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What is the best book you have read on translation?
Thread poster: Henry Dotterer

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 13:29
SITE FOUNDER
Jul 8, 2003

I would like to have available to the community a list of the best books on the art/science/business of translation. If you know a good one, and how to get it, please list it here.

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Marcela García  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:29
English to Spanish
+ ...
The Translators Handbook, by Morry Sofer Jul 8, 2003

The Translators Handbook, by Morry Sofer (published by Schreiber Publishing and available at any Barnes and Noble) is a useful resource for people who want to start working as freelance or in house translators.

Marcela


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Dana Carciumaru  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 13:29
Romanian to English
+ ...
deux langues, six idiomes Jul 8, 2003

Deux langues, six idiomes, by Irène de Buisseret, is an excellent translation manual (English to French). It has only been published in French, by Carlton-Green Publishing COmpany in Ottawa, Canada, 1975 and 1989. It is a very good book for English to French translators.

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Hang Nguyen-Padfield  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:29
English to Vietnamese
+ ...
Many interesting books about translation/the translation business Jul 8, 2003

Here are a few books that I have found very useful:

----------------
Baker, M.1992. In Other Words: A Course Book on Translation, London: Routledge
Nida, E., Translators’ Confrontations with False Ideas about Language, The European Union On-line Resources
Bassnett, S. 1991. Translation Studies. London: Routledge
Newmark, P. 1988. A Textbook of Translation, New York: Prentice Hall
Robinson, D. 1997, Becoming a Translator
Samuelsson-Brown G., 1998, A Practical Guide for Translators (Topics in Translation), 1998
Toury, G. 1995. Descriptive Translation Studies and beyond, US: John Benjamins B.V
Bell, R.T. (1991) Translation and Translating, London: Longman

Hatim B. & Mason (1990) Discourse and the Translator, London: Longman

Hatim B & Mason (1997) The Translator as Communicator, London: Routledge

Coulthard M. (1977) An introduction to discourse analysis, London: Longman

Coulthard M. (1994) Advances in written text analysis, London: Routledge

Hatim B. (1997) Communication Across Cultures, Exeter: Univ. of Exeter Press

Toury, G., Culture Planning and Translation, available electronically from:
http://spinoza.tau.ac.il/~toury/works.
------------------------

HTH,
Hang Nguyen-Padfield
Vietnamese Language Services


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:29
Flemish to English
+ ...
Miseria y esplendor de la traducción Jul 8, 2003

Not a book, but an extract on translation by the Spanish philosopher José Ortega Y Gasset in which he states that it is impossible to translate (exactly) from one language into another, because language is the reflexion of how a people sees the world. This is determined by their cultural environment.
It is also states that being a translator is the most beautiful and ath the same time the most miserable job in the world...


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Francesco Barbuto  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:29
English to Italian
+ ...
Glad... Jul 8, 2003

Williamson wrote:

Not a book, but an extract on translation by the Spanish philosopher José Ortega Y Gasset in which he states that it is impossible to translate (exactly) from one language into another, because language is the reflexion of how a people sees the world. This is determined by their cultural environment.
It is also states that being a translator is the most beautiful and ath the same time the most miserable job in the world...


Cheers

[Edited at 2003-07-08 18:20]


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Spiros Doikas  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:29
Member (2002)
English to Greek
+ ...
Here is a list of my favourites ):- Jul 8, 2003

http://www.translatum.gr/trabibl.htm

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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 12:29
German to English
Books on translation Jul 8, 2003

I just received these two books in the mail but haven't read/studied them yet.

Translator Self-Training, A Practical Course in Technical Translation with CD-ROM.

Available for Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish

http://www.schreiberpublishing.com/

This one was recommended to me by one of our members, "Zirbelholz", a British lawyer who teaches legal translation at the University of Erlangen.

