A Decade as a Freelance Translator and Editor

1998 -2008

Ten years
So young and green, say the seniors
Oh that long, say the newcomers
More than a quarter of my life, I'll say
26 books, English - Indonesia
30 picture books, Indonesia - English and vv.
18 books, editing

and I lost count

In retrospect

I think it's mad, it's sad
Spending a quarter of your age
Finding the right words
Trying to serve a perfect copy
To readers who even don't realize

how you made traitorous translation 
of birch and branch into margarin dan mentega

how you struggled in hilarious linguistic jokes
trying to take hold of the meaning
and be funny at the same time in the target language
but ended up laughing at yourself for being absurd

how you cried over the impossible mission from a picture book
to convey that the royal seal stolen from the king
is not the seal with mustache and paddle-like flippers found on the coast
you couldn’t just delete or change the pictures, could you? 
In the end, you banged your head against the keyboard in frustration

Still, in retrospect
one word fits a decade

Alhamdulillah, a great enjoyment Allah has given me
through every page of learning 
through every bit of failure and boredom
through every moment of gaining what otherwise lost in translation

For everyone, thank you

Sorry, I keep the acknowledgment short. 
I don’t want my one-decade-reflection to sound like an award-winning speech… hehehe, it’s not. 
Not that I’ve never received any award. I have. 
Those books per se are my awards, to humbly say. 
The appreciation from the editors and readers is my most valuable award, to narcissistically say.

A decade. Wow. I poured myself a cup of courtesy mint tea from my good editor. Thank you Miss Maria.

image from 

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