We were really really lucky to have Sarah Cameron Sunde, of Oslo Elsewhere and New George, onboard as our translator for Verkeleg/Reality (the Norwegian play in the Nordic Spirit festival).
Sarah is awesome! Click here for more about her.
She also sent us her thoughts on the recent translation process for Gyrid Axe Øvsteng's Verkeleg:
While I was translating REALITY, I made sure to reach out to Gyrid to find out what was most important to her, since sometimes a translator has to choose between meaning and poetry. Gyrid responded that the rhythm was of utmost importance. So I worked from a rhythmic perspective, trying to move her voice into contemporary American English, getting as close as I could with meaning and word choices.
Once I had a draft that I felt solid enough with, I sent it over to Gyrid to read. She responded with several comments and thoughts, which was so useful for completing my next draft. Then, in early September, I was lucky enough to be in Norway and we were able to meet in person. We hashed through several of the challenging parts of the text together. We were able to come up with some new solutions, and I walked away with a better sense of words to search for in the next phase of the translation. I was so happy to have that opportunity to work through a few of those tricky bits together because nuances are what differentiate a good translation from a great translation, and there is always much to be found in the collaboration between playwright and translator.
I came back to the States and completed my final draft that was read in Chicago. A translation always needs time and space in-between drafts so that a translator can approach it with fresh eyes. I am grateful to have had time in-between drafts, the support of Akvavit in Chicago, and a fine collaboration with Gyrid.