English Translation of Nao-cola Yamazaki’s The Beginning of the Long End.

NIEDA, Takami
Assistant Professor
English Studies

Four writer-translator pairs, working in Japanese, Hebrew, German, and Hungarian, were invited to a 10-day residency at the Writers Omi Translation Lab in November of 2014. The translators were given the “gift of time” and the rare opportunity to work collaboratively with the writers of the works of fiction they were currently translating. I, the translator, worked with writer Nao-cola Yamazaki (山崎ナオコーラ)to produce a translation of the first 40-pages of her novella titled, The Beginning of the Long Goodbye (「長い終わりが始まる」). Typically, we met in the morning and discussed the details of the pages of translation I’d produced the previous afternoon; at times, Nao-cola gave me tremendous insight into her writing process and the intentionality in the ambiguity of her word choice. In the afternoon, I would use the notes she’d given me to revise and polish the translation, before pushing forward with the next pages of the translation. Through this process, I was able to complete the 40-page sample translation of her novella.

On the tenth and final day of the residency, the four writer-translator pairs participated in a panel discussion on Thursday, November 14th at Baruch College in New York. Each of the pairs read pieces of the translation it had produced over the course of the residency and discussed the extraordinary experience of this collaboration.

An advertisement for this event can be found here: http://blogs.baruch.cuny.edu/japanese/files/2013/10/TranslationLab_Baruch.pdf

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