Sei sulla pagina 1di 4

Quotes About Translation Arnold, Matthew The translator of Homer should above all be penetrated by a sense of four qualities

of his author: that he is eminently rapid; that he is eminently plain and direct both in the evolution of his thought and in the expression of it, that is, both in his syntax and in his words; that he is eminently plain and direct in the substance of his thought, that is, in his manner and ideas; and, finally, that he is eminently noble. Benjamin, Walter Any translation which intends to perform a transmitting function cannot transmit anything but informationhence, something inessential. This is the hallmark of bad translations. Borges, Jorge Luis No problem is as consubstantial to literature and its modest mystery as the one posed by translation. The forgetfulness induced by vanity, the fear of confessing mental processes that may be divined as dangerously commonplace, the endeavor to maintain, central and intact, an incalculable reserve of obscurity: all watch over the various forms of direct writing. Translation, in contrast, seems destined to illustrate aesthetic debate. The model to be imitated is a visible text, not an immeasurable labyrinth of former projects or a submission to the momentary temptation of fluency. Bertrand Russell defines an external object as a circular system radiating possible impressions; the same may be said of a text, given the incalculable possible repercussions of words. Translations are a partial and precious documentation of the changes the text suffers. Are not the many versions of the Iliadfrom Chapman to Magnienmerely different perspectives on a mutable fact, a long experimental game of chance played with omissions and emphases? (There is no essential necessity to change language; this intentional game of attention is possible within a single literature.) To assume that every recombination of elements is necessarily inferior to its original form is to assume that draft nine is necessarily inferior to draft H for there can only be drafts. The concept of the "definitive text" corresponds only to religion or exhaustion. Borrow, George Translation is at best an echo.

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor In poetry, in which every line, every phrase, may pass the ordeal of deliberation and deliberate choice, it is possible, and barely possible, to attain that ultimatum which I have ventured to propose as the infallible test of a blameless style; namely: its untranslatableness in words of the same language without injury to the meaning. Denham, Sir John Nor ought a genius less than his that writ Attempt translation. Emerson, Ralph Waldo I do not hesitate to read all good books in translations. What is really best in any book is translatableany real insight or broad human sentiment. Frost, Robert Poetry is what is lost in translation. Goodman, Paul To translate, one must have a style of his own, for otherwise the translation will have no rhythm or nuance, which come from the process of artistically thinking through and molding the sentences; they cannot be reconstituted by piecemeal imitation. The problem of translation is to retreat to a simpler tenor of one's own style and creatively adjust this to one's author. Grose, Francis Translators: sellers of old mended shoes and boots, between cobblers and shoemakers. Hamilton, Edith There are few efforts more conducive to humility than that of the translator trying to communicate an incommunicable beauty. Yet, unless we do try, something unique and never surpassed will cease to exist except in the libraries of a few inquisitive book lovers. Italian Proverb Translator, traitor. Johnson, Samuel

Poetry cannot be translated; and, therefore, it is the poets that preserve the languages; for we would not be at the trouble to learn a language if we could have all that is written in it just as well in a translation. But as the beauties of poetry cannot be preserved in any language except that in which it was originally written, we learn the language. Kelly, Louis Western Europe owes its civilization to translators. Mathews, Harry Translation is the paradigm, the exemplar of all writing. It is translation that demonstrates most vividly the yearning for transformation that underlies every act involving speech, that supremely human gift. Paternak, Boris As far as modern writing is concerned, it is rarely rewarding to translate it, although it might be easy. Translation is very much like copying paintings. Pound, Ezra A great age of literature is perhaps always a great age of translations. Russian Proverb Translation is like a women: if she is faithful, she is not beautiful; if she is beautiful, she is not faithful. Sciascia, Leonardo The best thing on translation was said by Cervantes: translation is the other side of a tapestry. Shelley, Percy Bysshe It were as wise to cast a violet into a crucible that you might discover the formal principle of its colour and odour, as seek to transfuse from one language into another the creations of a poet. The plant must spring again from its seed, or it will bear no flowerand this is the burthen of the curse of Babel. St. Jerome Non versiones sed eversiones (Not versions but perversions)

Voltaire It is impossible to translate poetry. Can you translate music? Les traductions augmentent les fautes d'un ouvrage et en gtent les beauts. (Translations increase the faults of a work and