I started reading a one-act play by Ferenc Molnár, Az ibolya (The Violet), a bit over a month ago. There are a few sentences where the grammar defeated me (I have no idea what the dative case, as in “I give the book to you“, means in the context of the verb lát, to see), but for the most part I had a clear sense of what was going on and what the characters were saying. So, yay me.
The next step is to go back to the beginning and read through it again, translating as I go. I’m not sure if this will be faster or slower than the first time through—probably slower. I think the first draft will probably take me a month or two, and I’m not sure how long polishing it will take. I do want to finish polishing it before comparing my work to the existing 1929 translation, so I can learn as much as possible from the differences. I expect errors of meaning on my part to be infrequent, although not infrequent enough. I’m more worried initially about stylistic clumsiness, but I’m fairly confident that with time and practice I can develop a good balance between fidelity to the source language text and naturalness in the translation.
I don’t often offer myself unqualified congratulations. I consistently fail to live up to my standards (or, equivalently, set standards higher than I’m capable of achieving), so I just want to repeat two words from earlier, this time with extra bonus sincerity: