Have You Ever Experienced a ”Translator’s Block”?

  Thomas   Jul 11, 2014   Intercultural consultancy   0 Comment

Writers often complain about ”writer’s blocks”. These are periods of time during which they are unable to produce new work. I’m curious whether this term can apply to translators as well. Fortunately, I haven’t experienced any major blocks, however, there have been times when my daily translation output has decreased quite substantially. I couldn’t translate more than 1000 words a day and I couldn’t explain why. Another problem that I often have is that I don’t know whether a sentence that I produce is grammatically correct. I read and re-read the sentence several times and it’s like it loses all sense and becomes just a series of meaningless words… I always have to ask whether a sentence ”sounds right”. More often than not they do, but there are times when I produce nonsense. But this usually happens at the end of a hard day, after I translated a couple of thousand words.

So have you ever experienced blocks? Were they serious? Feel free to share your thoughts on this.

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Thomas

Freelance translator and intercultural consultant working from English, French into Romanian.

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