How do you deal with famous quotes?
Thread poster: Lucy Phillips

Lucy Phillips  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:01
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jun 17, 2004


I often have to translate texts from Spanish or Portuguese which include quotes from authors which were not originally written in those languages.

For example, a text may include a quote from Freud or Nietzsche for which a bibliographic reference will be given referring to the Spanish or Portugese translation.

When I lived in London, I could usually locate the 'official' English translation by visiting a university library and could therefore cite the English translation as my source.

However, I have no such resources close at hand any more and whilst I may occasionally find a standard English rendering of a quote on the internet, it will rarely have a reference and, obviously, when I am dealing with longer passages, the chances of my finding the same passage are remote, to say the least.

Therefore I frequently have to give my translation (which I often worry will suffer from 'Chinese whisper' syndrome, having been translated twice over!) and make this clear, whilst citing the Spanish/Portuguese source.

Does anyone else have a strategy to deal with this problem, or has anyone found a useful resource on the internet for locating quotes?


Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:01
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Seeking for quotations Jun 17, 2004

Dear Lucy,

I face the problem almost daily, though in my case the authors mostly write in the source language. When an author of a book does not specifies exactly his/her source for a quotation, I usually do the following:

1) Seek for the phrase you have in Google. In most cases there are many links which allows you to find the exact source.
(The latest example: my author mentions "rounded with a sleep" in quotation marks. A quick search shows that the phrase is from Shakespear's "The Tempest".

2) Seek for an accepted translation. In the case mentioned above I found three nice translations (the one I liked most was inserted as a footnote into my translation, and the others included into a special file for my notes to the editor). All three were found with Google. There are cases when you has to go in a library and browse through the volumes there.

3) If you cannot find the phrase or if you do not have time for a thorough search, ask in kudoZ!icon_smile.gif

3') If the source text is from a third language, do a simple linear translation and ask in kudoZ in the corresponding pair, providing as more details as you feel necessary.


Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:01
German to English
+ ...
Project Gutenberg Jun 17, 2004

I have had good luck finding quotes in books posted online by Project Gutenberg:


Pamela Cruz  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:01
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Multilingual site of quotes Jun 18, 2004

Visit this site:


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How do you deal with famous quotes?

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