Becoming Bilingual by Min Cheng

Translator’s Note by Lianbi Ji ’21

This is my first experience translating non-conversational English into Chinese, and I found the task unexpectedly challenging. I was struck by how different the logics of expression in Mandarin Chinese and English are, which made word-to-word translation completely inadequate to maintain the precise meaning and language authenticity. Idiomatic phrases like “think on your feet” and “the best… one could ever ask for” do not have their literal equivalences in Chinese, and thus different structures of expression are needed. Rules like “because” does not go with “so” are opposite in Chinese (they have to exist in pairs). Word order also differs. Beyond these, I’ve also found myself struggling with maintaining the rhythm of language (E.g. how to translate “feeling enraged, misunderstood, and powerless”, to deal with the different word types yet keep the parallel rhythm?) In this somewhat complex and ambiguous process, subjective choices are made by the translator; from this short first experience, I am starting to understand how translator’s choices affect readers’ reading experiences in significant ways—translators are active participants in the production of literature.

At the same time, this experience to me feels very similar to “the moment of realization” for the author: the fact that I could perfectly and comfortably comprehend the text but found it very difficult to transform the expressions into Chinese ones means that I can now process information without using Chinese as a mediator. As a person undergoing the transition to bilingualism just like the author’s younger self, I completely resonate with the article; I felt like all those profoundly complex feelings and concerns I experienced in the process are well articulated and vividly depicted. Min’s story inspires me, and makes me feel less alone.

译者注

这是我的第一次英文书面写作翻译经历。我发现这个任务出乎意料的充满挑战性。我惊讶地意识到中文和英文之间语言表达逻辑的巨大差异,也因此理解逐词翻译完全不能够完整和真实地保留原文想传达的讯息和语言的韵律。比如,一些在英语中的固定、惯用短语(如“think on your feet”和“the best… one could ever ask for”)在中文里没有逐词平行的表达,因此,在遇到这些情况的时候,需要译者使用不同结构的表述来传达原文的意思;一些语法在英文中的规定(如“because”不和“so”同时出现)在中文里则不同甚至相反。语序在两个语言中也差异极大。除了这些基本的语法差异之外,我在试图保留原文的韵律感、文学性的时候也感到十分挣扎。例如,在翻译“feeling enraged, misunderstood, and powerless”的时候,怎样兼顾这些词的不同词性在中文中的运用规则,同时保留原句的排比效果?在这个充满复杂性和不确定性的经历里,译者需要做出许多主观选择;在这次短短的翻译初体验中,我开始理解译者的选择可以给读者的阅读经历带来的深刻影响——译者们是文学创作的真实参与者。

与此同时,这次翻译经历本身于我就好像笔者的“顿悟时刻”一般:我可以毫不费力地理解原文,却需要不断挣扎才能将它翻译成中文——这件事告诉我,现在我已经无需母语为媒介,就可以直接理解和欣赏英文的表达。我作为一个和笔者一样经历走向精通第二语言的挣扎的人,对文中所述之事深有共鸣;我感到那些我所经历的复杂的情绪和思考被笔者精准、流畅和生动地表述了出来。敏的故事激励了我,也提醒我:在这条路上,我并不孤单。

Translator’s Note by Ho Yean Choi ’19

I had difficulties translating ‘bilingual’ and ‘bicultural’ because there is no equivalent term in Korean. Depending on the context, I sometimes explained them as ‘speaking two languages and understanding two cultures’ and sometimes used the term ‘bilingual’ without translating it. Another difficulty was whether to use honorific language(존댓말) when the writer talks about her encounter with the English professor. It is common for Korean speakers to use honorific language when they talk to / refer to teachers or elders, but I was not exactly sure about how the writer felt toward the professor – whether she felt respectful toward him or not. So I made a slight hint of honorific language but did not strictly follow its rules.
That I shared similar experiences with the writer made it easier for me to translate some parts. The most relatable parts are when she felt uncomfortable with native English speakers’ compliments on her language, and when she found herself invisible.

역자의 말, 최호연:

한국어에는 ‘bilingual’이나 ‘bicultural’과 똑같은 뜻을 가진 단어가 없어서 번역할 때 고민이 많았다. 맥락에 따라 ‘두 언어를 구사하고 두 문화를 체화한’ 등으로 풀어 설명하기도 했고, 원어의 의미를 살려 ‘바이링구얼’이라는 단어를 그대로 쓰기도 했다.
글쓴이가 영어 교수님에 대해 설명하는 부분을 번역할 때 존댓말을 쓸 것인지에 대한 고민도 있었다. 한국어 사용자들이 어른들이나 선생님에 대해 이야기할 때 존댓말을 사용하는 것이 일반적이긴 하지만, 이 글쓴이가 교수님에게 정말 존댓말을 쓰고 싶어했는지, 그러니까 애써 존댓말을 사용할 정도로 교수님을 존경하는 마음을 갖고 있었는지 확실지 않았다. 그래서 존댓말의 어투를 섞되 극존칭을 사용하진 않았다.
글쓴이와 내가 비슷한 경험을 공유하고 있다는 것이 번역할 때 도움이 되었다. 특히 영어 원어민들로부터 영어 실력에 대한 칭찬을 들을 때 느낀 불편함이나, 미국에서 스스로의 존재가 비가시화되었다고 느끼던 경험 등에 많이 공감했다.

