Finding Joy in Translation
What is joy? How does joy feel? Where does one find joy? Who is Joy? Well, the last one is easy. I'm Joy, the "Joy" of translation.
So, how does someone find joy sitting in front a computer all day trying to decide if the word "attain," "achieve," or "realize" is truly the best fit in the sentence. Is it "that" or "which"? To use a comma or to remove a comma?
To explain this, - what some people might call "nuttiness" - let me tell you a few things about me that you may not know.
1. The name "Joy" was given to me when I was adopted at the age of six. It is the name of my beloved great-aunt. In short, I have always felt that I have big shoes to fill.
2. While learning English as a child I went through a months-long phase, in which I said nothing. After this phase, I magically began communicating in English and not in Chinese. That is not to say that I did not have my fair share of language learning problems, i.e.
"he vs. she,"
"Dennis vs. dentist,"
"I want to eat a hamster" (I meant lobster, a more commonly known delicacy in the mid-west).
3. My perfectionism led me to be a bit of a grammar freak. I'm not sure when this started exactly. I just know that it gets on my nerves when people misuse/don't use adverbs, such as "I'll just run in quick." You mean "quickly."
4. I'm a communicative individual. However, I didn't really learn this about myself until I went to college. Although growing up in a small midwestern town has its advantages (less competition and more opportunities to participate in sports, music, theater, etc.), it lacked the diversity that I later realized I craved. Let's be honest, what's more exciting than chatting with a random stranger from another place and learning about their life and their world views?
5. Starting from zero excites me. All the possibilities...! As a structured learner, I like to create a foundation for myself and build upon it. This applies to language learning, projects, and most of all, translation. It's best to avoid establishing a wobbly foundation to avoid wobbly results. Logical, right?
6. I love all things pandas. Ok, this may not be a secret. How can a creature sit around eating all day and naturally build an enormous following? Has anyone tried interviewing one to discover its secret?
7. While I feel a kinship to pandas, our workstyles don't correspond. Although doing nothing for an entire day may seem nice once in a while, it doesn't incite enthusiasm or excitement. I much prefer initiating, learning and achieving.
8. Motivation, for me, emerges from the possibility for improvement, increased knowledge, and dialog. In an intercultural and interlingual field, there are endless possibilities for all three.
9. I'm human. Despite working hard to channel joy in my everyday life, sometimes it's not possible. However, one of the ways I find this joy is through working with language and translation.
I hope that you, too, find joy, wherever it may be for you.