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The theoretical sender of a piece of spam wakanomori got this morning was Jesus! And the subject line was "miss you"! I think it would be hard not to open that one... but what a disappointment to find a stock tip inside.

If I get one like that, I'll open it, though. And I'll tell you if it's not a stock tip. I hope it's not a stock tip.



Dec. 1st, 2006 01:17 pm (UTC)
I'm absolutely sure it's a case of genius. A real genius makes his (or her) language sing in the way that only that language can--the way, say, a composer for the cello can make the cello sound the way a cello will sound in heaven. Now, you can translate that to the flute or piano or french horn or to a computer synthesizer--but it will never be an exact cello--how can it be?

I've done translating too, from Japanese to English, and especially when the difference between languages and cultures is very great (not such a problem, say, between Spanish and French!), it's so hard: do you try to create, in the target language, the sensation that the original creates in the original language? But to do that, you may need to stray... or do you try to present the original in all its uniqueness, knowing, though, that in doing so, the original will seem more strange to your target audience than it ever did to its original audience, though perhaps they'll love it very much.

And then there's the unique sound of a language. I think it's very good to hear poetry read in the original so you can get a sense of the sound of the language in all its beauty, even if you don't understand it.

The lovely thing about translation is that it's a collaboration; it's you and the original author, together creating the finished work in the new language. Of course the ideas and images, etc., are all the original author's, but the expression in the new language is your contribution and your artistry :-)
Dec. 2nd, 2006 05:09 am (UTC)
I agree, of course, with everything you say :) Thank you for this conversation! Let's hope we always try our best as translators, to convey the beauty of the original poetry to our readers in a different language :)



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