My Words, Not Theirs

For over a quarter of a century now, I have been a freelance translator, spending my life writing other people’s words.

Korean-English translation has taken up the greater part of my time every day of every month of every year since early 1993.

Sometimes, the Korean expressions I’ve moved into English have embodied the hopes and dreams of others, sentiments both whacky and wonderful, profound and perplexing. Mostly, though, they’ve been mundane: a patent specifying a new design for a twist-off cap, the excruciatingly detailed notes of engineers describing widget development, rental agreements, and management-speak. Lots and lots of real “out-of-the-box” management-speak.

Yeah, that’s not going to cut it anymore.

I’m now 53, and it’s time for me to write a few words of my own.

In this blog, I’ll cover various issues related to freelance Korean-English translation and freelancing in general. I’ll also look at some of the fascinating twists and turns of Korean language and history, and at current developments in Korea.

Freelancing has never been comfortable, and the uncertainty and vulnerability of this kind of life always leave their mark. Consequently, half-remembered dreams of doom and gloom, fears, and worries from the dark night of the freelancer’s soul may find their way onto these pages. But there should be some hopeful thoughts, too.

In all my years of translating, I’ve been doing my best to express the thoughts of my clients clearly and accurately. Not here, though.

These are my words, not theirs.

I’ll try to make my posts useful and interesting. I would be honored, dear reader, if you found them worth some of your precious time.