Translation and the Power of Words


Spain Ronda by 115
Today the heat has been hard to bear. The usual breeze that brings some refreshment didn’t arrive today and even now as the call for Maghrib prayer is about to sound from my laptop it is hot and humid. The sky over the Mediterranean is pink and blue and the swallows of the village are returning to their nests under the church eaves. As they settle down for the night I continue writing. I have had a good writing day today. I completed some translation work this afternoon and wanted to press on with an article that needs to be finished tonight.


However, the body needs nourishment and with no food in the house or money in my wallet, I rushed to our little village bank and then on to the local store. If you are wondering why I was rushing that is easy to explain. This is Spain and the Spanish love their siesta. It begins at 2pm. This was exactly the time I left the house. The bank hadn’t locked their doors yet and I just managed to reach the store before they pulled down the shutters.

As I was translating this morning, German to English, I was reminded of how evocative words can be. There was nothing poetic about my work, I was translating a simple school certificate, but it contained its own poesy in the images and memories that arose in me as I wrote. Just a simple word like “school” is heavy with meanings that the experience of each person lends it. I wonder, do any of us ever read the same book? True communication happens between hearts.

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2 thoughts on “Translation and the Power of Words

  1. “I wonder, do any of us ever read the same book? True communication happens between hearts.”

    That is a profound insight, dear Sister. We all see the world through our own biased filters, made up of past experience, memory, and the ever changing demands of the moment. It may be that we read the same book, but in our own unique way, which is as it is intended by our individual natures.

    May Allah bless you with ever increasing love and wisdom 🙂

    Ya Haqq!

  2. Yes, that is the beauty of it, as you say, our own unique way in accordance with our individual natures. When are true natures are able to shine through the mists of ego then it is like a many faceted gem.

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