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Thread: Dual Language Books/ Discussion on reading in translation

  1. #16
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    Sep 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by quidoftullamore View Post
    Aura by Carlos Fuentes has an English/Spanish bilingual edition.
    An interesting book coming from Fuentes. It might be one of its kind in his repertoire, at least in length. Two people in need elaborate a successful fantasy. Fuentes is well-known for being a very critical writer.

  2. #17
    Procrastinator General *Classic*Charm*'s Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    Leaning on this broken fence, between Past and Present tense
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    Quote Originally Posted by lichtrausch View Post
    Are you sure it wasn't the Old English original on the facing page?
    Oh! You're right! I looked it up haha- it was a few years ago now that I read it.
    I'm weary with right-angles, abbreviated daylight,
    Waiting for a winter to be done.
    Why do I still see you in every mirrored window,
    In all that I could never overcome?

  3. #18
    Registered User Tomwk's Avatar
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    Jul 2013
    Just like all of you have been mentioning, poetry is the usual genre for bilingual editions, mostly because editors and translators realise how much cannot be truly rendered from a language to another. The endless lyrical resources that make poetry be poetry practically disappear from a language to the other, unless a certain work bumps into a very artful translator who can come up with effective ways of making the new language convey the same or similar aesthetic bliss as the original one.

    This last thing sounds brilliant in theory, but unfortunately, it often ends up in actual verbal entaglements that give readers in other languages false impressions about certain works. For example, the average reader of the Divine Comedy in Spanish will probably have the idea that Dante's masterpiece is much more inaccessible and unreadable than the average reader of the Commedia in English. This is because almost all translations of it in Spanish attempt to keep the terza rima, causing the tercetos to have the appearance of having been trapped inside a tornado (words are added, removed, mixed up and so simply to keep the form).

    To sum up, all these titanic translation tasks (usually unavailing) can be avoided either by bilingual editions or really good prose ones (that's how I read the Commedia and the Odyssey; accepting of course that something is always lost in translation).

  4. #19
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    Oct 2013
    I tend to agree with Tomwk. For bilingual/parallel text books I actually prefer current titles vs. classic literature. I discovered book that's written about Spain (and of course bilingual Spanish-English), Los Secretos Mejor Guardados de España/ Spain's Best Kept Secrets. It's great if you're planning a trip to Spain or simply want to daydream about that spectacular English or in Spanish!

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