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Re: Is conlang a generator of conlangers? or a su

From:Tom Wier <artabanos@...>
Date:Friday, October 9, 1998, 3:19
Sally Caves wrote:

> > Whoa, really? Wow. That's gonna be a while, if I remember > > correctly. The problem I see with trying to translate great literature > > is that unless you're very knowledgeable about the work, you will > > often come up with translations which don't render the original > > meaning of the work correctly... > > What translation DOES, Tom? Ever read Walter Benjamin on "the Task of the > Translator"? He says that an essential component of all translation > is that element of untranslatability. Translators have been worrying > this bone for centuries: Cicero, Jerome, Augustine, AElfric, Chaucer, > Caxton, and on up. Scripture was a particularly delicate and dangerous > topic to translators, as some of these "Church Fathers" were well aware. > How do your render "correctly" a divine script... into either Latin or > Old English without the danger of approximation? Benjamin felt that NO > poetic text could be fully conveyed into the target language without > loss.
But my point was that poetry has a greater degree of this relative to prose. I realize that all translation will, inevitably, carry along with it misconceptions to some at least small extent, but it is much easier to circumlocute oneself around these problems in prose, where structure is usually not so central to the meaning of a passage. When you're trying to take on something like Macbeth, it's almost monumental then. What I wanted to say was that I think the best translations always come from people who are highly knowledgeable in a field of knowledge. While this may seem rather selfevident, it probably needs to be stated especially in a forum like this, where we have many wouldbe translators trying to approach some of the greatest works a human mind has produced. This is not to say, of course, that any of the people in this forum are not up to the challenge, but, really, it's just that: a _great_ challenge. Sure, we may try to make preliminary translations of works, and keep working on them continuously as the language and our skills with the text improve, but we just shouldn't be deluded that such things are going to be a snap. But nota bene: These are just my thoughts on the matter, so don't take them too seriously. If y'all want to translate Shakespeare, go ahead! More power to you. This is _my_ approach to translating, and as far as I'm concerned, I would much rather produce original works in languages than translate (although this is of course much harder, but in my opinion much more worth the effort, as it provides the best way to make a truly _unique_ linguistic feel to the language). ======================================================= Tom Wier <artabanos@...> ICQ#: 4315704 AIM: Deuterotom Website: <> "Cogito ergo sum, sed credo ergo ero." "Why should men quarrel here, where all possess / as much as they can hope for by success?" - Quivera, _The Indian Queen_ by Henry Purcell ========================================================