A sense came over me on the bus ride back from town that something was off. It was early fall. The plants all through the mountains were brittle and crunchy, and they trembled in a brisk breeze that carried with it the smells of rice paddies. The fields were a brilliant gold.
Balthasar navigated the vélocipède around a hole in the road as he cycled past Miss Edith’s house. He concentrated hard on not looking at the curtained windows for a glimpse of her silhouette. The big wheel wobbled as he oversteered.
Balthasar navigeerde de vélocipède om een gat in de weg terwijl hij langs het huis van Fräulein Edith reed. Hij concentreerde zich om niet naar de ramen te kijken. Hij wilde niets liever dan een glimp opvangen van haar silhouet achter de gordijnen. Het grote wiel wiebelde toen hij teveel stuurde.
Short stories tend to have much shorter lifespans than novels do. As such, a translation is a form of reincarnation. The end result is the same story, but also a completely different one at the same time. The first level of changes is due to the different language operating under another structure, a different set of ties binding the abstract with the specific. But there's also the second level, a more intimate level where the story surreptitiously obtains new properties after it’s been processed through the mind of the translator.
I got into translation for the same reason many people get into blogging, writing reviews, and other fannish activities: I loved certain stories and felt the strong desire to share them with my friends. Except many of my genre-reading friends do not speak Russian. And while I'm not a reviewer and am a lazy blogger at best, in this case I had, ahem, a particular set of skills…