Jul 27, 2010

My Dream Job - Lost in Translation !

[Edited to Add - This post is a winner in the BlogAdda `My Dream Job` Contest. Thanks a lot BlogAdda !]

This post is my entry for the Blog Adda Dream Job contest, sponsored by Pringoo.

Dream Job ! Ah that elusive thing which we all yearn for but rarely get !

Since childhood I've had two passions, Languages and Creative Writing. I love learning languages, love to understand their mysterious intricacies and how to use them. I have been learning languages since childhood and have even made Japanese, a foreign language my profession. Now, after a Masters in that language I am doing something that is not even remotely similar to what I had ever visualized doing. I work in the IT industry, a non techie sticking out like a sore thumb amongst all those technically savvy people!. When I started learning the language, I had visions of myself wearing ethnic clothes from Fab India, doing literary translations and discussing Japanese art and literature over coffee. The only thing that has come true is that I wear ethnic clothes! Instead of doing literary translations I translate technical specifications and instead of discussing literature over coffee I spend my time with the so called techie nerds who think Yasunari Kawabata is not worth knowing because he didn’t write an idiots guide to Java programming !
My Dream job, my absolute I would die for it sort of dream job combines both languages and creative writing. I would love to make a living out of literary translation. Literary translation is translating works of literature from one language into another. The art of translation, especially translating literature is a difficult one. You need to take care of both the lingual and cultural nuances in such a way that the reader feels he is reading the original and not a translation. I love the challenge of finding the exact words that would convey not the dictionary meaning but the real essence and spirit behind what the writer wants to say. To be able to translate well you need to have not only a flair for words but also a creative bent of mind.
I don’t yearn for success or great accolades in literary circles.I just want to write, to translate simply for the love of the language, because I love to dabble with words, to play with them and use their magic the way I want!
And while I am it, I would like to enjoy my work, do it at my own pace, without the corporate worlds' stress for deadlines. I want enough time to enjoy that sunset, to take leisurely walks, to take out time for the simple pleasures of life!

While describing his life as a writer in his Book 'The India I love' Ruskin Bond has written 'Here I am, doing my own thing, in my own time and in my own way. What more can I ask of Life?'

Indeed what more can one ask from Life !


  1. yup ... dream jobs one which gvs u a sense of contentment....

    nice one ... good luck fr contest :)

  2. A vet nice post. Good luck with the contest.

  3. That was one great post. Congrats on winning the contest.


  4. Very well-written, Ruch. Congrats on winning the contest.

    I agree; working as a technical translator is a world apart from plunging neck deep into the realm of literary translations.

    There is an increasing need for foreign language translators in the publishing business and I urge you to explore such opportunities with mainstream publishers if you so crave for mixing coffee with lah-di-dah literary conversations! I'm sure your Fab India kurtis will make a splash in such circles :)

    I am impressed that you have chosen your passion as your profession. All the best.

    -- Kausalya

  5. Very nice post!
    Hope you get a job where you have to do what you enjoy doing!
    All the best

  6. TOO MUCH and all!! ab kya kahoon...congrats hi congrats hai ji!!! enjoy...

  7. Hey Ruchira,

    Really very nice blog from the heart .... Congrates for the Award!!!

  8. @namit –Thanks !
    @ Life Begins – Thanks!glad u liked it !
    @ Nikhil – Thanks! Yeah I hope so too !
    @Kausalya – Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it !
    @Whatinaname – Thank you hai ji !!
    @Khushboo – Thanks. Glad u like the blog !

  9. Hi Ruchira,

    well written.
    keep it up.

  10. Wow congrats for winning the contest.
    I really envy people like you who has flair for different languages. I can hardly say I know a language well - not even my mother tongue :(

  11. @RS -Thank you !
    Dhanya - Thanks. I really love languages!

  12. Hey ruch you won the contest! Congrats yaar. Its not a surprise, since you write so well. I have enjoyed reading all your blogs so far.
    But seriously, if you want to do literary translation, you can try participating in that shizuoka literary translation contest.. remember.. One of the judges is donald keene.. why dont you check it out?

  13. Hey that's a great post. Congrats on your blogadda win!

  14. @Latha - Thanks a ton ! Unfortunately the Shizuoka contest has been discontinued since the past few yrs !
    @Vaish - Thanks ! Welcome to the blog !

  15. Congrats on the award. :)

    Japanese! Wow! I can't even speak my mother tongue properly. :P

    And cheers to make your dreams come through... I look forward to reading some good Japanese novels translated by you. :)

  16. Congratulations Ruch. Very well written.
    Loved this line esp. 'I love the challenge of finding the exact words that would convey not the dictionary meaning but the real essence and spirit behind what the writer wants to say.'

  17. @Ajai - Thanks !
    @Swaram - Glad you liked it !

  18. Brilliantly put...
    connects very well with the people unwillingly trapped in the IT industry.
    Truely, what more can one ask from life if one is getting to "live" it...rather than code it in java ;)
    By the way, loved your style of writing...very exact and true to the heart.

  19. Hi Ruchira,
    Belated congratulatiosn for winning this contest, you deserve it !!!!

    I am a techie nerd :P ,who too learnt Japanese as part of JBU, but was never fluent in it coz I know how very tough it is to learn.Though it was for professional need but I fell in love with this language and Japanese culture.
    A lot of credit goes to one of your collegues with whom I got a chance to work and stay in Japan.Even I would have thought it to be mere translation,if I had not met my friend from whom I learnt finer nuances of this beautiful language.
    And when you wrote about this language it appeared tobe her words....

  20. @Ravindra- Thanks a lot ! Yes learning a langauge is an art and not always an easy one ! I am glad you enjoyed studying japanese. Do you mind telling me who this frnd is ? Just curious :-)

  21. Hi Ruchira,
    can relate to this post, esp the line-'I love the challenge of finding the exact words that would convey not the dictionary meaning but the real essence and spirit behind what the writer wants to say.'
    since I was also a non-techie in the techie world doing technical translations from German to English.
    Congrats on winning!

  22. Ruchira, deep in my heart, I also nourish those very passions. While you have obviously marched ahead in elegance, I have fumbled and faltered at the very portals of all but English. In the past, I have tried my hands at French, Russian and Sanskrit but like a true rolling stone, have gathered no moss.

    I understand the challenges that a translation throws up. There are times it is just not possible.

    Of late, I have been struck by the beauty of the poems of the Chinese Tang dynasty: Wang Wei, Le Bai and Du Fu. While none may be perfect, I have been truly loving the transformations of Vikram Seth.

    It is a post which connected directly to the yearnings of my own heart.



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