Questions tagged [translation]

For questions about translations of works, including how meanings and word choice differ in different languages, and the impact and reasoning of different translations.

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1answer
37 views

Why is Szymborska's “Tarsier” sometimes written (in translation) with simplistic grammar?

Szymborska's poem "Tarsier" ("Tarsjusz" in the original Polish) has been translated, in a version that says "Translations and Comments by Magnus J. Krynski and Robert A. ...
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34 views

About Solaris translators Jasiensko (French), Kilmartin and Cox [closed]

I am looking for an account of, or historical information about: Jean-Michel Jasiensko's Polish-French translation of Solaris. Particularly, why did he vary the text? Also, Joanna Kilmartin and Steve ...
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33 views

Why did Waley choose to transcribe the titles of some chapters as opposed to translating them in The Tale of Genji?

Arthur Waley seems to be a champion, practitioner, and repeat offender of domesticating translation. This Q&A tells us his translation of Journey to the West significantly abridges the original ...
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I would like to identify a specific part of Ibn Khaldun's Muqaddimah

I would like to identify the passage from the Arabic original text of Ibn Khaldun's Muqaddimah whose translation is the following one. It corresponds to Chapter 38 of Book 6, and the quoted ...
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98 views

What is the meaning of the Gaelic lines in the song “Tír na nÓg”?

The song "Tír na nÓg", like many of the Celtic Woman songs, is partly in English and partly in Irish Gaelic. Unlike many of those Celtic Woman songs, this one doesn't seem to be based on a ...
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1answer
84 views

Which English translation of The Tale of Genji is the most accurate yet readable?

The Tale of Genji was originally written in an archaic form of Japanese, and has been translated both into modern Japanese and into English multiple times. Wikipedia says "The first English ...
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66 views

What is the original Korean title of “The Tiger and the Persimmon”?

This short Korean folk story has been variously translated into English: The Tiger and the Persimmon Tiger and Dried Persimmon The Tiger and the Dried Persimmons The Tiger and the Dried Persimmon I ...
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1answer
41 views

What does it mean to “die game”?

In chapter 3 of The Phantom of the Opera, it says that the retiring managers had determined to “die game”, as we now say. What does that mean? I have searched the web with no luck.
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Have any of Angelo Beolco's works ever been translated into English or French?

Angelo Beolco, also known as Ruzzante, was a 16th-century actor and playwright. He is little known today, but when the Italian playwright Dario Fo was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1997, he ...
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114 views

Why was Thus Spake Zarathustra translated into Early Modern English?

I am currently reading The Power by Naomi Alderman, and I find that the author writes some sentences in Early Modern English such as She maketh a channel for the thunderbolt and setteth a path for ...
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103 views

Where can I find the original Persian version of these Rumi poems from “The Essential Rumi”?

I am looking for the original Persian version of the following poems of Rumi. These poems are from "The Essential Rumi" by Coleman Barks. The numbers refer to the Furuzanfar's edition of Kulliyat-e ...
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72 views

Did Ezra Pound write something like “The word communicates the thought, the tone the emotions”?

In Italy it is often attributed to Ezra Pound the following quote without source: la parola comunica il pensiero, il tono le emozioni It translate more or less to "The word communicates the ...
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28 views

Does an English version of Burdick's book on Hubert Lanz exist?

Wasn't sure whether to ask on history SE or here, but am trying this. In the German language book Hubert Lanz: General der Gebirgstruppe by the American professor Charles B. Burdick, who does not ...
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Meaning/translation of title “The Light Fantastic” by Terry Pratchett

I have read The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett in English and always interpreted the title as "The Fantastic (adjective) light (noun)". Mostly because I do not see "Fantastic" as noun. To my ...
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1answer
117 views

Is Wilfrid Scawen Blunt's poem 'The Camel Rider' really a translation?

I came across an interesting poem by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt in a forgotten old tome, The Faber Book of Twentieth Century Verse. Blunt's own note states it is 'From the Arabic'. Is this just a device, or ...
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129 views

What real word is “havekar” alluding to?

During the 2nd chapter of Baptism Of Fire, Geralt and Dandelion come across a group of traders trying to sell Cahir to the Nilfgaardian army, who are introduced as "havekars", basically war profiteers ...
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80 views

English translation of The Promised Land by Władysław Reymont

Does The Promised Land by Władysław Reymont have an English translation? I could not find it on Amazon. I am very naive about book shopping beyond Amazon and I could not find anything by Googling. ...
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131 views

Why did Arthur Waley change the title in his translation of Journey to the West?

Journey to the West is a 16th-century Chinese novel whose original title 西遊記 means (according to Wikipedia) "West-Wandering Chronicles". In Arthur Waley's well-known 1942 English translation, he ...
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32 views

Spanish translation of Adversity Quotient?

