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(Slate)   Literary translations are intricately complex   (slate.com) divider line
    More: Awkward, Literary works, Language, Literal translation, Poetry, Literary theory, Linguistics, Translation, translation of any text  
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566 clicks; posted to STEM » on 14 Apr 2021 at 6:06 AM (3 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



12 Comments     (+0 »)
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2021-04-14 6:49:50 AM  
It doesnt help when subby cant figure out how to use the podcast tag
 
2021-04-14 6:56:32 AM  
That's one of the reasons we have so many sects of Christianity.
 
2021-04-14 7:09:56 AM  
Didn't listen, but I seem to recall NPR interviewing this couple about their translation of War and Peace. One sentence in the older translation was something along the lines of "rain dripped from the leaves" while they chose a two-word sentence closer to the original, "drops dripped.

Yet I can't remember what I had for dinner a few days ago.
 
2021-04-14 7:11:03 AM  
Et tu?
 
2021-04-14 7:20:32 AM  
Kafka's Metamorphosis never actually describes the nature of Gregor's transformation as anything but a "monstrous vermin"

It was the English translation that added the idea of him turning into a giant insect.
 
2021-04-14 7:39:11 AM  

Snapper Carr: Kafka's Metamorphosis never actually describes the nature of Gregor's transformation as anything but a "monstrous vermin"

It was the English translation that added the idea of him turning into a giant insect.


I was going to mention something like that. For being such a literal language, German translated into English has some weirdly disparate translations. I don't have any copies close at hand, but Goethe's Damnation of Faust is a prime example.
 
2021-04-14 7:46:07 AM  
Used to work with an Italian guy who knew one of Umberto Eco's translators.

Now that's a challenge.  Take a list of 20 kind-of-synonymous adjectives in Italian and find an equivalent list in English.
 
2021-04-14 8:22:36 AM  
I would imagine they are far more complex than advertising, and advertising translations are often way off the mark.
 
2021-04-14 10:58:32 AM  
This couple is the modern standard in Russian Literature translation. Really enjoyed their work on Crime and Punishment, Anna Karenina.
 
2021-04-14 11:35:06 AM  
Super Karate Monkey Death Car | NewsRadio
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2021-04-14 11:38:44 AM  

OldJames: I would imagine they are far more complex than advertising, and advertising translations are often way off the mark.


Back in the 90s when Gilette was doing their "The Best A Man Can Get" slogan and jingle, I was working in Moscow.

The Russian translation was superb, "For A Man, Nothing Better", and it scanned perfectly for the jingle.
 
2021-04-14 12:46:11 PM  
TL;DR:
Context IS EVERYTHING. Anything from long enough ago/by a cultural POV sufficiently different from our own.  We and they, will be under a different enough context we (the interpreters)may never truly understanding the (original message to interpret) meaning to those that wrote them.

example:
unless you understand the original Hebrew, there are bible passages that are of their own times actually jokes/tounge in cheek nods to things of times/culture. And those messages interpreted and carried forward get treated as legit surface messages about bad/evil behavior god dislikes, rather than understood to be the cultural in jokes/nods of the times that they were.
 
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