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Thread: Cervantes English translation

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Cervantes English translation

    You can thank an amazing translator for re-rhyming and maintaining a lyrical tone to the novel. This was probably nearly as labor intensive as writing it originally.

  2. #2
    What the Dickens?!
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Could you be any less specific?
    This sentence contradicts itself - no actually it doesn't.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    I think it's entirely possible to be more vague. He/she could have said "The translator did a good job on some specific aspects of translation."

    All kidding aside, on the original poster's topic I disagree. While a translation of the poetry in the book that is able to maintain the rhyme scheme with new words that have to be selected both to rhyme and have the same meaning is impressive, I think that it was still a very small part in what makes a good modern translation of the book. Far more impressive, in my estimation, is the translating of the work as a whole that maintains the style and character of the original was written in while making it fully understandable to a modern English audience.

    For example, all throughout John Ormby's translation I find myself laughing at the sensible yet witty way that Sancho spouts off one of his famous proverbs, though it is still the proverb that was used in the 17th century in Spanish rather than substituted with one I would be familiar with. This feat of translating something into a new language and time period while still maintaining the author's original tone is something that is impossible to do perfectly, but is what I am most impressed about how well one does in a translation.

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