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QUOTATIONS ON TRANSLATING by TRANSLATORS

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I see translation as the attempt to produce a text so transparent that it does not seem to be translated. A good translation is like a pane of glass. You only notice that it's there when there are little imperfections - scratches, bubbles. Ideally, there shouldn't be any. It should never call attention to itself.

[] A fluent translation is written in English that is current ("modern") instead of archaic, that is widely used instead of specialized ("jargonisation"), and that is standard instead of colloquial ("slangy").


- Norman Shapiro

Translation is different things for different groups of people. For people who are not translators, it's primarily text; for people who are, it is primarily an activity.


- Douglas H. Robinson


[] the art of translation will always have to cope with the reality of untranslatability from language to another. [] Is translation just the reaction of one writer to another?


- Rainer Schulte


The translator's task is to create, in his or her own language, the same tensions appearing in the original. That's hard!


- Manuel Puig

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.


- Cornelia Funke

True art selects and paraphrases, but seldom gives a verbatim translation. 


- Thomas B. Aldrich

The original is unfaithful to the translation. 


- Jorge Luis Borges

By reason of weird translation, many such sets of instructions read like poems anyhow. 


- Brian Ferneyhough

Fantastic writing in English is kind of disreputable, but fantastic writing in translation is the summit. 


- Jonathan Lethem

In the United States people never say, this is a translation of the work of such and such playwright, but: An English adaptation of the works of such and such playwright. 


- Manuel Puig

The best thing on translation was said by Cervantes: translation is the other side of a tapestry. 


- Leonardo Sciascia

A translation is no translation, [] unless it will give you the music of a poem along with the words of it. 


- John Millington Synge

Translation is like a woman. If it is beautiful, it is not faithful. If it is faithful, it is most certainly not beautiful. 


- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

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