Translator’s Note by Saad Baloch ’20

کافی مشکل تھا کیونکہ مجھے اِس چیز کا خیال بھی رکھنا تھا کے ترجمہے کے بعد بھی الفاظ اسی جذبے سے من کی کہانی سنائیں اور کوئی بات بھی اپنا أصل مطلب کھو نا دے. اسی لیے میں نے ہر لفظ کا با معنی ترجمہ کرنے کے بجائے پورے جملوں اور خیالات کا ترجمہ کیا ہے. اِس ترجمے کے ساتھ میں یہ امید کرتا ہوں کے یہ آرْٹِیکَل زیادہ سے زیادہ لوگ پڑھیں گے اور اِس کہانی اور اِس کے مصنف کی تعریف کریں گے .

It has been a privilege and pleasure to work with such a heartfelt piece written by Min. It was challenging to translate it in such a way that it does not lose its true essence and still conveys the intended story. Sometimes the correct words lack the full subtlety of meaning or significance when translated from the original language to another, especially when done literally, so I tried to translate the ideas conveyed in the paragraphs, as opposed to carrying out word to word translation. For example, translating the sentence “I hated him with a passion” was hard to translate since the Urdu words for hate and passion cannot go together in one sentence! With this translation I hope it will reach out to wider audience, and more people will be able to connect with the story presented in this piece.

Translator’s Note by Aqiil Gopee ’20

Traduire Min a été plus difficile que je ne le pensais. Même si j’ai entrepris d’autres projets de traduction dans le passé, chaque texte est un monde nouveau à retranscrire, et je pense que le travail du traducteur devrait la délicatesse d’un travail de chirurgien ; pénétrer tendrement le texte avec le scalpel d’une nouvelle langue, et, sans bouleverser le sens que charrient les mots, les modifier un à un, revirement de vaisseaux dans une même mer de sens. Le texte de Min, particulièrement, est beau et très évocateur, surtout pour moi qui suis aussi un étudiant international pour qui l’anglais, parfois, a toujours un goût de verre brisé. Je navigue, depuis mon arrivée aux Etats-Unis, les mêmes eaux qu’ont naviguées Min des années de cela, ce qui me réconforte et me rassure. Je sais que je ne suis pas seul.

J’ai eu du mal à traduire certains mots, tels que « native speaker » ou « Kunmingnese », que j’ai laissé comme tel.

Translating Min has been harder than I thought it would be. Even though I have undertaken other translation projects in the past, each new text is a new world to transcribe, and I believe that translators, in their work, should be as sensitive as surgeons, tenderly penetrating the text with the scalpel of another language, and without disturbing the meaning carried by words, change them one by one, switching vessels in the same sea of meaning. Min’s text was beautiful and relatable, particularly for me as an international student to whom English sometimes still tastes like broken glass. Ever since I came to the United States, I have been navigating the same waters Min navigated years ago, which comforts and reassures me; I know I am not alone.

I had trouble translating certain words such as ‘native speaker’, which has no equivalent in French, or ‘Kunmingnese’, that I left as is.

Translator’s Note by Lucas Ambrosio

Generalmente trabajo traduciendo texto técnicos, por lo que el texto de Min fue un desafío. Su historia es tan enriquecedora y personal que cuando se traducen este tipo de textos, tienes que asegurarte de transmitir el mismo significado y, a su vez, elegir las palabras y expresiones que se adapten a tu lengua materna. Al traducir expresiones relacionadas con sentimientos o descripciones del inglés al español, a veces necesitas utilizar más palabras o expresiones para explicar algunas ideas y eso fue una experiencia muy interesante. Además, yo también soy un estudiante internacional viviendo en los Estados Unidos, razón por la cual me siento identificado con su relato.

I usually work translating technical texts, so translating Min’s text was challenging. Her story is so enriching and personal. When translating these types of texts, you have to make sure to convey the same meaning and, at the same time, choose the words and expressions that fit in your mother tongue. When translating expressions related to feelings or descriptions from English into Spanish, sometimes I needed to use more words or expressions to explain the same ideas. It was quite an interesting experience. In addition, I am also an international student living in the US, which is one reason why I identified with her narrative.


Fragments from a Letter by Benigno Sánchez-Eppler

Translator’s Note by Monica Elise Diaz ‘20

Translating can be challenging at times due to the inherent richness of vocabulary and expression of emotion that is present in Spanish writing, which stands in contrast to the somewhat dry emphasis on logical and succinct communication that is present in the English language. To properly convey the meaning intended by an English phrase in Spanish, it is often necessary to embellish the phrase with numerous flowery and colorful descriptors. Translating from my dominant language, English, to Spanish, the language of my family and ancestors, gives me an appreciation for the beauty and intricacy of my native language. Recognizing and celebrating the language of one’s ancestors seems crucial to true appreciation of cultural identity.

