Tatarkiewicz, Władysław, O doskonałości (On Perfection), Warsaw, Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1976; English translation by Christopher Kasparek subsequently serialized in Dialectics and Humanism: The Polish Philosophical Quarterly, vol. VI, no. 4 (autumn 1979)—vol. VIII, no 2 (spring 1981), and reprinted in Władysław Tatarkiewicz, On Perfection, Warsaw University Press, Center of Universalism, 1992, pp. 9–51 (the book is a collection of papers by and about Professor Tatarkiewicz).
In recent decades, prominent advocates of such “non-transparent” translation have included the French scholar Antoine Berman, who identified twelve deforming tendencies inherent in most prose translations, and the American theorist Lawrence Venuti, who has called on translators to apply “foreignizing” rather than domesticating translation strategies.
From Anglo-Norman translacioun, from Old French translacion (“transfer, translation”), from Latin trānslātiō (“transfer”), from trans- (“across”), + lātiō (“carrying”), from lātus, perfect passive participle of irregular verb ferō (compare transfer), + noun of action suffix -iō.
^ W.S. Merwin: To Plant a Tree: one-hour documentary shown on PBS. Elsewhere Merwin recalls Pound saying: “[A]t your age you don’t have anything to write about. You may think you do, but you don’t. So get to work translating. The Provençal is the real source….” Ange Mlinko, “Whole Earth Troubador” (review of The Essential W.S. Merlin, edited by Michael Wiegers, Copper Canyon, 338 pp., 2017), The New York Review of Books, vol. LXIV, no. 19 (7 December 2017), p. 45.
Web-based human translation is generally favored by companies and individuals that wish to secure more accurate translations. In view of the frequent inaccuracy of machine translations, human translation remains the most reliable, most accurate form of translation available. With the recent emergence of translation crowdsourcing, translation-memory techniques, and internet applications, translation agencies have been able to provide on-demand human-translation services to businesses, individuals, and enterprises.
Another imponderable is how to imitate the 1-2, 1-2-3 rhythm in which five-syllable lines in classical Chinese poems normally are read. Chinese characters are pronounced in one syllable apiece, so producing such rhythms in Chinese is not hard and the results are unobtrusive; but any imitation in a Western language is almost inevitably stilted and distracting. Even less translatable are the patterns of tone arrangement in classical Chinese poetry. Each syllable (character) belongs to one of two categories determined by the pitch contour in which it is read; in a classical Chinese poem the patterns of alternation of the two categories exhibit parallelism and mirroring.
Our company’s core mission is very simple: “To convey the World’s information”. We all share a passion for languages and aim to use the latest innovations in technology to solve the most challenging problems pertaining to localization, internationalization and globalization of information. Our team is comprised by veterans of the localization industry. We bring our broad expertise and passion to each project.
Nevertheless, in certain contexts a translator may consciously seek to produce a literal translation. Translators of literary, religious or historic texts often adhere as closely as possible to the source text, stretching the limits of the target language to produce an unidiomatic text. A translator may adopt expressions from the source language in order to provide “local color”.
Some days later, in bed, I began reading it. The shock was tremendous, disorienting. “This strange new feeling of mine, obsessing me by its sweet languor, is such that I am reluctant to dignify it with the fine, solemn name of ‘sadness’,” went the first sentence, which sounded to my ears a little as though a robot had written it. For a while I pressed on, telling myself it was stupid to cling to only one version, as if it were a sacred thing, and that perhaps I would soon fall in love with this no doubt very clever and more accurate new translation. Pretty soon, though, I gave up. However syntactically correct it might be, the prose had for me lost all of its magic. It was as if I’d gone out to buy a silk party dress and come home with a set of nylon overalls.
Transparency is the extent to which a translation appears to a native speaker of the target language to have originally been written in that language, and conforms to its grammar, syntax and idiom. John Dryden (1631–1700) writes in his preface to the translation anthology Sylvae:
By contrast, “formal equivalence” (sought via “literal” translation) attempts to render the text literally, or “word for word” (the latter expression being itself a word-for-word rendering of the classical Latin verbum pro verbo)—if necessary, at the expense of features natural to the target language.
