J M Coetzee on his experiences with translators
Thread poster: Roomy Naqvy

Roomy Naqvy  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 09:41
English to Hindi
+ ...
Feb 6, 2006

Please see

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,17924843^5001986,00.html

or alternatively

http://tinyurl.com/ayygv

It is interesting to read about the comments that Coetzee, the Nobel Laureate, makes. Some of them are applicable to the translator community as a whole irrespective of the field in which they translate.

Roomy


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Yvette Neisser Moreno  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:11
Spanish to English
+ ...
Thank you Feb 6, 2006

Thank you for sending this fascinating and very pertinent article!

Yvette


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 22:11
German to English
J M Coetzee Feb 6, 2006

I read this fascinating essay a few days ago, and deeply appreciated Coetzee's excellent summary of the challenges a translator faces.

"The necessary imperfection of translation - brought about in the first place by the incapacity of any given target language to supply for each single word in the source language a corresponding single word that would cover, precisely and without overlap, the denotation of the original and its major connotations to boot - is so widely accepted that the translator becomes accustomed to aiming for the best possible translation rather than a hypothetical perfect one."


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RB Translations  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 15:11
English to Italian
+ ...
Insightful Feb 6, 2006

Thank you for the link.

"what there is to be learned must be learned by observation and practice"



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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:11
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
The Dutch translator could have used a valuable resource Feb 6, 2006

Kim Metzger wrote:

I read this fascinating essay a few days ago, and deeply appreciated Coetzee's excellent summary of the challenges a translator faces.


I read the full article too and loved Coetzee for his approach.

And yet, the Dutch translation problem examples Coetzee gives could have been solved with KudoZ questions. Most of us Dutch KudoZ answerers couldn't translate Coutzee's works professionally but I'm convinced we could have been helpful.

Regards,
Gerard


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Stephen Rifkind  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 06:11
Member (2004)
French to English
+ ...
Excellent article Feb 7, 2006

Thank you for bringing up this link. It is a pleasure to read a well organized article that has something interesting to say.

Have a nice week.

Stephen Rifkind
Hebrew/Russian/French to English


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A Hayes
Australia
Local time: 14:11
speaking in tongues Feb 7, 2006

Very interesting article, indeed.

I posted it on ProZ on 28 Jan under the title 'speaking in tongues (J M Coetzee on translation)' http://www.proz.com/topic/41928 but I don't think many people saw it -



[Edited at 2006-02-07 07:52]


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Wenjer Leuschel  Identity Verified
Taiwan
Local time: 12:11
English to Chinese
+ ...
The only way to achieve the best possible translation Feb 11, 2006

Kim Metzger wrote:

I read this fascinating essay a few days ago, and deeply appreciated Coetzee's excellent summary of the challenges a translator faces.

"The necessary imperfection of translation - brought about in the first place by the incapacity of any given target language to supply for each single word in the source language a corresponding single word that would cover, precisely and without overlap, the denotation of the original and its major connotations to boot - is so widely accepted that the translator becomes accustomed to aiming for the best possible translation rather than a hypothetical perfect one."


Hi Kim,

As I see it, the only way to achieve the best possible translation would be aiming for a hypothetically perfect one. If we don't do that way, there would be only less than the best ones getting published.

Cheers,
Wenjer


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J M Coetzee on his experiences with translators

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