Legal Translation Explained

http://www.stjerome.co.uk//scart/cgi/bsearch.cgi?word=Legal%20translation


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 12:29
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Le Ton Beau de Marot Jul 8, 2003

Le Ton Beau De Marot: In Praise of the Music of Language

by Douglas R. Hofstadter
ISBN: 0465086454

Note: this book is in English, not French, in spite of the title. In fact the untranslatability of this book is one of the many varied themes treated in it.




[Edited at 2003-07-08 19:00]


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Egmont
Spain
Local time: 19:29
Afrikaans to Spanish
+ ...
IMPOSSIBLE Jul 8, 2003

Williamson wrote:

Not a book, but an extract on translation by the Spanish philosopher José Ortega Y Gasset in which he states that it is impossible to translate (exactly) from one language into another, because language is the reflexion of how a people sees the world. This is determined by their cultural environment.
It is also states that being a translator is the most beautiful and ath the same time the most miserable job in the world...
Le mot "impossible" n'existe que dans le dictionnaire des imbéciles... (Napoleone Buonaparte)(yeeps!)


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Lisbeth Benavides  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:29
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not a Book but a first-class monthly publication Jul 8, 2003

Hi Henry,

Although not a 'book'- I am delighted with the IOL's 'The Linguist' monthly publications. There are some excellent articles ranging from strictly academic features to career-oriented articles to updates on resources and on-line sites for translators and interpreters (that is how I found out about Proz!) I am not sure whether non-members can subscribe but I would imagine so...interested parties can find out themselves:
http://www.iol.org.uk


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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:29
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
The Windows Help Jul 8, 2003

Not a book in the general sense of the word but Dutch translations that made me aware for the first time that mathematical precision and consistency are paramount in translation. For me it was an eye-opener that translators made a difference between erasing and deleting something.

Regards,
Gerard


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Jane Lamb-Ruiz  Identity Verified
French to English
+ ...
Geoge Steiner's The Tower of Babel Jul 8, 2003

FIrst, I think people should post with annotations. Just throwing up a list isn't all that helpful.


In this book, which is more a study of cultural mores through literature, one can pick up some real wisdom concerning translation, which the "business" books do not provide. Mr. Steiner was virtually quadri-lingual {French, German, English and Spanish) and absorbed most of the Western literary canon. His points about translation are the best I have ever read.

Cheers


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Aurora Humarán  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 15:29
English to Spanish
+ ...
Steiner & Nida Jul 9, 2003

Jane Lamb-Ruiz wrote:


His points about translation are the best I have ever read.



Yes, yes and ...yes!. "After Babel" is really great, both useful and very interesting.

It starts... "Man acts as if he were the shaper and master of language, while it is language which remains mistress of man. When this relation of dominance is inverted, man succumbs to strange contrivances...."

(Is this relation ever inverted? I wonder...)

And another excellent book, by old Eugene Nida: Language, Structure and Translation. A "must" for translators.

Au


Specifically for English >> Spanish translators, Marina Orellana´s "Guía para el Traductor" (La Traducción del Inglés al Castellano).





[Edited at 2003-07-09 02:01]


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Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:59
English to Tamil
+ ...
This is what one gets on clicking the link Jul 9, 2003

I clicked eagerly the link provided by you. This is what I got:
'http%2F%2Fwww.iol.org.uk' Is Not Presently Working
The Apparent Reason For This Is:
It is an INVALID DOMAIN NAME

Help!
By the way I read a beautiful book taken from the British Council Library some 3 years back. The frustrating thing is I do not remember the name and title. But I remember the hints given therein and they have helped me a lot.



Lisbeth Benavides wrote:

Hi Henry,

Although not a 'book'- I am delighted with the IOL's 'The Linguist' monthly publications. There are some excellent articles ranging from strictly academic features to career-oriented articles to updates on resources and on-line sites for translators and interpreters (that is how I found out about Proz!) I am not sure whether non-members can subscribe but I would imagine so...interested parties can find out themselves:
http//www.iol.org.uk


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