Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Difficulty of translation

When it comes to translation, it's not specialized terminology, complex judicial or administrative processes or highly technical fields that I consider daunting tasks, but as Schleiermacher cogently puts it:

"Whatever, therefore, strikes the judicious reader of the original in this respect as characteristic, as intentional, as having an influence on tone and feeling, as decisive for the mimetic or musical accompaniment of speech, all these things our translator must render."

It doesn't take much to match term-for-term or transfer objective information from one language to the other, but a translator is truly put to the test when having to render natural expression, subtleties, double entendre, an idiolect, an intense emotion, a particular intention, profanity, humor, art...

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