Why does one start a blog? I am, among much else, a translator and an archaeologist. This is my professional website. Why do I start this blog? Practice, information, self-reflection: those are some of my reasons. No doubt there are others, there always are, but I will not trouble you, my reader, with those.
Practice is obvious: a good translator must also be a good writer. There are many ways to interpret the word ‘translation’. To me a good translation is above all a good text, well written and able to speak for itself, not leaning on its source text like a cripple on crutches. But good writing requires practice, developing skills and keeping them needle-sharp. That is what I hope to do in this blog. I beg your forgiveness if I do not succeed altogether and all the time.
Information, I said. You, as a client, may be interested to know what happens between the moment you hand over your text to me and the moment, days or weeks later, when you receive your translation – and the invoice. What does a translator do, and why? What do you pay for? Read and learn!
Then there is self reflection: a dangerous word, likely to put people off. No ‘dear diary’ here, no exploration of your translators’ innermost feelings. Translation, however, can be lonely work without colleagues around who can hold up a mirror, forcing the translator to step back and look: is this right? Should I do this, now, or something else, later? Lacking colleagues holding mirrors, at least in my office, I will use this blog instead.
As this will not be a personal diary there is no need to write daily. But regularly, a few times every week, whenever other tasks allow it. I shall – perhaps overconfidently – write in English, not in Dutch. I trust that most Dutch visitors to this site can read English, and I need the practice. My apologies, Dutch readers. It is a tribute to your language skills.