, it is EVERYTHING but easy...but it is very creative and you get to learn so many new things all the time, and that's why I love it...now, as for the pressure and the insane deadlines and low pays...well, thats a whole different story :)
And while we are already on the subject...for those who may not know...translation and interpreting are two different things...translation is the written production of text, while interpretation is the one which totally fries your brain out, whether it be consecutive or simultaneous (and esp if you need to interpret Italians, that's when you feel like killing someone..). I have nothing against Italians or anything...but boy, they talk sooo fast, that it is just so difficult to follow and keep the train of thought, catch notes and interpret it all afterwards without forgetting what you actually wanted to say...but well, I love that part of my job as well....just yesterday I had to do this pres-conference..with all the media...I was terrified to death (as I always am)...but the moment I put the headphones on and start talking, the fear disappears and I get totally absorbed by the thrill and beauty of interpreting and nothing else seems to matter anymore.....it just gives an enormous satisfaction when done right :)

ok, I blabbered more than usual about myself...but this is like, my day..and I just couldnt help it :)

btw, this FDC was issued to commemorate 200 years since Andersen's birth.

btw2...if anyone has any stamps/cards/anything related to translation/interpreting...PLEASE contact me! Thanks!!

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12 comments:

  1. Congratulations on choosing a stamp commemorating Andersen. The statue of the Little Mermaid disappointed me when I first saw it - it was so little and had tourists trying to clamber all over it.

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  2. Interesting post. It must be really hard to work as an interpreter.

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  3. Thank you for joining in this week. Interpreteres do an important job, but always in the background.

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  4. I didn't know you were an interpreter, it must be very stressful but very interesting. Lovely choice of cover/stamp for today, I read those stories when I was little too.
    I will look out for any stamps/covers relating to translating :)

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  5. Thanks for reminding me of Andersen. And the FDC is very well done.

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  6. HCA is very funny looking man!
    I can well imagine the sense of pride and exhilaration you must feel!

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  7. Im still struggling to find the right way to be able to reply to each post individually (i messed up the html, so until I have the time to fix it, ill have to go this way)

    thanks for the nice comments, and Lisa B, thanks a lot in advance for checking for such stamps! <3
    Bob...I havent seen the Mermaid...but I can tell exactly how you feel...I had the same feeling with the leaning tower in Pisa...it was just so small..and standing there..inclined on one side..just nothing special...

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  8. Happy Translator's Day!
    I believe you when you said translating is everything but easy. I have done a fair bit of translation, too, and it's a challenging task. I like reading about your work - good job, amiga, and keep it up. Maybe someday we could work as translators at a Rafa match? That would be the day!

    I love HCA! His books have accompanied me through my growing up years. The Little Match Girl affected me so much as well.

    Postcards Crossing

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  9. HCA is a good choice, he must have been translated into every language. I laughed at your Italian comment, driving and speech there seem to be always done at top speed. I'm always in awe of interpreters, as for translators well George Szirtes comment has always stuck in my mind that they "inhabit the air between two cultures".

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  10. Thanks for the enlightening description of your occupation, I can see it takes loads of talent to master such a feat, translation and interpretation. And then all the slang and idioms each language possesses, not sure how you do it!

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  11. What a fascinating blog post! Interesting stamps!

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