La traducción a veces se hace difícil debido a la riqueza inherente del vocabulario y la apasionado expresión de la emoción que está presente en la escritura española, que contrasta con el énfasis en la comunicación lógica y sucinta que caracteriza el inglés. Para expresar adecuadamente el significado de una frase inglés en español, muchas veces es necesario embellecer la frase con varios descriptores vibrantes y floridos. Traducir de mi idioma dominante, inglés, al español, el idioma de mi familia y mis antepasados, me permite apreciar la belleza y la complejidad de mi lengua materna. Reconocer y celebrar el lenguaje de sus antepasados es crucial para la apreciación de la identidad cultural.

Translator’s Note by Álex Filipe Santos ‘19

The first difficulty I came across when developing this translation was the fact that Portuguese—as most Romance languages—is highly inflected with respect to gender. This creates a challenge when using proper English nouns, whose genders need to be picked as sensibly as possible: “de/da/do Amherst College?” In standard Portuguese, there is no choice for a gender-neutral pronoun such as the English “they”, and adjective inflections are purely based on the noun/pronoun gender (“eles” or “elas”). In this case, I used a mixture of invariant nouns (“o/a estudante”) and inflected nouns (“o aluno” / “a aluna”) throughout the text. The second challenge was finding equivalent Portuguese renderings of English idiomatic expressions which lose their meaning when directly translated. Overall, I sense that my efforts were successful. One instance is the strength of possessive pronouns (“theirs”) and verbs related to possession (“to own”) in English, which can be slightly less pronounced in Portuguese and require additional words for a proper emphasis (“próprio a eles” or “pertence a eles e elas”). Nonetheless, it is important to keep in mind that a good portion of Portuguese native speakers, especially those resident in their home countries, do not come from a background in which concepts such as liberal arts colleges, residential college experience, and multilingualism at home are widespread. This surely has an influence on how certain references to these experiences in the text are interpreted by readers and cannot be summarized in an excerpt of this length. Many thanks to Rodrigo Heck and Hugo Bello, who helped me review this translation.

Nota do Tradutor

A primeira dificuldade que enfrentei no desenvolvimento dessa tradução é o fato de o português—assim como a maioria das línguas românicas—ser uma língua altamente flexionada em relação ao gênero. Existe, portanto, um desafio ao utilizar-se nomes próprios vindos do inglês, cujos gêneros devem ser escolhidos da maneira mais sensível possível: “de/da/do Amherst College”? Na norma padrão da língua portuguesa, não existe um pronome de gênero neutro como o they no inglês, e a flexão dos adjetivos é baseada no gênero no substantivo/pronome concordante (“eles” ou “elas”). Nesse caso, eu empreguei uma variedade de substantivos invariáveis (“o/a estudante”) e flexionados (“o aluno” / “a aluna”) no texto. O segundo desafio foi encontrar interpretações equivalentes no português de expressões idiomáticas inglesas que perdem o sentido quando traduzidas ao pé da letra. De maneira geral, considero que meus esforços foram bem-sucedidos. Um exemplo é a força dos pronomes possessivos (theirs) e verbos relacionados à possessão (to own), que podem ser levemente menos acentuados no português, e requerem palavras adicionais para uma ênfase correta (“próprio a eles” ou “pertence a eles e elas”). Entretanto, é importante ter em mente que uma boa parte dos falantes nativos do português, especialmente aqueles residentes em seus países de origem, não estão em um ambiente no qual conceitos como faculdades de artes liberais (liberal arts colleges), experiência residencial na faculdade e multilinguismo em casa são amplamente difundidos. Isso certamente tem uma influência na maneira em que certas referências à essas experiências no texto são interpretadas pelos leitores e não pode ser resumido em um excerto desse tamanho. Sou muito grato pelo apoio do Rodrigo Heck e Hugo Bello, que me ajudaram a revisar essa tradução.

Translator’s Note by Mikayla Vieira Ribeiro ’18

I was a bit apprehensive to take on this translation, because although I am fluent in Papiamentu, I have not studied it formally. Given linguistic colonial power dynamics, the Dutch Caribbean creole Papiamentu is often undervalued for its’ literary and academic value, and thus understudied in schools. So, my history with Papiamentu is not an unusual one. However, this also means that increased online, written, academic presence of Papiamentu is always pushing against the exact kind of linguistic discrimination mentioned in the article. I believe that the entire internet should be created and translated into Papiamentu so that Papiamentu speakers can more fully exist in our language on multiple platforms. In order to make sure that representation does not come at the cost of quality, I had my translation reviewed by several Papiamentu experts, in order to promote Papiamentu excellence, even while I am in a messy process of decolonizing my tongue.

Specifically about the translation process, I found the work to be far more creative than I had anticipated. Selecting similar words as representatives of concept not quite translatable put the artistry of constructing meaning in my hands. I enjoyed the excitement, and responsibility.