Mark Twain provided humorously telling evidence for the frequent unreliability of back-translation when he issued his own back-translation of a French translation of his short story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”. He published his back-translation in a 1903 volume together with his English-language original, the French translation, and a “Private History of the ‘Jumping Frog’ Story”. The latter included a synopsized adaptation of his story that Twain stated had appeared, unattributed to Twain, in a Professor Sidgwick’s Greek Prose Composition (p. 116) under the title, “The Athenian and the Frog”; the adaptation had for a time been taken for an independent ancient Greek precursor to Twain’s “Jumping Frog” story.
Arabic translation efforts and techniques are important to Western translation traditions due to centuries of close contacts and exchanges. Especially after the Renaissance, Europeans began more intensive study of Arabic and Persian translations of classical works as well as scientific and philosophical works of Arab and oriental origins. Arabic and, to a lesser degree, Persian became important sources of material and of techniques for revitalized Western traditions, which in time would overtake the Islamic and oriental traditions.
Though earlier approaches to translation are less commonly used today, they retain importance when dealing with their products, as when historians view ancient or medieval records to piece together events which took place in non-Western or pre-Western environments. Also, though heavily influenced by Western traditions and practiced by translators taught in Western-style educational systems, Chinese and related translation traditions retain some theories and philosophies unique to the Chinese tradition.
Unedited machine translation is publicly available through tools on the Internet such as Google Translate, Babel Fish, Babylon, and StarDict. These produce rough translations that, under favorable circumstances, “give the gist” of the source text.
The first fine translations into English were made in the 14th century by Geoffrey Chaucer, who adapted from the Italian of Giovanni Boccaccio in his own Knight’s Tale and Troilus and Criseyde; began a translation of the French-language Roman de la Rose; and completed a translation of Boethius from the Latin. Chaucer founded an English poetic tradition on adaptations and translations from those earlier-established literary languages.
The Elizabethan period of translation saw considerable progress beyond mere paraphrase toward an ideal of stylistic equivalence, but even to the end of this period, which actually reached to the middle of the 17th century, there was no concern for verbal accuracy.
Translation of sung texts is generally much more restrictive than translation of poetry, because in the former there is little or no freedom to choose between a versified translation and a translation that dispenses with verse structure. One might modify or omit rhyme in a singing translation, but the assignment of syllables to specific notes in the original musical setting places great challenges on the translator. There is the option in prose sung texts, less so in verse, of adding or deleting a syllable here and there by subdividing or combining notes, respectively, but even with prose the process is almost like strict verse translation because of the need to stick as closely as possible to the original prosody of the sung melodic line.
^ Walter Kaiser, “A Hero of Translation” (a review of Jean Findlay, Chasing Lost Time: The Life of C.K. Scott Moncrieff: Soldier, Spy, and Translator), The New York Review of Books, vol. LXII, no. 10 (June 4, 2015), p. 55.
Throughout the 18th century, the watchword of translators was ease of reading. Whatever they did not understand in a text, or thought might bore readers, they omitted. They cheerfully assumed that their own style of expression was the best, and that texts should be made to conform to it in translation. For scholarship they cared no more than had their predecessors, and they did not shrink from making translations from translations in third languages, or from languages that they hardly knew, or—as in the case of James Macpherson’s “translations” of Ossian—from texts that were actually of the “translator’s” own composition.
Where I have taken away some of [the original authors’] Expressions, and cut them shorter, it may possibly be on this consideration, that what was beautiful in the Greek or Latin, would not appear so shining in the English; and where I have enlarg’d them, I desire the false Criticks would not always think that those thoughts are wholly mine, but that either they are secretly in the Poet, or may be fairly deduc’d from him; or at least, if both those considerations should fail, that my own is of a piece with his, and that if he were living, and an Englishman, they are such as he wou’d probably have written.
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
Will I ever meet her? I don’t know. I’ve sort of lost interest in that! I guess I have such a strong impression of her from having read her books so many times. I have a close relationship with her, even though I actually have no relationship with her. I’ve just translated Frantumaglia, a collection of her letters, interviews, and more personal essays. It gives a strong sense of her as someone very intelligent, who thinks about things in her own way, who has read a lot, and who is able to use that in a way that isn’t obtrusive. She is very analytical, and critical, knows her own mind, doesn’t want to waste time. If I got an email from her asking to meet up? Yes, it would send me into a bit of a spin. I’d have to practise my Italian for one thing. RC
Interpreters have sometimes played crucial roles in history. A prime example is La Malinche, also known as Malintzin, Malinalli and Doña Marina, an early-16th-century Nahua woman from the Mexican Gulf Coast. As a child she had been sold or given to Maya slave-traders from Xicalango, and thus had become bilingual. Subsequently, given along with other women to the invading Spaniards, she became instrumental in the Spanish conquest of Mexico, acting as interpreter, adviser, intermediary and lover to Hernán Cortés.
