Some of these cookies are essential to the operation of the site,
while others help to improve your experience by providing insights into how the site is being used.
French to English: French Literary Translation General field: Art/Literary
Source text - French Could not be obtained; a nineteenth century French novel extract.
Translation - English “What beauty!” said Hugo in a low voice. “Europe has all the charm of the dying,” he said setting off again, running his hand along the grey parapet. “That’s its greatest seduction. That’s why for for several years now I have felt especially attracted to these ailing cities. Paris, London, Rome; each time I leave them, my eyes fill with tears as though I’m taking leave of a sick friend who will not recover… as with Salzburg before the invasion… My God! It was so moving to hear the music of Mozart on these cold summer nights and to think of Hitler only a few miles from there, tormented by insomnia and covetousness. One was witnessing the end of a civilisation. We were seeing a country trembling and dying while singing, as one might feel the beating heart of a wounded nightingale in ones hand. Poor, charming Austria… And everything there", he said, showing Notre Dame, "destroyed by aerial bombardments, in ruin, in smoke, in cinders, what horror! And yet…"
Yes it was strange to see as such this old world that was sinking like a ship taking in water from all sides, that was sinking in these terrible depths where the voice of God echoed incessantly. In a few months, in a few weeks, would the bombed towers of Notre Dame explode and throw their tortured ancient stones to the sky? And all these beautiful, old houses… what a pity! He felt all at once compassion, a justified indignation and this comfortable peace of mind that one feels when watching a drama in the theatre. Lots of blood, lots of tears, but ones that fall far from you, that will never affect you. He, himself, was neutral, a citizen of “no man’s land” he said to himself smiling. Thus there existed a handful of beings on earth (Magda was of their number), who by their birth, their ancestors, their ties, by a quirk of fate mixed within them the blood of so many different countries that no single one could claim them for themselves.
Years of translation experience: 7. Registered at ProZ.com: Jun 2015.
I am a future trainee solicitor, about to enter my second year of law school. I achieved an 'A' in A-Level French and worked in Paris for two summers during university. At University I studies French Literature in my second and third years and sat exams in translation both years. I continue to regularly read French literature. My English language skills, aside from being a native speaker, are honed by both my degrees (in Literature and Law) and my employment in corporate environments.