Oct. 5th, 2010 06:56 pm
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)

So I was describing this job, to various people, back in about month 2 of jobhunting. I had a picture in my head of my ideal occupation, and I used this picture to explain, to myself and others, why I wasn't jumping to apply to freelance interpreting agencies.

Interpreting is about people, after all, and lots of them. And they'd all be counting on my three-second linguistic turnaround, and in the med jobs their health might depend on it, and on the tour gigs they'd all be entitled about it, and I'm not great at that crap. Hell, I don't like it.

So I had this picture of a translating job, instead: just sit me down at a desk and give me a laptop and a few dictionaries. Let me work through written copy; give me a thirty-minute turnaround instead of three freaking seconds.

I didn't expect this job to be that. Frankly it was advertised as more of a customer relations/interpreting gig, and it's been made clear that'll still be the most important - if infrequent - duty I have.

But I've spent the last two workdays at a quiet desk, with three dictionaries and a laptop. I'm up to a rate of six short translation edits an hour - though it took me two hours today for a single page of my own. Still, most of that was spent in background research, which I won't have to do twice.

It's not bad. Not bad atall.

arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Karma will get you back)
Hey, friendslist.

Does it count as praying, if you're only saying "thanks"?

The aftermath of a terrifying car wreck was blocking traffic on one of the little bridges as I went by. 'Terrifying' is subjective, sympathetic, and past-tense. I saw one little lightweight white minivan, ass-over-teakettle in the middle of the road. With no people left in it, so the actual frightening part is well over. I maintain hope for no major injuries. So in that sense 'terrifying' is also a very optimistic descriptor.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
Geez. That actually describes kind of a fair amount of Japan at the moment. The last couple decades have seen the firm entrenchment of a system that pulls up the venerable and experienced without making much allowance for those new to the workforce. Now the top class of employed is retiring fast and people in middle age have gotten discouraged and disillusioned with a system that's kept them in the same line for twenty years, and don't see much personal benefit to stepping directly into their oppressive forbears' outdated shoes.

arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Blue's spacing out.)
An underlying theological attitude throughout the Decameron, but particularily in the first three tales:

God is kind. Humanity is fucking stupid, and yet God is kind.

Dante seemed to think that God loved him and wanted him to be happy, but sucks to be an unrepentant sinner. Hell, sucks to be a repentant sinner too, but at least they get to be absorbed into the selfless, desireless, free will-less soul collective that is Heaven once they're done with the identity-destroying pain of Purgatory. So basically the guys in Limbo were the only ones doing well on the whole individuality-after-death thing, but they were sad because God didn't love them.

Augustine, of course, thought that God loves us and wants us to suffer. Badly. This to me is about as repugnant a religious belief as you can get, because it corrupts the very definition of love. Fuck that.

But the Decameron is about the common man, the dumbshit masses who were tricked into thinking an asshole was a saint. They pray to the saint, ask for miracles- and God grants the miracles, because God is kind, and loves them. Even if they are being total fuckwits and asking God to listen to them in the name of this utter douchebag, it doesn't matter. God loves them anyway.

Boccaccio's God was alright.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Blue's spacing out.)
"Third, maintain a deceptively soft touch and smile with everyone. Follow the same strategy that we followed during the trial; defend our points of view without raising resentments. There will be enough time later to squash all the cockroaches together. Do not lose heart over anything or anyone; after all, we did not do so during the most difficult moments.
One last counsel: beware of envy. When someone has glory and prestige as you do, the mediocre easily find motives or pretexts to be suspicious. Accept help from anyone, but remember, trust no one."

-- Fidel Castro, in a letter to Melba Hernandez, April 17 1954
The Prison Letters of Fidel Castro

June 4th.

Jun. 4th, 2006 11:02 pm
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Blue's spacing out.)
It comes every year. And every year, I check the date, look around, and go "shit."

So uh, anybody ever read Asterix and Obelix when they were young'uns? I picked up the new-looking Asterix and Obelix All at Sea at the local comic shop, and I think maybe it's not as good as the old ones, though it might be nostalgia talking.
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
"The word 'fandom' needs to stop existing."

It doesn't really matter where I got this. It's quite likely I'll never cross internet paths with the person who wrote it in my entire online career. I still feel like writing about it.

One of the many things I've learned from translating is that the individual word is not important. It's a front, an often imperfect representation of a broader concept. The act of translation, so far as I can tell, is to deconstruct words into their base concepts, and then to reconstruct that concept in the destination language. More pertinent to this discussion: the act of understanding is simply that first step, the deconstruction of words into nebulous internal concepts.

If this is true, then writing about any particular concept by definition is a reconstruction of the concept back into words. Sometimes I think the definition of skillful writing is a series of words that hints around a concept, bringing the reader's mind to approximate the same concept going through the writer's without the benefit of direct telepathy.

Oh yes. I was going to talk about fandom, before the idea that the erasure of a single word from the common lexicon would be at all effective managed to distract me.

I made a new friend the other day. (=D) She added me on some time ago, based on our common interest in Final Fantasy music. I was of course perfectly happy to add her back, but didn't think much of it as I don't actually use that site more than twice a month. Last week, though, she commented on a friend's journal and I recognized the screenname. Curious, I checked out her journal- and discovered some of the most consistently excellent and original FF6 artwork I'd ever seen. Icyites, you've seen it too. Hot shit. I ask her "Have you ever been to Icy's? We do arts!"

She responds "I go to Icy's for the translation."

First of all, XD <3 ♥ with an omg on top. But once I had finished blushing like a schoolgirl, I thought to myself, this is fandom.

And I like it here.

Aaaand that's probably ten times more thought than was put into the original remark! Go me.

...Also, I failed at boiled eggs today. Somebody revoke my cooking license.


Mar. 26th, 2006 10:30 pm
arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)
Spirited Away.

Round two of the ongoing effort to convert half of my family to the cult of Ghibli. Perhaps not as successful as round one- Dad says of Spirited Away that it had none of the levity of Howl's Moving Castle, that it was from beginning to end a nightmare. Next time I think Kiki's Delivery Service is in order.

There really is a fantastic difference between music that sets a background mood, and music that directly compliments the action. A well-timed chime of small bells when the light sparkles off of Chihiro's hairband. A chord struck just as Yubaba glares, woven perfectly in with the underlying melody. Come to think of it, this was also the first thing that truly gave me chills with the One Piece anime- and one of the things its movies sorely lack. One Piece has glorious music all the way through, but there's just such a huge leap between its passive and active roles.

An example, and the first instance I recall. When Zoro first meets Nami, saving her from Buggy's pirates, Luffy calls out and his theme cues up. It's mostly percussion and strings, unusually loud for background music, and their voices have to cut through it to be heard- this is not a problem for Buggy, who can be described as piercing under the best of circumstances. He challenges Zoro to a fight. Zoro turns, and at that exact second a piccolo sharply descends a minor scale. It's the perfect punctuation for the eye contact. I literally got the shivers. The moment ends and the strings return as Zoro tells Buggy where to shove it.

MORE ANIME NEED TO DO THIS. I love it when it happens. It's always so unexpected; background music is for background! You're not supposed to pay attention to it, just react to the mood it sets. When it leaps up and grabs the attention, it's a destabilizing shock to the way we experience anime, momentarily resetting our priorities and forcing us to notice things we haven't.

That's about it for music. A few more things for Spirited Away, though. )


arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Default)

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