Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Reasons to be Proud of Fellow Translators, Part 1

My friend and fellow translator Tom Morrison sent me this, and I share his sentiments: 

Ceremonial presentation of the Tarabaya awards for Turkish-German translation in the flash new Turkish embassy building in Tiergartenstrasse in Berlin on 12 February 2014. The traditional Turkish music is lovely, the speeches for the most part less tedious than one has come to fear, the black-suited diplomats on the whole professional and smooth. A placard from the Turkish board of tourism reminds us (just in case anyone was wondering) that there is nary a cloud on the horizon, Istanbul's Taksim Square a distant, irksome, dream. A grand bunch of prizewinners, and you admire them all. They tell their own stories as they talk about the stories they translate.

And then, introduced with affectionate aplomb by Joachim Sartorius, Sezer Duru -- bright face, big hair, words of thanks concise and clear as she talks about a career that began in the 1960s. And by the way, she casually winds up, it's time that Turkey installed the rule of law. It's an utter disgrace that XX has been in jail for the past four years just for translating such and such, or that XX was imprisoned for writing an article on this, that and the other. (To my own shame I can supply neither names nor titles.) The diplomatic smiles suddenly look frozen. Did I hear a pin drop? The applause from many members of the audience is notably animated, and you think, not for the first time, that there is reason to be proud of fellow translators.

Do send me other reasons, if you have them.

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