1/26/2007

Introducing “Torah Margins”

If you’ve been following this blog, you know that I no longer work for Tzohar. Well, that was totally true until this week. I’m now doing a couple hours a week for them, translating a weekly d’var Torah that they’ve been sending out in Hebrew into English. Apparently, my translation was superior to what they were getting from professional translating outfits, which is not surprising, since we’re talking about translating divrei Torah and not technical documents. This is the second translating gig that I’ve landed (and there may be a third on the way – you know who you are ;-), and so far the feedback has been excellent. Hopefully, I can carve out a niche in this field. Let me know if you’re looking for a translator.

Anyhow, the weekly sheet is connected to the Parsha, but specifically relates to the professional world in some way. It was written up in the Maariv newspaper a few months ago (link), and the archives through Bereishit are online (link). The target audience is Israelis – not-necessarily-religious Jews employing other not-necessarily-religious Jews. So the market in the states will be limited, though it can still reach most law and accounting firms and medical practices. The introductory English edition (link), written by Rav Yuval Cherlow and translated by yours truly, is being distributed in the US by the RCA (Tzohar and the RCA have been flirting with each other for a while now, and it’s not a terrible shidduch either).

In this particular essay, there was one sentence that contained a term that I simply couldn’t understand. This is the sentence:

אנו חיים בעולם שיש בו עקרונות אבל גם מציאות מורכבת, ולכן גם אין מקום לצפות מקהילת העסקים לנהוג כדון קישוט בסוגיה שכזאת.

I had no idea what כדון קישוט meant, until it occurred to me that it means “like Don Quixote”. So I translated it like this:

Though we remain principled, we cannot expect the business world to quixotically ignore a complex reality.

The general tedium of translation can often be broken by fun moments like this.

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