I get on very well with Karl Ove. I originally sent him 50 or 60 pages of the first novel and asked if I’d got the tone and voice right. He wrote back and said, “Yes, that’s me.” After that, he said he didn’t want to be on my back. I’ve asked him questions about bits and pieces but he doesn’t really get involved. But he has looked at the books, and wherever he goes, of course, he has to read sections out, so it’s important that he can feel the same kind of rhythms as when he wrote them. Kathryn Bromwich
Our translation team is comprised of in-house and freelance linguists, translators, proofreaders, translation quality assurance managers, and web programmers with a solid professional background in language translation and interpreting. We only use native translators to ensure accurate localization, and each translator that works for us undergoes a strict screening process in order to keep our standards of quality high. Our translators focus in the fields of medical, technology, and patent translations to ensure that even specialized documents retain the proper professional language and tone.
Despite occasional theoretical diversity, the actual practice of translation has hardly changed since antiquity. Except for some extreme metaphrasers in the early Christian period and the Middle Ages, and adapters in various periods (especially pre-Classical Rome, and the 18th century), translators have generally shown prudent flexibility in seeking equivalents—”literal” where possible, paraphrastic where necessary—for the original meaning and other crucial “values” (e.g., style, verse form, concordance with musical accompaniment or, in films, with speech articulatory movements) as determined from context.
Then a friend who was editing a magazine asked me to translate a piece by an Argentine writer named Macedonio Fernández, and I said “Ronald I’m not a translator, I’m a critic”, and he said: “Edie, call yourself whatever you want, just do the damn piece.” And so I did the piece. Macedonio was the most eccentric man and writer one can possibly imagine. I translated this piece called “The surgery of psychic extirpation”. And I mean it was wonderful. This was a procedure whereby you could have certain portions of your memory excised. It’s right out of a TV science fiction. And I thought to sit at home and translate it was more fun than playing with monkeys. I didn’t have to get dressed to go to work. I could smoke all I wanted. And I thought, this is perfect, this is a perfect way for me to work. And so I began to do more and more.
Vladimir Nabokov, another Russian-born author, took a view similar to Jakobson’s. He considered rhymed, metrical, versed poetry to be in principle untranslatable and therefore rendered his 1964 English translation of Alexander Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin in prose.
The app itself is amazing, however recently new translation apps have allowed one to simply type what they wish to translate into their messaging system(such as iMessages or WhatsApp)and it automatically translates it into the language you want with a simple click of the button… this is helpful when speaking to a person from another country. I like Google translate more than those apps, and feel they could do a better job then those apps. The apps I’m speaking of have subscription fees, I don’t believe this is the right way to do it because they turn many people from the app, and a down payment (if absolutely necessary) would be a much more attractive alternative. I suggest to Google that if you read this to take these words into mind when thinking on how to make the app significantly better than it already is.
While not instantaneous like its machine counterparts such as Google Translate and Yahoo! Babel Fish, web-based human translation has been gaining popularity by providing relatively fast, accurate translation for business communications, legal documents, medical records, and software localization. Web-based human translation also appeals to private website users and bloggers.
Modern translation is applicable to any language with a long literary history. For example, in Japanese the 11th-century Tale of Genji is generally read in modern translation (see “Genji: modern readership”).
A fundamental difficulty in translating the Quran accurately stems from the fact that an Arabic word, like a Hebrew or Aramaic word, may have a range of meanings, depending on context. This is said to be a linguistic feature, particularly of all Semitic languages, that adds to the usual similar difficulties encountered in translating between any two languages. There is always an element of human judgment—of interpretation—involved in understanding and translating a text. Muslims regard any translation of the Quran as but one possible interpretation of the Quranic (Classical) Arabic text, and not as a full equivalent of that divinely communicated original. Hence such a translation is often called an “interpretation” rather than a translation.