Re: OT: Opinions wanted: person of vocatives
|From:||michael poxon <m.poxon@...>|
|Date:||Thursday, July 3, 2003, 12:23|
> Yeats, Poe and Tolkien are on a completely different plain to religion.
> But at one stage, yes, they should be translated. That doesn't mean they
> won't be available untranslated, or that people who want to read the
> original shouldn't be able to (consider Chaucer or Beowulf), but having
> it available in a way that more people will understand is only a good
>Not sure I can go along with this - both Yeats and Tolkien, among many
others, deal with themes which involve religious ideas. And why will
something which will be understood by more people be necessarily a good
thing? This will only be the case if the translation is excellent, and these
occasions are going to be very few and far between. Chaucer, Shakespeare et
al should be read as they were written, though I don't think this applies to
texts (say) in OE, which is no longer intelligible without lengthy training.
In these cases, if a translation is done, it should be at the hands of a
sympathetic, skilled linguist - you only have to look at some of the howlers
that JRRT describes (the one I remember was the description of Heorot as a
"genial saloon" which to my mind conjures up images of out-of-tune tinkling
pianos and cowboys saying "git me a sarsparilla")
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