Translator’s Note by Ellie Thieu ’19

This is actually a collaboration between me and a friend, who works as a translator in Vietnam. I think we convey the spirit of the piece well. The writing in English is actually very academic, with many metaphors. And so at many times, I opt for translating the intended meaning instead of literal translation. I will note, though, that the challenge addressed in the excerpt is awareness about and respect of the diversity on campus. And in many cultures, and in particular in Vietnam, the focus has been: how can we modernize ourselves / shape our culture / behaviors to be more like the West / America. Therefore, while I convey the spirit of the piece well, I doubt if Vietnamese readers will understand why the piece is written, or appreciate the piece / the writer’s intentions.

Translator’s Note by Saad Baloch ’20

It has been a privilege and pleasure to work with this piece. It was challenging to translate because some of the words just do not have an accurate Urdu translation. Translation of words like multilingualism or phrases like “my own perils and triumphs as a translator and as a culture intermediary, a person straddling more than one otherness” do not do justice to the original piece. So I had to use 2-3 sentences to explain even one phrase so that it can be somewhat closer to the original. With this translation I hope it will reach out to wider audience, and more people will be able to connect with the story presented in this piece.

مترجم کے خیالات:

اِس آرْٹِیکَل پر کام کر کے مجھے بہت خوشی ہوئی. اِس کا ترجمہ کرنا کافی مشکل تھا کیونکہ کچھ الفاظ کا درست ترجمہ کرنا تقریباً نا ممکن ہے. ملٹی لینگویل اور باقی کچھ جملوں کا ترجمہ کرنا بہت مشکل تھا تو میں نے ایک لفظ کی جگہ دو تِین جملوں میں اس کا مطلب اردومیں سمجھانے کی کوشش کی ہے.

اِس ترجمے کے ساتھ میں یہ امید کرتا ہوں کے یہ آرْٹِیکَل زیادہ سے زیادہ لوگ پڑھیں گے اور اِس کہانی اور اِس کے مصنف کی تعریف کریں گے .

Translator’s Note by Aleksandar Ristivojevic ’22

This was the first article I have ever translated into the Serbian language and my first impression is that translation was a lot more demanding than I had previously expected. The greatest difficulty I encountered was certainly the different syntax used in Serbian language, so that direct translations of even simple phrases sounded somewhat awkward. As a result, I often had to significantly change the original sentence to make it sound more natural in Serbian. This was especially true for some more complex phrases used by the author. Another difficulty was the vocabulary. I witnessed the richness of English vocabulary and sometimes struggled to find the right word in my native language.

Aside from those difficulties, I think that working as a translator will help me perfect my knowledge of English. Reading English texts by itself introduces me to new words and expressions. As I’m translating from English and trying to find a way to express ideas in Serbian, at the same time I’m improving my skills with both languages. Also, I noticed the vast number of word forms Serbian language has because of its 7 grammar cases.

The topic of this article is very intriguing to me since I don’t have any experience of suppression of my first language and have never thought about growing up in two linguistic environments. The article contributed to my understanding of the importance of multiculturalism in the development of an academic institution such as Amherst College.

Белешке преводиоца:

Ово је први чланак који сам преводио на српски. Први утисак је да је превођење било далеко захтевније него што сам у почетку очекивао. Највећа потешкоћа ми је свакако било другачија синтакса него у српском језику, тако да су директни преводи чак и врло јасних израза звучали чудно. Због тога сам често морао да приликом превођења доста изменим оригиналну реченицу да би она на српском звучала природно. Ово се посебно односи на неке сложеније изразе које је аутор користио. Потешкоћа је био и речник, јер сам схватио да је енглески језик врло богат и у свом матерњем језику нисам могао да пронађем адекватну реч.

Осим потешкоћа које са собом носи, мислим да ће ми процес превођења помоћи да усавршим своје знање енглеског језика. Само читање текстова на енглеском ми помаже да се боље упознам са новим изразима и речима. Док преводим и покушавам да пронађем начин да мисли са енглеског изразим на српском, истовремено унапређујем своје знање и енглеског и свог матерњег језика. Такође сам приметио колико различитих облика речи српски језик има, понајвише због прилођавања речи падежима.

Тема овога текста ми је веома занимљива јер досад нисам имао искуства потискивања свог језика и нисам ни размишљао о одрастању у две различите језичке средине. Мислим да је овај чланак допринео мом разумевању значаја мултикултуралности за развој једне академске заједнице попут Амхерст колеџа.


The Rise and Fall of Urdu Language and Literature by Harith Khawaja

Translator’s Note by Harith Khawaja ’19, author of the original Urdu text

Urdu is a hard language for any translator to work with. For one, the beauty of its script is simply incommunicable in English. Written Urdu is read from right to left, oftentimes differing adjacent characters will change the way the entire word is written, and many times words spelt identically often have differing pronunciations, making it necessary to use harakat, literally vowel markings that aid enunciation. Furthermore, the language is undivorceable from Pakistani (and subcontinental) culture. There are some words that simply cannot be rendered into English because they will make no sense, for example “Shikwa and Jawab-i-Shikwa,” which literally mean “Complaint and Resolution” are arguably the two most famous works of Iqbal. Another challenge is translating proverbs in Urdu into English. In Urdu, there is a saying which literally means “like the amount of salt in pounded dough” to indicate “scantiness” – here we see some poetry being lost in translation. In the English version of this article, it was extremely hard to make the point of how English words interject an otherwise Urdu conversation. I tried to do that here by italicizing the words that are spoken in English.

