Friday, June 8, 2018

Dream Log: Publicizing Translations of a Book

I dreamed I had been hired for a job for which I was spectacularly unqualified: overseeing the recording of the audio portions of the advertisements of translations of a book written in a language with which I was unfamiliar, into other languages with which I was unfamiliar.

The book had been written by a politician from Georgia, the Eurasian country, not the southern US state, in Georgian. The Georgian politician bore a physical resemblance to the actor Brian Cox:

The book had been translated into several other languages of the Caucasus region:

Linguists from other parts of the world had once thought that all of the languages of this region belonged to the same language family, but now they realize that they belong to several different language families which have little or no discernible relation to each other.

That's literally almost all I know about these languages.

For each recording, the video for the commercial played. It consisted of various shots of the book, with the same photo of the author's face on the cover regardless of whether it was the original Georgian version or one of the translations, with the title and authors name and other information written on the cover in the language in which the audio was to be recorded, and shots of stacks of the book, and superimposed graphics in the same language. The audio artist reading the text in each language referred to the video as he or she read.

First, we recorded the audio for the Georgian commercial -- or, more precisely, someone, who absurdly was working under me, told me that the writing on the book in the video, and the graphics in the video, and the language the audio artist was speaking, were all Georgian.

We played the video, the audio artist spoke while it ran, and when that was done everybody looked at me. I asked the audio engineer to play back the recording. I asked the audio engineer whether she was satisfied with the recording quality. She said yes. I asked the audio artist how he felt about his reading. He nodded to indicate he was satisfied. So I said, okay, we're done, let's do the next language.

I was told that the next language was Avar, and the process was repeated with a new video and a new audio artist. At this point I was feeling that I should just quit, and say that I was unqualified, because that would be the honest thing to do. Then I woke up.

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