Monday Minutiae – 01.18.2021

Spiral Instruction

Do you ever just get tired of yourself? I don’t mean in the serious, mental health concern way, but rather you pause and think, “I am in a rut, not a groove.” Like many, I have certainly been struggling with this whole pandemic thing and at the beginning, which is now eleventy billion years ago, I was ready to go with it and make it all work. And then it kept going.

And going.

And going.

And going.

Cue “Big Sigh.” So, I tell myself, “Okay, time to change things up!” (again) and at this point I balk a little at the work entailed in continuing to be creative, and yet it is also in my nature to keep doing it, even if at a much slower pace right now. Here’s what I’m trying right now: returning to knitting, returning to this blog to keep me from staying inside my head too much, returning to writing (eventually) something new, changing up the exercise/movement routines, tackling house projects that everyone else in the world tackled ten months ago. Do you see the pattern of “returning” included with the new? Everything is a cycle.

Plus, I’m remembering the vaccine is coming. We have a long way to go ahead of this, but the proverbial light at the end is finally visible.

What about you? What are you doing to get over yet more hurdles during this time?

Language Elective

I started reading Fredrik Backman’s latest, Anxious People and both the writer AND language instructor in me got a kick out of a couple of early lines.

"Okeydokey!" the real estate agent chirrups, as if that were a real Swedish word.

Backman’s books are originally published in his native language of Swedish, so as I read this translated copy, I wonder, did Backman truly write “okeydokey” in English, and thus the translation above is quite literal? Or was there some other nonsense word in there instead?

And then there’s this:

"It's called House Tricks! Get it? Because when you buy an apartment, you want to buy from someone who knows all the tricks, don't you? So when I answer the phone, I say: Hello, you've reached the House Tricks Real Estate Agency! HOW'S TRICKS?"

This translation of the real estate agency is based upon a play on words. Did the translator have to come up with something completely different than what the Swedish version was? And if so, how difficult was that to do?

I did some digging to see if I could find out. So far, I’ve not found an answer, but I did find this fun interview of Neil Smith about translating literature in general and what I most appreciated was this: “Capturing the tone of a book is simultaneously the most difficult and the most rewarding part of the job: once you’ve nailed that, the rest flows fairly naturally.” So many great bits in the interview, I highly encourage you to check it out.

Test Prep

Are you curious about the publishing journey? About the process behind what authors do once their book is on the verge of getting out in the world and into readers’ hands? Author and avid reader/podcaster Zibby Owens has a really great post that highlights many things the average reader might not know. (h/t Kathleen West)

Currently Reading (print): Anxious People (A) -Fredrik Backman

Currently Reading (audio): The Sound of Stars (YA) – Alechia Dow

Song of the Week:

I’m going with hope this week, even though I have a bit of nervousness, too.

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