Translator’s Note in French by Harith Khawaja, author of the original Urdu text

Note de Traducteur par Harith Khawaja

Travailler avec Ourdou est une tâche sisyphéenne. D’abord la beauté du script est simplement intraduisible. L’écriture est lue de droite à gauche, la combinaison de certains caractères va changer de façon d’écriture du mot entier, et plusieurs fois, les mêmes mots ont des prononciations différentes. Donc il devient nécessaire d’utiliser ce qu’on appelle des harakats [8]. Ensuite, la langue est inséparable de la culture pakistanaise. Il y a quelques mots qui n’ont pas du tout de traduction. Par exemple : « Shikwa et Jawab-i-Shikwa » veulent dire « Plainte et Résolution » qui sont peut-être deux des meilleures œuvres d’Iqbal. Un autre défi est de traduire des proverbes en ourdou en anglais. Il y en a un qui veut littéralement dire : « comme le sel dans la pâte de pain » pour indiquer la « maigre nombre de quelque chose ». Ici, on voit un peu de poésie perdue. Dans la version française, un des défis était d’indiquer comment des mots anglais sont gardés dans une conversation en ourdou. J’ai essayé de le souligner en mettant ces mots en italique. Traduire en français est encore un défi parce que l’ourdou est très loin de français. Donc, plusieurs fois, j’ai dû avoir recourse à la traduction anglaise pour rendre plus clair le sens des expressions. Le français, étant plus proche de l’anglais, partage beaucoup plus de similarités avec cette langue.

Translator’s Note by Aleksandar Ristivojevic ’22

Unlike “Fragments from a Letter”, the previous article I had translated, process of translating this one was a lot faster. There weren’t any major difficulties, and it was a lot easier for me to translate various English phrases. However, article’s topic left strongest impression on me and I’m glad I translated this article to Serbian.

I was quite intrigued by Harith Khawaja’s story, as I knew almost nothing about language, history or culture of south Asia, and thus of Indian subcontinent. I was fascinated by development of Urdu language, especially the influence of British rule and how English began to take the place of Urdu. The entire education in Serbia is in our native language and it was incredible to me that schools in Pakistan, even today, decades after the end of British rule, still use English as language of instruction. Despite those differences, issues Urdu faces today remind me of those that also exist in Serbia. English words are slowly creeping into everyday speech. Although not to the same extent as in Pakistan, people tend to increasingly use English phrases in everyday conversation, primarily due to lack of appropriate words in Serbian to designate terms related to Internet, social media and computers. Though they don’t finish assignments or have midterms, Serbian youth regularly likes and shares Facebook posts.

In my opinion, this interesting article is very important for all of us from non-English speaking world, as it describes a phenomenon that will be more prominent in the future – gradual insertion of English into other languages. Although languages are dynamic and constantly evolving, this article reminds us we cannot let ourselves disregard our language and replace it with English (or some hybrid of English) as it will cause us to slowly lose a part of our culture and identity.

Белешке преводиоца

За разлику од „Одломака из писма“, прошлог чланка који сам преводио, превођење овог ми је ишло доста брже. Није било већих потешкоћа и превођење различитих фраза са енглеског ми је било лакше. Ипак, највећи утисак на мене је оставила тема овог чланка, због чега ми је посебно драго да сам га превео на српски.

Веома ме је заинтересовала прича Харита Каваје, јер нисам знао готово ништа о језику, историји и култури јужне Азије, па самим тим ни индијског потконтинента. Такође ми је била фасцинантна прича о развоју урду језика, поготово о утицају британске владавине и  томе како је енглески почео да потискује урду. Било ми је невероватно да се у Пакистану и данас, деценијама после краја британске власти, школска настава одвија на енглеском, јер је у Србији целокупно образовање на матерњем (српском) језику. Упркос тим разликама, у Кавајином опису проблема са којим се урду језик суочава,  препознао сам неке које постоје и у Србији. Енглеске речи полако улазе у свакодневни говор. Иако не у оној мери као у Пакистану, у разговору се све више користе енглески изрази, понајвише због недостатка одговарајућих речи на српском за појмове везане за интернет, друштвене мреже и рачунаре. Иако не завршавају асајнменте или имају мидтермове, млади у Србији лајкују и шерују објаве на Фејсбуку.

Сматрам да је ово веома занимљив и важан чланак за све нас који смо из средина где енглески није матерњи језик, јер говори о појави која ће бити све више истакнута у будућности – постепеном убацивању енглеског у друге језике. Упркос томе што су језици динамични  и временом се мењају, овај чланак нас подсећа да не смемо допустити да скрајнемо свој језик и да га заменимо енглеским (или неким хибридом енглеског), јер тиме постпепено губимо део своје културе и идентитета.


