Alle Jahre wieder…

… is the title of a German Christmas carol. It means literally “Every year again…[the Christchild comes]. The same, it would appear, could almost be applied to translation.

Gentle reader, I am spending the third Sunday in Advent madly translating part of a massive project which, of course, has to be delivered on Christmas Eve so that the client can spend his hallowed twelve days reading his words of wisdom in English (- and Turkish … but I’m not responsible for that bit…obviously…).

You may have been reading about the trials of a certain flooded-out student, Ms JacktheLass, who is putting the final touches to her PhD in a soggy flat in Glasgow. My abode is dry so I have nothing to complain about there… nor does my work have to be submitted tomorrow morning, so another plus point… however, I am having to mash something like 40,000 words through the old bonce and out of the ends of my fingers within the next 12 days and so I feel a tad under pressure.

But I digress. The ‘Alle Jahre wieder’ title refers to the fact that this job has just spooked me a little.  The end-client is a regular customer of my client (an agency) and so I have worked on similar projects before.  A few minutes ago, I started writing a sentence and thought “this seems very familiar, have I just translated it? – am I getting so muddled that I am translating a file that I’ve already done??”

I checked the Translation Memory software – and saw that I had translated it at 16:45 on 12/12.  That gave me a jolt. What?? only 15 minutes ago?? Am I going completely mad? But hush, stay, what is there? The Translation Memory actually reads 16:45 on 12/12/2007.

You could have knocked me down with a fairy light. Exactly three years ago almost to the very minute I was translating the same blooming sentence. Am I making any progress in life or am I doomed to a repetitive three-year cycle? Will I be writing  “If you pass the final test within two years of receiving the attendance certificate, you can claim back half the money you paid for the course.” on 12 December 2013??

I’ll endeavour to remember to let you know…

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