The Art of Translation - NPR article re: Literary translation
Thread poster: Suzan Hamer

Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:30
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Nov 22, 2008

An interesting article by Rick Kleffel, that begins: "Living in America, it's easy to forget that most of the world does not speak English; and that much of the world's literature is not written in English. In order for us to read the best of what the rest of the world writes — and in order for the rest of the world to experience our best literature — skilled writers must work in the art of translation.

But it's not as straightforward as you might think. A good translation needs to be true to the original and able to stand on its own for a new audience."

Featured quotation: “There is no such thing as a literal translation, by nature of choosing one word or another, you influence the next step” (Bea Basso).

With a side bar, Translation In Action, that offers a chance to compare translations three English translations of Victor Hugo's Les Miserables that offer slightly different takes on one character.

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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:30
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
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Interesting Nov 23, 2008

Interesting article and interesting comparison. Indeed the character appears slightly different in each translation. As a reader, I prefer the version by Julie Rose but in order to really compare, it would have been nice to see the French source as well.

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The Art of Translation - NPR article re: Literary translation

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