Traditions of translating material among the languages of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Assyria (Syriac language), Anatolia, and Israel (Hebrew language) go back several millennia. There exist partial translations of the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh (c. 2000 BCE) into Southwest Asian languages of the second millennium BCE.
Which brings me back to where I started. Last year, in another sign of how things are changing, Waterstones launched its monthly Rediscovered Classics promotion with Sagan’s Bonjour Tristesse. I was happy about this, but disappointed, to put it mildly, to find that it was the Penguin Modern Classics edition that it had piled up in-store, awaiting new readers. So what I want to say now is this: if you tried it then and hated it, please, have another go, only this time entrust yourself to Irene Ash’s gorgeous 1955 translation. The story of a teenager called Cecile who discovers, during a golden Riviera holiday, that her beloved papa is to remarry, I am willing to bet it will cast a spell on you, whether you are poolside, or stuck at home in Britain, watching the rain.
Interactive translations with pop-up windows are becoming more popular. These tools show one or more possible equivalents for each word or phrase. Human operators merely need to select the likeliest equivalent as the mouse glides over the foreign-language text. Possible equivalents can be grouped by pronunciation.
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When translations are produced of material used in medical clinical trials, such as informed-consent forms, a back-translation is often required by the ethics committee or institutional review board.
After our last post on translating the content on your WordPress site, you may be wondering if there’s also a way to translate the admin panel and other “back-end” features as well. As a matter of fact, there is, and in this guide we’ll show you a few ways to do it!
Categories: English terms derived from the PIE root *telh₂-English terms derived from Anglo-NormanEnglish terms derived from Old FrenchEnglish terms derived from LatinEnglish terms with audio linksEnglish 3-syllable wordsEnglish terms with IPA pronunciationEnglish lemmasEnglish nounsEnglish uncountable nounsEnglish countable nounsen:Translation studiesen:Physicsen:Mathematicsen:Geneticsen:Christianityen:MedicineFrench terms derived from LatinFrench lemmasFrench nounsFrench feminine nounsFrench countable nounsfr:Mathematicsfr:Physicsfr:ComputingSwedish terms derived from LatinSwedish lemmasSwedish nounssv:Mathematicssv:Physics
Dilemmas about translation do not have definitive right answers (although there can be unambiguously wrong ones if misreadings of the original are involved). Any translation (except machine translation, a different case) must pass through the mind of a translator, and that mind inevitably contains its own store of perceptions, memories, and values.
(fig) → übertragen; to translate feelings into action → Gefühle in die Tat umsetzen; to translate a novel into a film → aus einem Roman einen Film machen; could you translate that into cash terms? → lässt sich das geldmäßig ausdrücken?
The translator’s role as a bridge for “carrying across” values between cultures has been discussed at least since Terence, the 2nd-century-BCE Roman adapter of Greek comedies. The translator’s role is, however, by no means a passive, mechanical one, and so has also been compared to that of an artist. The main ground seems to be the concept of parallel creation found in critics such as Cicero. Dryden observed that “Translation is a type of drawing after life…” Comparison of the translator with a musician or actor goes back at least to Samuel Johnson’s remark about Alexander Pope playing Homer on a flageolet, while Homer himself used a bassoon.
In Asia, the spread of Buddhism led to large-scale ongoing translation efforts spanning well over a thousand years. The Tangut Empire was especially efficient in such efforts; exploiting the then newly invented block printing, and with the full support of the government (contemporary sources describe the Emperor and his mother personally contributing to the translation effort, alongside sages of various nationalities), the Tanguts took mere decades to translate volumes that had taken the Chinese centuries to render.
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The question of fidelity vs. transparency has also been formulated in terms of, respectively, “formal equivalence” and “dynamic [or functional] equivalence”. The latter expressions are associated with the translator Eugene Nida and were originally coined to describe ways of translating the Bible, but the two approaches are applicable to any translation.
Among the idées reçues [received ideas] skewered by David Bellos is the old saw that “poetry is what gets lost in translation.” The saying is often attributed to Robert Frost, but as Bellos notes, the attribution is as dubious as the idea itself. A translation is an assemblage of words, and as such it can contain as much or as little poetry as any other such assemblage. The Japanese even have a word (chōyaku, roughly “hypertranslation”) to designate a version that deliberately improves on the original.
