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Sonntag, September 30, 2007

International day of translatorship

Happy professional holidays to all colleagues! This day really means to me because translator is truly my dream job.

It was established in 1990s - and I think it was a really good idea to remember how important translators are. A day when St Jerome, philosopher and translator of the Bible died was chosen for it (more history under the link hidden under the title).

How did I celebrate it today? I did not translate anything and did not meet up with any colleagues, only checked a "debt" translation one of my students emailed me... It was not discussed at the Uni: none seemed to remember it coming on Friday as we had the 5th false alarm about a bomb at the Uni building within one week. Someone is really enjoying themselves but it is really nerve-racking and it ruins all plans and makes everyone nervous! MY class failed on Friday :(

I went on a bit of fotographing binge today, having a 2-hours solitary walk on the river bank near the local port (going to put up September autumn pics in the next post). A couple of colleagues texted me with best wishes on the day. I'm glad I'm having something else to celebrate tomorrow - nameday, and it's teachers' day on the 5th of October (which I can also think of as a professional holiday now!)
Photo: my dictionaries. I have a couple more in my desk and still a couple more (A linguistic encyclopaedia and a thesaurus) lying about in my bedroom

Sonntag, September 23, 2007

A bit of September flavour

Yesterday it was a bright clear day we haven't seen for ages! There had been a frost at night and in the morning the sky was dazzling blue. We happened to be out of town yesterday dropping into the village where my godmother lives. There are bits of yellow colour noticeable in the by-road groves, like yellow threads in the birches, and the leaves on the little lawn before the house were brilliant in colour and sparkling in the morning dew. I did not have a camera to capture all the brilliance of the day, but I picked a bit of colourful leaves and here I scan them for a little taste of autumnal beauty. Generally is is more ar less green outside, but in a week it will all turn golden and flame, so I must prepare the camera to preserve this year's feast of colour!

Freitag, September 14, 2007

S&S soundrack

Both the new and the older P&P have lovely soundtracks and so does Emma with Gwyneth Paltrow, but S&S with Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet will always have the most beautiful soundtrack in my opinion. It is so poignant and sweepingly powerful in conveying emotion. Even if my love for the film was not from the first sight... And now I wish I could get hold of a copy of "Sense and Sensibility Diaries" by Emma Thompson. Surely that would prove an interesting and intelligent account of how they did the film. Actually, I am looking forward to the new S&S miniseries which is to appear in 2008 The casting seems just so well done (they have a very god-looking Edward as a matter of fact!), even Elinor is not exactly blond. My imagining Elinor blond is just because I am finding character similarities with her and am also imagining our appearance a little similar!

Montag, September 10, 2007

Jane Austen Quiz

Your Score: Heroine

You scored 92% Book Knowledge and 83% Janeite-ness

Great job! You don't know every little detail about Austen and her works, but you must be a fan - which shows that you have excellent taste. :D

Link: The Are You a Janeite? Test (also hidden in the post title)

True, I never read a JA biography because they are not available here (and I have not yet had time for the one I've recently been given by a friend who brought it from the US), and there was one or two questions I wasn't exactly sure about.But most of them were too easy and I knew I'll end up being a Janeite :-)

A "Which JA heroine are you?" short and simple quiz may be found here: http://www.strangegirl.com/austenquiz/


Elinor Dashwood

Samstag, September 08, 2007

Taking up Anne's career on a University level...

She slept poorly and was so pale and tragic at breakfast next morning that Marilla was alarmed and insisted on making her take a cup of scorching ginger tea. Anne sipped it patiently, although she could not imagine what good ginger tea would do. Had it been some magic brew, potent to confer age and experience, Anne would have swallowed a quart of it without flinching.
"Marilla, what if I fail!"
"You'll hardly fail completely in one day and there's plenty more days coming," said Marilla. "The trouble with you, Anne, is that you'll expect to teach those children everything and reform all their faults right off, and if you can't you'll think you've failed."

I’ve had this Anne moment recently: I am now an assistant lecturer with department for English, translation and interpreting at School of Translation and Interpreting in my former Uni and I have already had 4 classes with students this week!

