Translation has been essential to the writing of the Restless Hungarian book, and also for filmed interviews conducted in Hungarian and Spanish; but the process of translation is far from precise. Computers can do it but this misses tone and nuance even with languages that are structurally similar. When you tell a machine to translate from Hungarian to English, what it spits out is incomprehensible. You get English words but their sense is completely obscured.
The video in this blog post consists mostly of my interview with my Hungarian and German translator, Agnes Miklos-Illes. I love the paradox inherent in her explanation of how she works. For me it is also a metaphor for the writing process.
There is a problem in translating when doing live interviews. How does the interviewer engage in an conversation, in real time, with the person being interviewed? Usually the time needed for a translator to repeat everything kills the flow of conversation. I share my solution to this in the video.