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Efforts to translate the Bible into English had their martyrs. William (c. 1494–1536) was convicted of heresy at Antwerp, was strangled to death while tied at the stake, and then his dead body was burned. Earlier, John Wycliffe (c. mid-1320s – 1384) had managed to die a natural death, but 30 years later the Council of Constance in 1415 declared him a heretic and decreed that his works and earthly remains should be burned; the order, confirmed by Pope Martin V, was carried out in 1428, and Wycliffe’s corpse was exhumed and burned and the ashes cast into the River Swift. Debate and religious schism over different translations of religious texts continue, as demonstrated by, for example, the King James Only movement.
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It is also necessary to describe the samples used in this process (i.e. the composition of the expert panel and the pre-test respondent samples). For the latter, the number of individuals as well as their basic characteristics should be described, as appropriate.
Modern translation meets with opposition from some traditionalists. In English, some readers prefer the Authorized King James Version of the Bible to modern translations, and Shakespeare in the original of c. 1600 to modern translations.
Last year, I decided to treat myself to a new copy of Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan, a novel I have loved ever since I first read it as a teenager, and whose dreamy opening line in its original translation from the French by Irene Ash – “A strange melancholy pervades me to which I hesitate to give the grave and beautiful name of sadness” – I know by heart. But which one to get? In the end, I decided to go for something entirely new and ritzy, which is how I came to buy the Penguin Modern Classics edition, translated by Heather Lloyd.
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
“Dynamic equivalence” (or “functional equivalence”) conveys the essential thoughts expressed in a source text—if necessary, at the expense of literality, original sememe and word order, the source text’s active vs. passive voice, etc.
“There are some books whose success is very local,” says Adam Freudenheim, the publisher of Pushkin Press, and the man who introduced me to the Russian writer Teffi (and to Gundar-Goshen). “But the best fiction almost always travels well, in my view.” For him, as for other presses that specialise in translated work (Harvill Secker, Portobello, And Other Stories, MacLehose Press and others), the focus is simply on publishing a great book; the fact that it is translated is “not the decisive thing”. And this, in turn, is how he accounts for the increasing popularity of foreign fiction – a shift that he, like Ann Goldstein, believes is real enough to turn out to be permanent. There are, quite simply, a lot of great translated books out there now, their covers appetising, their introductions informative, their translations (mostly) works of art in their own right.
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”.
Wilson, Emily, “A Doggish Translation” (review of The Poems of Hesiod: Theogony, Works and Days, and The Shield of Herakles, translated from the Greek by Barry B. Powell, University of California Press, 2017, 184 pp.), The New York Review of Books, vol. LXV, no. 1 (18 January 2018), pp. 34–36.
With WordPress being a free and open platform, there are a lot of translation plugins options out there to suit the needs of almost anyone, from the small time blogger up through to the “big leagues.” Want to know the difference, and find out which one is best for you? Read on…
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.
Book-title translations can be either descriptive or symbolic. Descriptive book titles, for example Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince), are meant to be informative, and can name the protagonist, and indicate the theme of the book. An example of a symbolic book title is Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, whose original Swedish title is Män som hatar kvinnor (Men Who Hate Women). Such symbolic book titles usually indicate the theme, issues, or atmosphere of the work.
Computer-assisted translation (CAT), also called “computer-aided translation,” “machine-aided human translation” (MAHT) and “interactive translation,” is a form of translation wherein a human translator creates a target text with the assistance of a computer program. The machine supports a human translator.
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.
Douglas Hofstadter, in his 1997 book, Le Ton beau de Marot, argued that a good translation of a poem must convey as much as possible not only of its literal meaning but also of its form and structure (meter, rhyme or alliteration scheme, etc.).
I think I enjoy Don Quixote more than any other book. I just fell in love with that novel over and over again. At the beginning of the 00s, I was terrified and excited at the prospect of translating it. I mentioned I was doing it in a note to García Márquez; later, when I spoke to him on the telephone, his first words to me were: “So I hear you’re two-timing me with Cervantes.”
The final version of the instrument in the target language should be the result of all the iterations described above. It is important that a serial number (e.g. 1.0) be given to each version. Instructions for providing the electronic version of the final translated instrument to WHO will be provided.