QUOTATIONS ON TRANSLATING by TRANSLATORS
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