I often worry about my voice. I wonder if by translating the words of others I am somehow losing my own. I wonder if that could be one of the meanings of the famous saying “lost in translation”? As translators, do we somehow lose our voices in translation? Do we neglect our own words, our own stories? And yet the authors I translate are often translators themselves.
So why do I get the feeling that everything has already been said, and said well. Susanna Basso speaks of a sort of envy (“I learned that working with a phrase is difficult; we have to learn to listen to it, respect it and try our best not to envy it.” Sul tradurre, Mondadori, 2010), but I believe that it is more of an unstinted reverence. I marvel at what my authors say, and how they say it; and I consider myself lucky, because I am able to ‘carry’ their voices across borders, and find my own words in theirs.- Matilda Colarossi