A Rose By Any Other Name by Faith Chung

Translator’s Note by Hikari Yoshida ’19

Before taking a course in Amherst last semester called, “Literature as Translation,” I thought of the translator’s work as something that bridges the gap between the two different languages. However, as I translated one of the short stories written by a Japanese author, from Japanese to English, and this piece by Faith, from English to Japanese, I realized that translation is more of bridging the cultural differences between the two countries. Translating Faith’s piece was challenging because there were a lot of Korean words that I did not know what they would actually sound like when pronounced in Korean, in English, and in Japanese. Even though I have never met the author of this piece, I felt as if I already knew her in person as I was translating this short piece! I think this experience is what I enjoy the most when I am translating.

翻訳:吉田ひかり

アマースト大学で翻訳に関する授業を履修したり、フェイスの物語を訳したりしている内に、翻訳家としての仕事はただ単に二つの言語を訳すものではなく、二つの国の文化を訳すものだということに気がつきました。今回の作品を訳すにあたって、一番難しかったことは、英語で表記されている韓国語の言葉をどのようにして日本語で、そして、日本語の音として一番忠実に訳すかということです。また、会ったこともない筆者のことを、本当の知り合いのように知ることができるということが、翻訳家としての特権だと思います。

Translator’s Note by Esther Song ’21

Faith의 회고록을 번역하는 일은 매우 특별한 경험이었습니다. 다른 누군가의 글을 나 자신의 언어로 재창조해낸다는 것은 분명 엄청난 특권이지만 동시에 상당한 책임과 부담이 따른다고 생각합니다. 특히 이처럼 개인적인 내용을 담고있는 글은 모든 단어, 표현, 그리고 문장을 번역하는데 있어 특히나 많은 주의와 생각을 필요로 한다고 느꼈습니다. 한 편의 문장에 이렇게 많은 시간과 노력을 쏟은 적은 아마 이번이 처음일 것입니다. 모든 문장 하나 하나를 단어로, 또 그 단어들을 그 속에 있는 미묘한 뉘앙스들과 의미로 분해하는 과정을 끊임없이 반복했습니다. 제 번역이 원본의 의미나 어조를 왜곡하지 않았으면 하는 마음에 Faith의 글이 가지고 있는 고유의 리듬과 특징을 전달할 언어를 찾기 위해 노력한 것 같습니다. 물론 쉽지 않은 과정이었습니다. 최종 번역본에서도 원본과 사뭇 다른 부분들이 분명 존재하는데, 이는 한글과 영문 사이의 차이, 그리고 Faith와 저의 문체 차이에서 비롯된 어쩔 수 없는 현상이라고 생각됩닌다. 하지만 한가지 확실한 것은 원본과 번역본 둘 다 각기의 언어로 Faith의 이야기를 아름답게 표현해내고 있다는 것입니다. 저는 이 사실 하나만으로 이 다사다난했던 번역 과정이 힘들기보다는 보람있었다고 느껴집니다

Translating Faith’s memoir was a truly special experience. Being able to recreate someone else’s writing in my own words is undoubtedly a privilege, but one that comes with its fair share of burdens. The very personal nature of the piece made it even more imperative that I treated each word, expression, and punctuation with utmost attention and care. I don’t think I’ve ever spent so much time and effort going through a single piece of text, dissecting each and every sentence into words and then words into their specific nuances and implications. I didn’t want my translation to obscure the meaning or tone of the original text and often struggled to find the ‘right’ words to encapsulate the unique rhythm and qualities of Faith’s writing. It was a difficult task, and I know there are parts of my translation that inevitably deviate from the original, simply due to fundamental differences that exist between the two languages as well as between our writing styles. However, I can confidently say that both the original and the translation tell Faith’s experience in equally beautiful, albeit different languages- and for me, this knowledge alone makes the whole experience of translation much more rewarding than challenging.

Translator’s Note by Saad Baloch ’20

It has been a privilege and pleasure to work with this piece. It was challenging to translate because some of the words just do not have an accurate Urdu translation. Translation of words like monogrammed or phrases like “My cousins are half korean” do not do justice to the original piece. So I had to use 2-3 sentences to explain even one phrase so that it can be somewhat closer to the original. With this translation I hope it will reach out to wider audience, and more people will be able to connect with the story presented in this piece.

مترجم کے خیالات:

اِس آرْٹِیکَل پر کام کر کے مجھے بہت خوشی ہوئی. اِس کا ترجمہ کرنا کافی مشکل تھا کیونکہ کچھ الفاظ کا درست ترجمہ کرنا تقریباً نا ممکن ہے. مونوگرام اور باقی کچھ جملوں کا ترجمہ کرنا بہت مشکل تھا تو میں نے ایک لفظ کی جگہ دو تِین جملوں میں اس کا مطلب اردومیں سمجھانے کی کوشش کی ہے.
اِس ترجمے کے ساتھ میں یہ امید کرتا ہوں کے یہ آرْٹِیکَل زیادہ سے زیادہ لوگ پڑھیں گے اور اِس کہانی اور اِس کے مصنف کی تعریف کریں گے .