I felt about the way Anne did though not the day before my first class this week, but a week earlier, the day before my return to alma mater as a teacher after I had not been there a whole year! I even could not sleep at night all that week feeling how my life was changing finally, after I had been waiting for an open teaching vacancy a whole summer as if my whole life depended on it! And indeed I consider my new job as an important turning point in my career, even it is only a part-time job of teaching 2 classes a week! I just could not only sit in the boring office any longer wasting my talent on crazy letters!

I think all the situation should be described in order:

I graduated as a translator/interpreter from the Uni in June last year and started my first job as a full time translator with occasional interpreting soon afterwards. However, the job in the office was not at all fulfilling and I felt I was losing most of my skills. Besides, I felt I missed the Uni and the atmosphere of translator/interpreter comradeship terribly. Therefore in spring I called my former adviser who is also the head of the department for theory and practice of English, translation and interpreter asking if they had a vacancy open in the next academic year. I had to wait several months before it was known and a week ago I was accepted as a translation teacher for the 5th (final!) year. No need to say I was (and still am) elated. Going back to my former school feels like coming home indeed. My former teachers (now co-workers, who would think of that only two years ago?!) are wonderfully supportive and I am very much impressed that they trusted me with the final year at once. And newspaper articles on economy topics seem the most challenging aspect in the 5th year! I feel it is a great responsibility and it is going to be rather challenging, but I'll enjoy it for sure (I already am!).

It is only a part-time job, two classes a week, so I am still translating for the office where I do not like the working atmosphere at all, but whenever else I must work I now belong to my school of translation and interpreting. I believe working at one of the country's leading translation & interpreting schools will certainly throw more opportunities in my way so I'll opt out the office job I do not like much with time!
Maybe it is a little naïve to expect everything changing dramatically at once, but I feel it has been the first and therefore most important move after a year’s standstill – I feel as if I went out of a jail (a strong, but truthful comparison!) and the horizons and prospects are widening again!
I have already had 4 classes (2 on my main schedule and 2 to substitute for another teacher). Though they are the 5th year and should be serious they are not and the beginning was not very promising: the two groups I permanently teach were not prepared, and the other two where I substituted somehow cut the classes that were to be on Thursday, so I had to report to the dean's office about that and give them a text to translate at home to make up for the class they missed. Therefore I’ll have to see to it that they do homework as requested, do not miss classes, etc! But I think I’ll get used to it and they must get used to what I require!
I am enjoying preparing for classes immensely, so nice to have challenging texts after the boring “we’d like to order this…” of “please send us that…” Even if I have to sit up to midnight staring at the screen when I come home after a full-time working day of office screen-staring
The challenge also is that I'm barely 2 years older than the students, but well, I'm a teacher and a practicing translator/interpreter, and they are still students! Indeed, it feels rather curious to be "on the other side of the teacher's table" when you have known only the students’ side before!

Dienstag, September 04, 2007

Samstag, September 01, 2007


Август - астры,
Август - звезды,
Август - грозди
Винограда и рябины
Ржавой - август!
Полновесным, благосклонным
Яблоком своим имперским
Как дитя, играешь, август.
Как ладонью, гладишь сердце
Именем своим имперским:
Август! - Сердце!
Месяц поздних поцелуев,
Поздних роз и молний поздних!
Ливней звездных
-Август! - Месяц
Ливней звездных!
Марина Цветаева

August - asters,
August - stars,
August - bunches
Of grapes and ashberry
Rusty - August!
Like a child, August
You play with your apple
Good-natured and full of weight.
Like with hand, with your imperial
Name you do caress the heart:
August! - Heart!
Month of late kisses,
Of late roses and late lightning!
Of the rain beneath the stars
August! - Month
Of the rain beneath the stars!

Marina Tsvetayeva

I always felt bittersweet in August because it was the end of summer, perhaps even more bitter than sweet because school on the 1st of September was approaching, but now the bitterness is fading away giving way to admiration. Marina Tsvetayeva was right: August just feels imperial!

It has been September half an hour formally already, but this beautiful piece of poetry is not to be missed!

Photos: Granny's last year August (starry!) asters, rowanberry in granny's street