Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Wait... what?

I have felt like a complete idiot these past few days. At work, a co-worker and I have a translation project (translate: Mary has a translation project 'cause she's the one who speaks semi-fluent English), and it's kicking my rear!

By early afternoon each day, I inevitably have a throbbing headache, a stiff neck, dried-out contact lenses, and the desire to throw myself out of my (rather high) office window. Is it possible to develop a brain cramp due to over-exertion of mental energy?

Here are some problems with German sentences I must face on a daily basis:

- too long

- overly complicated

- confusing cases (dative, accusative, genitive, etc.)

- horrid case overlap ("der", for example, can be either masculine nominative singular, feminine dative singular, feminine genetive singular, or masculine/feminine genetive plural).

- unknown words

I've been here about six months... you'd think translating a simple guideline packet wouldn't be such an issue. Oh, but it is.

The strange thing is that when I read it in German, I understand what's being said and what the general concepts are. Sure, there are words I don't know, but that doesn't mean I don't understand the context and general idea. Translating, however, is a completely different story. Why is it so difficult? Maybe because I think in concepts instead of words, or am not used to directly translating German into English in my mind... who knows.

And the quarter-glass (that's all I could down without feeling tipsy! Pathetic!) of champagne to celebrate a co-worker's graduation, drunk after missing my afternoon lunch break, isn't helping the situation.

I've got a fever... and the only prescription is more cowbell!

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