About translation

Schleiermacher said, that the translation is a movement, that can be made in two opposite directions: bringing the author to the readers's language or bringing the reader to the author's language. 

Do you agree? What type of translation do you prefer? 

2019年3月25日 20:36
Comments · 8

A discussion about translation in a site about languages...


Great success. 


Great topic for reflection and discussion. Many years ago I had the honor of taking a one-semester course in translation from the great Gregory Rabassa, who translated most of Garcia-Marquez' work from Spanish into English. He spoke about the many difficult decisions that any thoughtful translator must grapple with. The most useful thing I have kept from the course is the recognition that a literary translator is, hopefully, as much an artist as the original author. So, yes, I suppose, I prefer bringing the author to the reader's language, as much as possible.

If we're talking about technical translation, I think the most useful approach is to essentially rewrite the content in the target language. That is, to answer the original question in this discussion, to bring the author to the reader's language. 

Maybe the area where I would diverge from this preference would be in poetry, which is magic in the first place. Bring me, by poetic magic, to the original language, and let me savor the essence of the poet's dream without the need to "understand."


A great topic to discuss! Really interesting!

I don't have much to say, but I thought I would comment just to make this discussion show up to the first page for more additional minutes. 

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