School Update: Translation Workshop

As you may have noticed, despite my resolutions to blog more, I’ve been sucked into my schoolwork and haven’t thought about blogging at all. But now here I am to give you a quick update on a new activity of mine that’s taking up even more of my time.

This semester I’ve joined a translation workshop for graduate students. It’s made up mostly of people from the comparative literature department and there aren’t many Asian languages represented, but the energy is really great. The basic idea is that we get together once every month or so and workshop translations from two members of the group.

I decided to go to graduate school mainly because I wanted to get better at translating. As it turns out, though, I’ve done very little translating. Sometimes I’ll do a rough translation of a short piece that I’m writing an essay about, just to make sure I’ve caught the nuances, but most of the things that I read in Indonesian I don’t bother translating. I just read them.

This group provides a good excuse for me to actually translate something and it gives me the opportunity to read other things. Right now I’m stuck reading either Islamic poetry or books about Chinese Indonesians. And this is when I have time to read things in Indonesian that are not articles for Indonesian class.

We’ve only had one workshop so far, but the group seems great. People gave good comments and it was surprisingly nice to be back in a quasi-creative writing environment. I haven’t gotten up the courage to submit anything to be critiqued yet, but I almost certainly will at some point this year.

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