Translator’s Note by Gabriela Bucio

When I first read Faith’s memoir, I could not wait to translate it into Spanish. Her piece is powerfully packed with nostalgia, and I have always felt that the Spanish language is much more emotionally conducive than English. I wanted to keep the rhythm of Faith’s writing, thinking that the romantic nature of Spanish would be especially helpful. Soon, however, I realized that the colloquialism embedded in Faith’s memoir was much harder to translate into Spanish than I thought, mainly because it is shaped by the logical and almost cold essence of the English form of speech. I began to stress over each word, determined to find the perfect one for each thought – the infamous accent marks that change the meaning of words in Spanish did not help either. Nonetheless, after many revisions of my translation, and countless readings of Faith’s original, I finally feel that my translation has successfully – though not perfectly – encapsulated the sentiments of Faith’s memoir, if only with minor changes of the English wit for the Spanish melodrama.

Cuando inicialmente leí las memorias de Faith, no podía esperar para traducirlo as español. Su pieza esta poderosamente repleta de nostalgia, y siempre he sentido que el español es mas favorecerte a las emociones que el idioma ingles. Quería mantener el ritmo de la escritura de Faith, pensando que la naturaleza romántica del español seria especialmente útil en esto. Sin embargo, pronto realice que el coloquialismo presente en las memorias de Faith era mucho mas difícil de traducir de lo que esperaba, mayormente porque es moldeado por la esencia fría y lógica de las formas de comunicación en ingles. Empecé a estresarme sobre cada palabra, determinada a encontrar la equivalente perfecta en español para cada pensamiento – las tildes conocidas del español que cambian la definición de las palabras tampoco ayudaban mucho. De todas maneras, después de muchas revisiones a mi traducción e innumerables leídas de la versión original de Faith, por fin siento que mi traducción ha exitosamente – aunque no perfectamente – encapsulado los sentimientos de las memorias de Faith, si tan solo con pequeños cambios del ingenio ingles por el melodrama español.


The Archival History of Multilingual Publishing at Amherst College by Manda Pizzollo

Translator’s Note by Daniel Betancur-Echeverri

This is my very first translation for Confluences. I recall seeing the flyer for this publication in Val and being immediately interested in it. I’d never thought of, much less heard of, a publication interested in bringing bodies of works into as many languages as the ones spoken by our student body. It’s my final year at Amherst College, and lately, I’ve been thinking about the past 3 ½ years here, and what I’ve learned. I’ve kind of been a little disappointed that I didn’t take advantage of the opportunities presented here to explore and develop my Spanish more, and by doing so, become more in touch with my culture. So lately I’ve been trying to make amends, first by signing up for a class studying Pablo Neruda, and second, by reaching out to Confluences to translate some works for them. To my surprise, the translation was much more difficult and complicated than I had previously imagined coming into this. After this undertaking, I’ve come to realize just how difficult it is to translate across languages whilst trying to maintain the spirit and meaning of the original. For this paper, the most notable example is towards the end, with the author’s use of the word, “darn.” It hit me when I came across it that there wasn’t really a Spanish equivalent. When I plugged it into Google Translate, it also didn’t really know what to do with it, instead, returning a much more vulgar expletive in its place. There are other examples of course, but luckily, the big picture can always be translated, with a few modifications here and there of course. Funnily enough, it’s these small modifications that tell you so much about the culture and the people who speak a particular language and makes this whole translation work worth it.

Esta es mi primera traducción para Confluences. Recuerdo haber visto el folleto de esta publicación en Val y haber estado inmediatamente interesado en él. Nunca había pensado, y mucho menos escuchado, de una publicación interesada en traer cuerpos de trabajos a tantos idiomas como los que habla nuestros estudiantes. Es mi último año en Amherst College, y últimamente he estado pensando en los últimos 3 ½ años, y en lo que he aprendido. Me ha decepcionado un poco que no aprovechara las oportunidades que se presentan aquí para explorar y desarrollar mi español y, al hacerlo, estar más en contacto con mi cultura. Así que últimamente he estado intentando hacer las paces, primero inscribiéndome en una clase que estudia a Pablo Neruda, y segundo, contactando a Confluences para traducir algunas obras para ellos. Sorprendentemente, la traducción fue mucho más difícil y complicada de lo que había esperado. Después de este trabajo, me he dado cuenta de lo difícil que es la traducción en todos los idiomas mientras tratar de mantener el espíritu y el significado del original. Para este artículo, el ejemplo más notable es hacia el final, con el uso que hace el autor de la palabra, “darn”. Me di cuenta de que en realidad no había un equivalente palabra en español. Cuando lo conecté a Google Translate, tampoco sabía realmente qué hacer con él, sino que me devolvía una palabra mucho más vulgar en su lugar. Hay otros ejemplos, por supuesto, pero afortunadamente, el panorama general siempre se puede traducir, con algunas modificaciones aquí y allá, por supuesto. Curiosamente, son estas pequeñas modificaciones las que hablan mucho sobre la cultura y las personas que hablan un idioma en particular y hacen que toda la traducción valga la pena.

