X = Z

I was going to post about translating but I can't come up with anything to say other than, "I hate translating." I now remember why I haven't done any serious translation since that Viktor Dyk novella in my last year of coursework. I will continue to defend good translators, though. It's a poorly misunderstood profession in the Anglo-American context because everyone seems to think that it's a simple matter of plugging in the equivalent words. If it were, I wouldn't hate it quite so much. What I despise: The shifting of my relatively short, active sentenes into long passive ones laden with participial constructions. The knowledge that after spending a significant amount of time with any one language, it affects how I function in other languages (I still, to this day, resent the required use of the verb "to be" in French, German, and Czech). Then there is Eliade's comment on mother tongues vs. acquired tongues. Speaking one's mother tongue is like breathing while walking; you don't think about it. Speaking a foreign tongue, no matter how long you've known it and lived in it, is like breathing while swimming. And I hate swimming.

So, if I was going to post on translation but decided not to, about what then was I going to post? About the neighbor's cat. She has been robbing us of about two hours' worth of sleep a night lately. In. Out. In. Out. In. Out. Wet food. We finally got our act together and decided to feed her wet food just before we go to bed. It works. This morning there was only one in. Only one out. No mewing for wet food. She's now alseep on the foot stool and I actually think that she look sweet, instead of like some sleeping demon.

As to why the neighbor's cat is spending the night in our apartment, well, that's another post. -Zh.


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