The amount of metaphors used to describe translators and the work of translators is truly astounding. The old familiar comparisons of translation being like a mirror or being a copy of the original keep cropping up in various works concerning translators and translating. Much depends, of course, on our approach to translation – whether we focus on theory or practice.
Another previous blog entry – The Translation Process – attempted to look at a different way in which we can view translation, as a combination of perception and reaction. Some might add reflection also to these two.
In a recent article published in Gazeta Wyborcza the translator is described as a hunting dog. In the article, Martin Pollack details the translation process and highlights the research side of translation – something that is overlooked by many people. Translation requires, above all, a vast amount of experience on the part of the translator but also the ability to absorb and learn information at a speedy rate.
The question that could be posited here is which metaphors best describe translation to us all?