It was during my junior year in high school that I decided I wanted to be a translator. When I conveyed this to my parents and school counselor, it wasn’t well received. “So you’re going to be in a booth at the UN?” No, I said translator, not interpreter. “Can you even make a living as a translator?” I understand that many people do. “Have you considered law school? How about psychology?” Yes, but no thanks. There was only one person, my English teacher, Mr. McPhillips, who said, “It’s a lonely profession, but I think you would be great at it.” Thank you, sir, for understanding me and seeing my potential. I was going to translate the next Great American Novel!
Life took me through a slightly different path, and I entered the field of medical and pharmaceutical translation (actually fascinating in its own right). Over the years, I copyedited some doctoral theses and a bilingual poetry book, translated a few articles from literary journals, and kept my hopes and dreams of translating a Nobel Prize-winning piece of literature. I’m still aiming high, but I also understand that there are thousands of authors out there who deserve to be acknowledged and explored by Spanish speakers who, without translations, would never be able to access their works. That will be my contribution to the world of literature.
Translated to Spanish by Maria V. Wesley:
Coming Soon: The Spanish version of The Atheist and the Parrotfish by Richard Barager. Stay tuned for details.