Off topic: The Perils of Morphemic Translation...
Thread poster: Lindsay Sabadosa

Lindsay Sabadosa  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:34
Member (2004)
Italian to English
+ ...
Sep 18, 2005

Hi all,
I was reading this article today discussing the perils of morphemic translation and one of the examples just struck me as funny (possibly because I've always had a weak spot for British history and I can't imagine the people putting on this play not knowing better!). Anyway, it seems that when the first translation of the German play, Maria Stuart, based on the life of Mary Queen of Scots, was translated into Russian in the 19th century, the translator decided to use morphemic translation to translate the German, "rosenkranz." Apparently, the Russian version ended on a much more aesthetically-pleasing note when Mary entered carrying a wreath of roses rather than the rosary beads she was intended to be holding... right before her decapitation. I just can't imagine what Russian audiences must have thought. That she was bringing flowers to her own funeral? The text doesn't mention if the Russian version has since been revised. I certainly hope so!
LNS


 


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