Translating is like solving a riddle. When a text is highly technical, when it is difficult, specialised, you have to get all the clues, and you get to understand it as you go.
What matters is not what you look for, but how you look for it.
The first part is the worst, you are completely lost in a world unknown to you, you have to understand a context, find some references, get closer to the Meaning (with a capital M in this case). You tend to get more precise, to get closer to the right context, and your research is more precise. What matters is not what you look for, but how you look for it, how you ask for it. That’s where you learn more.
Beyond the personal challenge, there is a tight deadline.
You go back to basics, to when translating meant deciphering a Latin text of which you understood very little. When translating was an adventure, was a discovery. Like a piece of music that you have never played and that you get to become familiar with. It is hard, it is challenging, because beyond the personal challenge, beyond your learning experience, there is a tight deadline, a project manager waiting for results, a client entitled to understanding, some money involved.
But when you get to hand your project over – you know you’ve climbed your Everest.