interesting article on literary translation in Financial Times
Thread poster: Rebekka Groß
Rebekka Groß  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:00
English to German
Oct 24, 2006

http://tinyurl.com/v93e7

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Yuri Geifman  Identity Verified
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Thanks Rebecca Oct 24, 2006

Very interesting artcile, thank you!

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xxxemanuelap
Japan
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Thank you! Oct 24, 2006

Thank you for sharing this link.

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Andres Pacheco  Identity Verified
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Thanks Oct 24, 2006

Cool one... I'm interested in literary translation too, been keeping this blog for a couple of weeks...

http://translite.blogspot.com/


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Vladimir Dubisskiy  Identity Verified
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interesting - thank you Oct 24, 2006

What i'd like to mention though - and it's re. War and Peace -

His method has been “to think of an ordinary Russian reading War and Peace, and recreate that same experience for an Anglophone.”

.. well, the author (I mean Count Leo Tolstoy himself) might not be fully aware how some simple Russian soldier or peasant speaks out (when there is no master around or during the critical times) - the distance between the Count and laymen in the society was next to infinite.

Rebekka Gross wrote:

http://tinyurl.com/v93e7


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James (Jim) Davis  Identity Verified
Seychelles
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Thanks Oct 25, 2006

Very interesting. Thank you.

Mind you, as a financial translator (amongst other things) perhaps I should read the the Times Literary Supplement.


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
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One reason is copyright Oct 25, 2006

We discussed this issue with writers on the 2005 meeting in Lahti. One writer and translator held the opinion, that literature should be translated conserving the style of the original, and a novel from 1830 should be translated in the target language of 1830 in any means. After that no retranslation would be necessary.

Of course there are many reasons why famous works of fiction are retranslated, but one is mostly overlooked: copyright. If a publisher wants to print their own version of an English War and Peace they must retranslate it, because the previous translator or his publisher helds the copyrights.

Regards
Heinrich


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Myriam Garcia Bernabe  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
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The style of the original Oct 25, 2006

Regarding the issue relayed by Heinrich:

According to the person who proposed such idea, if one were to translate Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" from Middle English (written at the end of the 14th century) into its chronological equivalent into other languages...what native speakers of those other languages will be able to read it and understand it?

The reason why that is not done is basic common sense so the translations and in this case, foreign literature, can reach the vast majority of the readership of any one particular language. In other words, so more people can enjoy it.


Myriam


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James (Jim) Davis  Identity Verified
Seychelles
Local time: 17:00
Italian to English
Time translations Oct 25, 2006

Myriam Garcia Bernabe wrote:

Regarding the issue relayed by Heinrich:

According to the person who proposed such idea, if one were to translate Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" from Middle English (written at the end of the 14th century) into its chronological equivalent into other languages...what native speakers of those other languages will be able to read it and understand it?

Myriam


Yes, I remember picking up a bilingual Italian English version of Joyce's Finnegan's wake and being a little embarassed that I found the Italian easier to understand, because it didn't contain any of the obscure Irish/Dublin dialect and idioms, it could have used equivalent obscure idioms and dialects in Italian but went for a broader public.
And then consider translating Greek classics or the Bible into English of the same period: impossible English didn't exist then.

As a translator, I sometimes feel that I have an ethical duty, a vocation to make things understandable as possible. But there again, I do prefer the James I version of the English Bible to modern translations:
"In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the Word was God."

Amazing literature and then if you consider that it was translated from what, Greek? of 2000 years ago into a language which didn't even exist then, the 'modern' English of the Sixteenth Century.
Jim




[Edited at 2006-10-25 18:26]


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Roomy Naqvy  Identity Verified
India
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anecdote about Joyce and translation Oct 25, 2006

I remember one thing about Joyce. I read it somewhere years ago. He published the Anna Livia Plurabelle section of The Finnegans Wake somewhere and I think it was translated into French by someone. When Joyce saw the translation, he said, 'This is how I wanted it.'

Roomy


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interesting article on literary translation in Financial Times

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