Friday, May 08, 2009

Gripping About Translators

From the Masks of Eris (Finland):

"I acknowledge translating stories is difficult, okay? A machine can translate 80% of the content/words and 10% of the mood/associations, but (at the moment) it takes a very skilled, careful and thoughtful human artisan to drag both to the nineties (...) the best possible translator would be a foreign mirror image of the original author (...) You have a chimp translating Shakespeare, you get chimp adventures; you got a Goethe translating Shakespeare and you get Shakes-worthy results. You got a Goethe translating chimp scribblings, I don’t know what the heck you’ll get. Maybe a book better than the original."

Apparently, he would have to come up with something Faustian, he would.. No excuse for having a bad translation, that.. err.. chimps scribblings.

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