Translator’s Note by Hyery Yoo ’22

As I translated this piece, I realized that the major challenge with translating is balancing between accurately conveying the original text and making the translation flow. I translated expressions that are not used in Korean, such as “archival treasures” and “darn well,” by replacing or removing these expressions instead of translating them word-by-word. Although some of the author’s tone was lost by this choice, the translation became easier to read. I also had to choose between naming the magazines by sounding out the names and by directly translating the meaning. I decided to sound out unique names like “Confluences”, “Electric Pen”, and “Polyglossos” with a note of their meaning (with the exception of Polyglossos) in order to make the magazines easily identifiable. Despite the challenges, translating for Confluences was a worthwhile experience because I learned that inevitable loss and gain of meaning exist in translation and that the translator plays an important role in how the writing is portrayed to the readers.

이 글을 번역하면서 원문을 정확하게 표현하는 것과 번역문을 자연스럽게 만드는 것의 균형을 찾는 것이 번역의 어려운 부분이라는 것을 알게 되었다. 한국어에서 잘 쓰이지 않는 표현들은 번역문을 더 읽기 쉽게 하기 위해 작가의 어조를 조금 잃는 것을 감안하고 단어를 하나씩 직역하는 대신 다른 표현으로 대체하거나 삭제하였다. 또한 잡지의 이름을 영어 발음대로 표기할 것인지 이름의 의미를 번역하여 표기할 것인지 고민하다가 원본 잡지를 찾기 쉽게 하기 위해 컨플루언스, 일렉트릭 펜, 폴리글로소스 등의 이름을 영어 발음대로 표기하면서 괄호 안에 의미를 적기로 결정하였다. 어려운 부분도 있었지만 컨플루언스의 글을 번역하는 것은 의미 있는 경험이었다. 번역 중에 어쩔 수 없이 의미가 사라지기도 더해지기도 한다는 것과 글이 독자에게 어떻게 비추어지는지에 대해 있어 번역자의 역할이 중요하다는 것을 배웠다.


Beyond Barriers by Min Cheng

Translator’s Note by Juanita Jaramillo

It was challenging to interpret the text in English, and then translate it into Spanish in a way that flowed well without losing the original meaning of the text. It served as a good reminder that I need to brush up on my grammar skills, for the translation required a lot of editing. It was reassuring to know that I have a strong Spanish vocabulary, and that I was able to recreate a piece of writing in my second language. It made me more confident in my abilities to write and interpret Spanish. I think the Spanish translation adds more depth to it, for the article addresses themes of isolation, discomfort and self doubt as a foreigner in the United States. I think many Spanish speakers can relate to the discomfort of being an immigrant in a foreign country, and the fact that is it then translated into Spanish really drives that point forward and serves as a reminder that many other people share this experience.

Fue difícil interpretar el texto en ingles y despide traducirlo a español de una manera que fluía bien sin perder el significado original. Sirvió para recordarme que tengo que mejorar mis habilidades gramáticas, ya que la traducción necesita muchas revisiones. Fue tranquilizante saber que tengo un buen vocabulario en español, y que fui capaz de recrear un articulo en mi segunda lengua. Me hizo más confiada en mis habilidades para escribir e interpretar el español. Creo que la traducción en español hace el texto más significativo, porque el articulo se refiere a temas de aislamiento, incomodidad, y dudas sobre si mismo como extranjero en los Estados Unidos. Muchos hispanohablantes pueden relacionarse con la incomodidad de ser un inmigrante en un país extranjero, y el hecho de que sea traducido a él español impulsa ese punto y sirve como recuerdo que muchas personas comparten esa experiencia.

Translator’s Note by Malyaka Imran

مٍن کی تحریر کا اردو ترجمہ کرنا ایک مشکل مگر خوش کن تجربہ تھا۔ بعض اوقات اصل تحریر کے پس منظر کے مطابق اردو الفاظ کا انتخاب کرنا مشکل تھا، مگر اس سرگرمی کی بدولت مجھے اپنی مادری زبان کے پیچ و خم کو زیادہ گہرای اور باریک بینی سے سمجھنے کا موقع ملا۔ میں ہر پہلو کو اسی درجے اور شدت سے پیش کرنا چاہتی تھی جس سے وہ اصل تحریر میں بیان ہوا ہے اور میں نے سیکھا کہ دو زبانوں کے بیچ کی کشمکش میں اس توازن کو برقرار رکھنا ایک دشوار مرحلہ ہے۔ من کا اپنی جدوجہد کے متعلق بات کرنا بہت قابلٍ قدر ہے. مجھے ان سے بہت قوت اور حوصلہ حاصل ہوا اور مجھے یقین ہے کہ باقی پڑھنے والوں کو بھی ہوگا۔

Translating Min’s work to Urdu was a challenging and joyful experience. While it was difficult at times to find Urdu words that rightly fit the context of the actual piece, it also helped me explore the intricacies of my mother language more deeply and thoroughly. I was very particular about portraying everything to the same degree and intensity as it is in the original content, but it is indeed very hard to maintain that proportion and balance when you are thinking back and forth between 2 languages. I also really appreciate how Min came ahead and spoke up about her struggles. I derived a lot of strength from them, as I am sure many readers will do too.