Issues of Translation

So during our discussion on Monday we just barely touched on the problems that exist with translated literature. This is actually a subject that interests me a lot so I thought I might bring it up on the blog. When we were reading “Untouchable” I really loved what Professor Jani told us about Gandhi’s comment on language. It’s such a wonderful sentiment: language is just a means of communication, and we should communicate any way we can. However, there is no doubt that this creates barriers. Luckily we now have translations, but I always wonder what is lost within those altered words? Obviously there is no reasonable solution, and having these translated texts is much better than not having them at all, I just wish I could read literature in all its organic existence…

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One thought on “Issues of Translation

  1. I could not agree more! One of my favorite “lost in translation” moments occurs between English and Spanish. The English phrase “to be in love” comes with the underlying suggestion that the relationship is long term and has to the possibility to last forever. In Spanish the phrase is “estar enamorado/a”. It is significant that the verb estar is used instead of ser since estar signifies characteristics that can change and ser is much more permanent. This means that a person can fall in and out of love just as easily as his/her mood can change. I often wonder what this tells us about love and relationships in other parts of the world.

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