Almost the entirety of January was spent translating. At the request of a student's father, Hanna accepted the job, and before I looked at any of it, I said, "That's great. We'll work a couple days and get paid some major cash." Shortly into the work, though, we realized we'd have to throw more than a couple days into the project. From the beginning of the month up till a couple days ago, we ended up working seventeen hours a day, translating anywhere from four hours to twelve hours a day in addition to writing lesson plans and teaching thirteen classes a week. At the beginning, I tried to take notes on what I was learning about Chinese grammar along the way, but just finishing the beast of a project became the main focus.
Several things I noticed along the way:
1. I still don't understand the use of commas in Chinese. They seemed to be used more like periods, periods seemed to be used more like paragraph markers, and I don't know how paragraph breaks work. The punctuation got translated right along with the words.
2. Google ain't too bad, but even it has times when it is like, Fuck, dude, I don't know.
3. I surprised myself at how much I knew. Er, sometimes. More often I didn't know much. Or anything.
4. When translating technical documents, I relied more on what I knew of physics and chemistry than on what I knew of Chinese.
5. I never want to use the words implement, quality control, scope, or pipe again.
6. Hanna accused me many times of caring too much about the project.
7. Once I viewed the translations as counting toward my writing, though very reluctantly at first, I stopped being pissed off that my time for writing was being eaten up.