O.K. I gave it a try. I really did. Gave my best.
This weekend, I translated the first two stories from my book from English to German. My Austrian publisher and I hoped that I could translate my book myself – it is a different thing if you are a translated author or an “at home” author. Well, I obviously don’t have a home…
Good girl I am, I translated whole Sunday long and then gave my piece of art to my neighbour Marcus to correct it so that I get a feeling of how wrong it is.
Next morning, Marcus came into my apartment in his pyjama, with a cup of coffee in his hand, sat on my couch and looked… well ... grim.
“Many mistakes” he said, a bit uncomfortable in the “don’t shoot the messenger” manner. I begged him to be honest – my career as an Austrian author (or not) was at stake. So, I made myself a toast and a cup of tea and sat down next to him so he could explain the mistakes. “The cases are wrong. There are many typos. And there are things you just cannot say like that in German.” “O.K. but once those things are corrected; does it sound like… something?” I wanted to say “a piece of literature” but didn’t dare. Marcus was speechless. O.K. I got it. It’s crap.
He started explaining the mistakes. And I don’t remember the last time I laughed that much. There is nothing sweeter than laughing about yourself. We were cracking down with the second page (“What the hell is this, a sentence????!!!”) when I told Marcus we should actually film those correcting sessions and make them into “Laudonplace Big Brother” – the jokes (actually my translated texts) were funnier than any reality show I’ve ever seen before.
The conclusion is: my book gets a translator and I get a course in German writing. It is sad but true: I am definitely not an Austrian author. Neither am a Croatian author. And I am for sure NOT a translator. I’m nothing. And everything.