I have spent my week grasping for words. I feel as if the language I am translating from has marched over me like a marauding army, severing all bonds with my mother tongue. I sit there looking at a Dutch word, knowing that the right English translation exists, able to feel its edges, but there it stays on the very edge of my consciousness, refusing to reveal its identity to me.
It's all very strange. And utterly different from the writing process. If I am writing, the things that remain mysterious and out of reach are to do with character and motivation, not specific words.
I suppose there is a common scream involved in the two processes. Why can't I do this with a little more grace? But writing isn't graceful, we all know that and nor is translation, just in case you were wondering. A bit like writing a novel, I'm living in the hope that the next stage will be easier. At the end of next week, I should have a first draft. The second draft will be more subtle, that's true. It will the start of a slightly different process. But actually, it won't be easier. Nonentheless, I am using the possibility as bait.