Program Slogans Helped Me Through My Translation Struggles

I got involved with the service of translating the literature into Italian over the past few years. This has mostly involved translations of the White Book, Step Into Action, and some program pamphlets. I’ve been one link in that chain: another fellow did the translation, while I revised the translated material, as required by the process we follow in SA in order to translate and then approve the work. So, this involved me going through the English copy, and then the translated version, paying attention mostly to the fidelity of the translation to the original.

In the process, I’ve learned (as I seem to again and again, in this program) that what I struggled with in the process was myself, rather than externals such as the material, time pressures, or other things.

In particular, I found that some program slogans helped me through my own struggles with boredom, feeling overwhelmed, grandiosity, pride, and the assortment of other defects that accompanied me in the translation revision journey.

First off, I was daunted by the task of revising a lengthy book like the White Book. How could I even start? How long would it take to read it, slowly, twice (when revising a translation you have to read it in English, and in the original, at the same time, so you read it twice). Well, “Easy Does It”: doing 10 minutes, sometimes more, some days of the week. It took about six months to revise the White Book translation, for example.

“First Things First” also helped. For me, this meant making a priority of the meaning of the translation, rather than the speed at which it all got done.

First things first also meant communicating with others who were translating, so we were all on the same page (no pun intended!), and so we all agreed how to collaborate together on the same shared documents, and what steps we would go through.

A side-effect of participating in this service was . . . service. It helped me to feel connected. It gave me something to do which was about giving, and which I could do especially when feeling down or isolated. It put me closer to the center of the life raft, when at times my local group just seemed to be a place of struggles, diminishing numbers, and sickness. It made me feel connected to something bigger than myself, and it helped me to think that I was doing something, however small, that could help future sexaholics who joined the program outside of the English-speaking world. And hey, guess what: it got me to read the literature!

Federico, UK

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