I first became fascinated by the French language thanks to a fantastic French teacher at secondary school. I was most intrigued by the sounds and structures of the language itself for years, while developing an interest in Francophone cultures, including literary traditions, foods, and attitudes to life. My interest in Japanese culture, language, and literature was also sparked when I was a teenager, when I became an avid fan of manga in English and French translation and participated in their active fan communities. I particularly loved the sense of humour in the ridiculous which was a common thread in my favourite series, and which continues to be a feature of the manga, novels, and creative non-fiction which I most enjoy in Japanese, French, and English today.
The creative response to media which was instrumental in my early interest in manga and Japan continues to influence my motivations to translate and my philosophy of translation. My most significant motive for translation is pure enjoyment of the process. The puzzle-like aspect of identifying source text effects and the language- and culture-specific devices which created them, then searching for the best means to replicate them in the target text, is incredibly satisfying. I enjoy the feeling of a growing intimacy with source and target languages as I pore over each word, analysing their nuances and connotations. I am also intrigued by the balance between a translation’s status as a new work, necessarily influenced by the translator’s particular situation, and its relationship to the source text.
I believe in the power of translated literature to increase respect for and interest in unfamiliar languages, cultures, and philosophies, and, by teaching readers about these, to enrich target cultures and individual lives, forging connections and understanding.
The works which I am most eager to translate are those which I have read and loved, and want to share with others. I would like my translations to expand the readership of these works which I value, particularly by female authors, and give readers the same chance as I have had to marvel at beautiful imagery, explore the author’s vision of the human condition, and be touched and entertained.