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Good quotes on translation
Thread poster: mariana24

mariana24  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 08:13
Spanish
+ ...
Jun 26, 2008

Hi All,

I've been looking for good quotes on translation on the internet and have found a few very good ones, some were known to me, some were not. Here go a few of the ones I liked, please add any you like.

The original is unfaithful to the translation. Jorge Luis Borges

Translation is the art of failure. Umberto Eco

Fantastic writing in English is kind of disreputable, but fantastic writing in translation is the summit. Jonathan Lethem

The translation is not translation, he said, unless it will give you the music of a poem along with the words of it. Millington Synge


Cheers,

Mariana


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Rosina Peixoto  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 08:13
English to Spanish
+ ...
More... Jun 26, 2008

Hi Mariana,

You have started an interesting thread. Here´s my contribution:

Translation is like a woman. If it is beautiful, it is not faithful. If it is faithful, it is most certainly not beautiful.
Yevgeny Yevtushenko

If the dream is a translation of waking life, waking life is also a translation of the dream.
Rene Magritte

Translation is at best an echo.
George Borrow

Poetry is what gets lost in translation.
Robert Frost

The best thing on translation was said by Cervantes: translation is the other side of a tapestry.
Leonardo Sciascia

Translation is an interestingly different way to be involved both with poetry and with the language that I've found myself living in much of the time. I think the two feed each other.
Marilyn Hacker


As far as modern writing is concerned, it is rarely rewarding to translate it, although it might be easy. Translation is very much like copying paintings.
Boris Pasternak


By reason of weird translation, many such sets of instructions read like poems anyhow.
Brian Ferneyhough

And the old Italian saying:
Traduttore, traditore.

Cheers,

Rosina


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:13
English to Spanish
+ ...
Seen, but not believed Jun 26, 2008

"Translation is like a woman. If it is beautiful, it is not faithful. If it is faithful, it is not beautiful."

In either case that means not knowing how they should be handled, because faithfulness and beauty can and should go hand in hand.


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Sundar Gopalakrishnan
India
Local time: 16:43
English to Tamil
+ ...
A Malayalam writer's quote! Jun 26, 2008

"... translation is an act of shifting eggs from one nest to another. In the process the yolk and white are separated, and what you have left with is broken shells."

- O.V.Vijayan
(O.V.Vijayan was an eminent Malayalam writer and cartoonist.)


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xxxJPW  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:13
Spanish to English
+ ...
A few more... Jun 26, 2008

Common European thought is the fruit of the immense toil of translators. Without translators, Europe would not exist; translators are more important than members of the European Parliament.

Milan Kundera

Many critics, no defenders,
translators have but two regrets:
when we hit, no one remembers,
when we miss, no one forgets.

Anonymous

Say what we may of the inadequacy of translation, yet the work is and will always be one of the weightiest and worthiest undertakings in the general concerns of the world.

J. W. Goethe

Translation is not a matter of words only: it is a matter of making intelligible a whole culture.

Anthony Burgess

Either the translator leaves the author in peace, as much as is possible, and moves the reader towards him: or he leaves the reader in peace, as much as possible, and moves the author towards him.

Friedrich Schleiermacher

Translation quality assessment proceeds according to the lordly, completely unexplained, whimsy of “It doesn’t sound right”.

Peter Fawcett

Translators live off the differences between languages, all the while working toward eliminating them.

Edmond Cary


Regards,

JPW.


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Fernanda Rocha  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:13
Member
English to Portuguese
+ ...
One more Jun 26, 2008

I have seen many interesting quotes on translation, but this is the one I consider perfect.
I used it in my final paper (at the university) and it means a lot to me.

"Whoever takes upon himself to translate contracts a debt; to discharge it, he must pay not with the same money, but the same sum."
Constance B. West

Hope you like it too.


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mariana24  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 08:13
Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Good lord!! Jun 26, 2008

Thank you all!!

I just wish so much we could be all sitting around a table saying all these things and then...discussing, talking about them...There's so much to be said and thought...

Fernanda: I liked C West's very much.
John Paul: You made me feel like putting them all together and finish it off with Goethe's. Also, the Anonymous left me thinking, why are we so criticised after all? Have we ever claimed to be as artistic as writers or painters? (That goes to Mr Pasternak as well).

The general view is not too positive, with few exceptions. I like to think our work is essential anyhow, more and more every day.

Keep it coming. And your impressions, too.

Cheers,

Mariana


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Aleph _Trans
Argentina
Local time: 08:13
English to Spanish
+ ...
More quotes Jun 26, 2008

mariana24 wrote:

Hi All,

I've been looking for good quotes on translation on the internet and have found a few very good ones, some were known to me, some were not. Here go a few of the ones I liked, please add any you like.

Mariana



Au -Aurora Humarán- has more than 200 quotes in English, and more than 300 in Spanish which she has been keeping since her school days. The anthology is registered as intellectual property. Some quotes are in the Internet, but many more come from books she has been reading along these years -on translators and on translation.

You may want to enjoy some she has shared with prozian colleagues here:

http://www.proz.com/forum/literature_poetry/30925-on_translators_and_translation.html

There is a similar thread somewhere in the Spanish Forum.

Happy translating,

JL


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TonyTK
German to English
+ ...
Bring it on, Henry ... Jun 26, 2008

Henry Hinds wrote:

"Translation is like a woman. If it is beautiful, it is not faithful. If it is faithful, it is not beautiful."

In either case that means not knowing how they should be handled, because faithfulness and beauty can and should go hand in hand.



... we're all ears.


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Valery Kaminski  Identity Verified
Belarus
Local time: 14:13
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
Yevgeny Yevtushenko is a poet Jun 26, 2008

Henry Hinds wrote:

"Translation is like a woman. If it is beautiful, it is not faithful. If it is faithful, it is not beautiful."

In either case that means not knowing how they should be handled, because faithfulness and beauty can and should go hand in hand.




Yevgeny Yevtushenko is a poet. He ment, probably, translations of his poems...


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:13
English to Arabic
+ ...
Hmm... Jun 26, 2008

Rosina Peixoto wrote:
Translation is like a woman. If it is beautiful, it is not faithful. If it is faithful, it is most certainly not beautiful.


In that case, I am an exception to the rule!

(as a translator, I mean )


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xxxwonita
China
Local time: 08:13
Neither beautiful nor faithful Jun 26, 2008

Henry Hinds wrote:

"Translation is like a woman. If it is beautiful, it is not faithful. If it is faithful, it is not beautiful."

In either case that means not knowing how they should be handled, because faithfulness and beauty can and should go hand in hand.



are some women and translations.


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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:13
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Translation is like a woman Jun 26, 2008

It certainly is, for it can keep you up all night trying to fathom it. Or gazing at it.

Or whatever.



Mervyn


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Steve Booth  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:13
Member (2007)
English to Arabic
+ ...
hmm Jun 26, 2008

translation is like a woman

i most sincerely hope mine aren't because i very rarely understand them
women that is of course


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mariana24  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 08:13
Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Jun 26, 2008

Au -Aurora Humarán- has more than 200 quotes in English, and more than 300 in Spanish which she has been keeping since her school days. The anthology is registered as intellectual property. Some quotes are in the Internet, but many more come from books she has been reading along these years -on translators and on translation.

You may want to enjoy some she has shared with prozian colleagues here:

http://www.proz.com/forum/literature_poetry/30925-on_translators_and_translation.html

There is a similar thread somewhere in the Spanish Forum.

Happy translating,

JL


Thanks very much, JL. I had heard about Au's anthology but had never read it before. A shame she has to share this with us all in silence.

Best,

Mariana


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