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Challengesof translation

Schreibtischtäter > Literary writing > Spoke desgin

Many writers use translation as a means for taking an internal vacation form their own processes; to collect ideas and borrow verbal energy from other writers; and to pay homage to writers in other languages whom they admire. It is also a effective medicine for fallow periode in writing, say when you are between major projects. If you believe in writer`s to walk a line of words process. This is not translation strictly; it is about taking the work of others and possessing it for yourself: otherness-translation.

What is lost in translation

For creative writers, translation shares the continent of writing. For a growing number of professional literary translators, it is another form of creative writing; after all, they own the process. Yet `Poerty is what is lost in translation. It is also what is lost in interpretation`- Robert Frost. Writers have often seen interpretation as an enemy of creativity. However, Frost`s famous remark says more about the nature of poetry than it does about the process of translation. As we have discussed, language is a shifting and evolving system. Some words are charged with particular meanings in their host language, but that does not entail their carrying those associations into another tongue.

Stealing across a spectrum

Meaning is one thing, but we cannot ignore the importance of sound in language; of cadence and voice; and, in poetry, of rhyme or a line`s inner music. Is there a perfect or perfecting way to carry such cargo from one country to another? – No. What is it that gets lost in translation? – Everything a writer values: the poetry of the author’s inner ear, its intentions and intuitions. Are we even more ruthless than that? – Yes, even given respect for the original, and for the host-writer we are parasitizing.

Variation`s mirror

A writer may well be fluent in the language they are translating. More likely, they may acquire only enough of the language to translate the pieces to which they are drawn, or they many use a gloss – for example, the prose gloss of a poem, such as John D. Sinclair`s exemplary 1939 translation and commentary of Dante`s The Divine Comedy. Instead of faithfully translating the other language, the writer imitates the original for a wholly independent piece of work. The final aim is to own it, and this is a writing exercise you should try for yourself. Your own writing gains by this use of translation. If artistic creation is a mirror to nature, then variation is a mirror on a mirror.

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