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Friday, July 1, 2011

My Work, My Identity

Update: Now I'm currently residing in Maryland. I'm looking forward to meeting all the writers and agents in the east coast area, especially New York!

People often ask what it is that I do. I thought I made myself clear, but it seems that most people from Twitter think of me as just a mean, crazy, stabby editing person. I am that, too, but that’s not the whole picture. I am a writer who writes fiction although that progress is taking longer due to the “paying” work. But there’s a connection there, you see.
First, I need to tell you what I do for “paid” work. I translate/edit published and yet-to-be published materials. I also translate visual works such as movies, instructional/business DVDs, and T.V. shows. The translation being from Korean to English and English to Korean in the form of literature, subtitles, and dubs. I’ve worked in 2 separate countries and have more than 3 years of experience under my whatever. I don’t wear belts, not that kind. 
I don’t want to bombard you with the extensive explanation of what a translator does. But it’s much more complicated than looking up a dictionary and writing down sentences. The Count of Monte Cristo, for example, I’ve read it dozens of times in both languages and all by different translators. Not all of them were created equal, needless to say. 
The next time you pick up a foreign book that’s been translated into your own language, just ponder this. You’re not only reading the words of the author, but you’re also reading the work of a translator who worked hard to convey the original message. That’s not as easy as it sounds. And have you all read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series? It's an example of excellent writing from both the author and the translator.
Back to my work life. After years of working on other people’s work, I realized that I also had a story to tell, many actually, and may have the skills to write better than some of these people. Okay, that makes me sound very......but it’s true. So last year when I moved back to Hawaii, I took up the job again and began to write my own books on the side. 
Aside from those two things, I pitch in for some critique groups and assist the other writers with their query letters, synopsis, and their books. I'm pretty good at beta/alpha readings and give general feedbacks to those who want them. I don’t get paid for those things, but I enjoy doing it. Some of them actually reciprocate by helping me with mine. It’s a karma thing. So basically....that’s what I do. You know, besides what I do on here, Twitter, and my personal life, in which I go to Waikiki and attack random tourists at will. In a good way. Toodaloo~~

www.sirraedits.com


14 comments:

  1. Su aka Wifey:

    If you don't want folks to LOVE YOU as much as I DO, that was a big mistake. Otherwise, as usual, I think it was almost as brilliant as you are.

    Kisses!

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  2. Hello Sirra -

    A long time ago I used translators from my English spoken words to many languages; German, Chinese, Italian, Slovenian, Czech, ect.... while I paused to continue. Sometimes a lot of the meaning can be lost, especially if the translator desires to speak their own words rather than mine. Sometimes still, there are just rough interpretations all together. Yes, I do know your job is not an easy task. Not at all. :)

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  3. Wow, that's deep. A lot lot more to you than I'd figured.

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  4. Great post. It's nice to learn something about you. I had no idea you did all those things. As far as critiques are concerned, if people are asking for your opinion, you need to give it to them honestly. I don't think that's being harsh at all. In fact, it's rather helpful. I never thought about all the work that goes into translating books. Thanks for the insight!

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  5. I've honestly never given much thought to how important a good translator is to conveying the original author's message. Now I feel bad.

    I'll definitely think about what you've said the next time I pick up a translated...anything, really. ;)

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  6. That sounds like an interesting job. Do you get to work from home?

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  7. Paul, you could've asked me this on Twitter. Yes! I do work at home. But I have to pick up the material and attend meetings at least once a week. The important part is that I can nap, go to the beach, or just play around in while I work!

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  8. First of all: “in which I go to Waikiki and attack random tourists at will” – I’d like to see that.

    The idea that when you read a translation, you’re not only reading the author’s words, but the translator's also is a very interesting one. We always hear the phrase, ‘It’s a very good translation’ or ‘It’s an awful translation’ and we probably don’t realise the implications of that. Not to compare you to the Bible, but there are so many different translations of the Bible out there with so many different interpretations of passages that people actually live their lives by. Makes you think about the power of the translator.

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  9. Just a quick question.

    So as a translator, does it feel like you are a musician doing cover songs? I mean you have the source material to work with, but you still have to go up there on 'stage' and essentially give your interpretation.

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  10. Derek, what I meant by "attack" should be taken as "meet & greet." :P
    Michael, I've never been compared to a musician although I do feel like a kitchen elf slaving away in Hogwarts. It's like everyone loves the food and thinks it magical, but no one truly knows who cooked them.

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  11. Your résumé doesn't surprise me at all, and I'm among those who have always thought that the best translators have to be fine writers.

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  12. Sounds interesting and time consuming! One of my Spanish Teachers was a translator, he said it was hard to do humor in different languages. Good luck with your book series!

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  13. So you're not an axe murderer then? Damn it, I'm following the wrong woman lol

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