Quote of the Day
Without translation, I would be limited to the borders of my own country. The translator is my most important ally. He introduces me to the world.
I'm a good communicator, and I'm a good translator. I can talk to engineers; I can talk to people for whom technology is not remotely interesting or even maybe scary - things like that.
When I was 16 years old, I assembled a 2.3 million electron volt beta particle accelerator. I went to Westinghouse, I got 400 pounds of translator steel, 22 miles of copper wire, and I assembled a 6-kilowatt, 2.3 million electron accelerator in the garage.
The translator's task is to create, in his or her own language, the same tensions appearing in the original. That's hard!
The novelist's intuition for the sacred differs from the translator's interrogation of the sacred.
My mom's a translator, my dad's a woodworker; that's the world I grew up in, that's the world I'm most comfortable in. The whole idea of Hollywood or any of that other stuff that unfortunately goes along with film, that wasn't part of my upbringing, thankfully.
And I always read the English translation and always have conversations with my translator, for example about the names. I always have to approve it.
What the translator - myself in particular - does is not comparable to what the Homeric performer was doing.
I think the close work I do as a translator pays off in my writing - I'm always searching for multiple ways to say things.
I always read the translator's draft all the way through - a very laborious business.
W. G. Sebald
If I make a speech, I need a translator. But music does not need a translation. People understand me through the sound. That I think is very important. This is just one planet, like one family.
If a translation doesn't have obvious writing problems, it may seem quite all right at first glance. We readers, after all, quickly adapt to the style of a translator, stop noticing it, and get caught up in the story.
The existence of another, competing translation is a good thing, in general, and only immediately discouraging to one person - the translator who, after one, two, or three years of more or less careful work, sees another, and perhaps superior, version appear as if overnight.
My father, a Russian translator, wanted to distinguish me by calling me Misha, the Russian diminutive of his name, Michael. My name and work as a writer specialising in the Balkans has created a myth that I have Slavic connections, but actually I am British.
The CIA will only hire people with impeccable credentials to be a translator. 'Impeccable credentials' means you've never lived outside the United States.
One of my favorite poets, Neruda, writes close to the bone. Though I know only a little Spanish, I like to compare the Spanish and English lines and see how the translator worked.
The only problem was that I couldn't communicate with Dario. He speaks Italian and I don't. We had a translator the whole time. I just felt that something was lost with the go between. He was a delightful man, but I wish we could have spoken the same language.
As a physician and as a pilot, I think it lets me be a pretty good translator having one foot in the medical world and one foot in the flying world. Sometimes when the medical guys come in and speak medical stuff to the pilots, the pilots really don't know what they're saying.
David M. Brown
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