Books of Interest to Translators
Thread poster: Paul Dixon
| | Paul Dixon
Local time: 03:47
Portuguese to English
I have opened this space to gather suggestions of useful / interesting books for translators. They must be connected with our business or with language in some way, but dictionaries and the like should not be included.
I'll start off:
IT'S ALL IN A WORD by Vivian Cook (Profile Books: London, 2009)
A fascinating insight into several aspects of language, written in a very simple way, ideal for recreational exploration of linguistics. The blurb of this work describes it as "another irresistible mix of information, curiosity and fun".
Just a short selection of the questions answered in this book follows:
1. What differences in frequency of word usage are there between the Beatles and the Rolling Stones?
2. Is there a rule for pronouncing words beginning with "th"?
3. What meaning is common to words starting "sn-" in English?
4. How did Ogden & Richards propose the 850 words of Basic English?
5. According to the OED, which word has most senses of meaning?
| Mouse Or Rat? : Translation as Negotiation || Jan 24, 2010 |
By Umberto Eco.
A really inexpensive book (in its paperback edition) in which Eco, a true scholar in translation matters, explains how translation must work in many levels, how sometimes you must give some level a lower priority in order to make the other levels work when you translate for advanced readers, and how the translators of his books dealt with different types of challenges.
A must for literary translators, but I also think it will make interesting reading for all translators out there.
| Translation and proofreading || Jan 24, 2010 |
These are my favourites (Spanish):
Umberto Eco, Decir casi lo mismo, Lumen, 2003. (“Dire quasi la stessa cosa”)
Alberto Gómez Font, Donde dice... Debiera decir..., Editorial Ancora, Buenos Aires, 2006.
Both of them are very entertaining and stimulating.
The first one is about how difficult translation can be, particularly literary translation, and Eco's experiences with translators.
The second one is about Spanish and Alberto Gómez Font's experiences as a copy editor/proofreader. Full of amusing anecdotes.
English to Spanish
* Millán, José Antonio. Perdón, imposible. Guía para una puntuación más rica y consciente, Buenos Aires, 2005.
(He also has a blog which is a lot of fun http://jamillan.com)
* Grijelmo, Ález. Defensa apasionada del idioma español. Punto de Lectura, 2001.
| Good topic, Paul - I added a wiki article || Jan 25, 2010 |
Hi Paul, others,
Nice idea for a thread. For topics like these, we are going to try to start building up a searchable base of knowledge in a wiki format. Therefore, I opened an article on this topic -- I hope you don't mind. I'd invite you and others to give it a look and add your titles there, even as you may want to discuss them here: http://wiki.proz.com/wiki/index.php/Books_of_interest_to_translators
The idea is that by using a wiki approach, it will be possible to aggregate, browse and search the collective knowledge of the ProZ.com community. Let's see if this works...
(For those of you who are unfamiliar with how wikis work: feel free to add books to the wiki page, optionally with a description, by clicking the "edit" tab.)
| | Tom in London
Local time: 07:47
Italian to English
| The seminal work || Jan 25, 2010 |
I think the key book remains "After Babel" by George Steiner. This is a profound book for the serious translator - not to be read for amusement or as a distraction because you have nothing else to do. Essentially, Steiner's contention is that we should not translate mechanically but by thoroughly understanding what is being said in the source language, in all its nuances. He gives some interesting examples of translating nuance, for instance in Shakespeare. Understanding nuance, and how to translate it, is one of his key topics. You can read some very interesting reviews of his book here:
Another essential bit of reading for any translator is Walter Benjamin's essay "The Task of the Translator" which is usually included in collections of Benjamin's writings.
[Edited at 2010-01-25 08:29 GMT]
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