Thursday, April 21, 2005

Translating literature

Translating literature and poetry are both a challenge and a beautiful adventure for any translator. Producing a good text in the target language can be really difficult to achieve, sometimes it demands changing the original words to produce in the reader the same effect as the original. As a translator you seek to offer the receiver the same feeling, the same flavour, the same spirit that the author gave to the original. If good literature and poetry are difficult to write, imagine how difficult it can be to translate them.
Here is a "simple" bit of Hugo, in French. You can give it a try and give your translation
On doute
La nuit . . .
J’├ęcoute:
Tout fuit,
Tout passe;
L’espace
Efface
Le bruit.

This is one possible translation to get you started:
Unsure
Of night,
I pause . . .
The round
World fades,
And space
Deflates
The sound.

1 comentarios:

Anonymous said...

Salut -

If you're interesting in translating literature from French to English, my forum has a new exercise posted weekly - you can get corrections on your own translation and/or reading others' attempts. You're welcome to join us - http://forums.about.com/ab-french/messages/?msg=9555.1&ctx=10

Laura K. Lawless
French Language Guide
Learn French at About