I was reading the book Adversity Quotient by Dr. Paul G. Stoltz and I would like to make a gift with that book to someone, but that person is not fluent in English (it's a Spanish citizen). Is there ...
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26 views

Since so many books are translated into so many languages [duplicate]

...how can one be sure the translation is correct unless one speaks that language? Prime example: The Bible. This book (for the purpose of keeping religious arguments nonexistent here, its a piece of ...
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1answer
103 views

Why are German language editions of Game of Thrones much more expensive than their original version counterparts?

In 2019, George R. R. Martin has published 5 out of a planned 7 novels in the series A Song of Fire and Ice (commonly referred to as Game of Thrones based on the TV adaptation and the title of the ...
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147 views

Is there a hidden meaning in the name of Captain Foulenough?

The Brideshead Revisited features a side character, a certain Captain Foulenough. In Russian translation his last name is rendered as Буремглой, obviously referring to a Pushkin's line Буря мглою ...
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48 views

How does one go about translating into English a foreign language book that has been poorly translated before?

Years ago I came across a marvelous book that was just published in Russian. The book was full of humor as well as deep observations about human nature and politics. The book quickly became quite ...
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416 views

When did Aristotle's Poetics first become available in England?

In a comment on a recent question about T. S. Eliot's essay on Hamlet, Peter Shor wrote, According to Aristotle, in great tragedy the hero must have a fatal flaw that leads to his downfall. What ...
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424 views

How can I find out who translated a book on Project Gutenberg?

There's a translation error in Project Gutenberg's English-language version of The Count of Monte Cristo. I'd like to know whose translation was being used which contained this mistake. But in the ...
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30 views

Do other (active) central repositories of book translations exist?

The UNESCO Collection of Representative Works existed between 1948 to 2005, although it translated literary works from lesser known languages to languages such as English or French. I was wondering if ...
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117 views

Looking for an Aeschylus quote mistranslated from Polish

I am working through a book of poetry by Tadeusz Miciński, a Polish writer who was active toward the end of the 19th century. The book is called "W mroku gwiazd" or "In the Twilight of the Stars" and ...
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1answer
733 views

Zhuangzi translation in The Lathe of Heaven

In The Lathe of Heaven (1971) Ursula Le Guin uses an epigraph before the start of each chapter. The author most frequently quoted in these epigraphs is the Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi or Chuang Tzu. ...
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1answer
579 views

What is the name for the books with side-by-side bilingual text?

I'm trying to learn a new language, and looking for works with interleaved Norwegian-English texts. It can be either alternating sentences, paragraphs, or pages, so that I can juxtapose the ...
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350 views

What is a “proem”, and why was this word used in the translation of the Kalevala?

The contents of Crawford's translation of the Kalevala begin, after the frontmatter that's not part of the original text, with something called a "Proem". Here it is. Obvious question: what is a ...
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1answer
185 views

Does a translation editor need to know the language of the source document?

If an editor is editing a translated work, does he need to know the language of the original source document? The editor is in contact with the client and can therefore ask him questions if something ...
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41 views

Solzhenitsyn's Red Wheel

I've heard that all of Solzhenitsyn's work is to be in English by the centennial of his birth, which is this year. I'm trying to understand just what new English translations we can expect this year, ...
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28 views

When authors write a single work in multiple languages or translate their own work, how can we determine which version is definitive?

As established in the question, Do authors who translate their own works tend to do accurate translations?, authors who translate their work often emphasize different elements and they do not always ...
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51 views

How can a reader know the quality of a translation?

This question asks about the choice of a word and seems to be in the context of assessing the quality of translations. However, to make assessments of the form suggested by the question. One must have ...
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1answer
195 views

Is there a translation of the 雑兵物語 (zohyo monogatari)?

When I was taking a few notes about Ashigaru, japanese foot soldiers of the jigoku-era, I found that most contemporary illustrations on this page stem from one and the same book by Utagawa Kuniyoshi. ...
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1answer
129 views

Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin, the “lost” chapter 10

Is there an English translation of the surviving stanzas of chapter 10 of Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin? From Wikipedia: Pushkin wrote at least 18 stanzas of a never-completed tenth chapter. It ...
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2answers
901 views

Was The Forty Rules of Love originally written in Turkish or in English?

I was trying to figure out whether or not to use the turkish-literature tag for my questions here about Elif Şafak's novel The Forty Rules of Love, i.e. whether or not the book was originally written ...
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Why was The Bastard of Istanbul translated into Turkish as “Father and Bastard”?

The novel The Bastard of Istanbul was originally written in English (by a Turkish author, and set largely in the eponymous city in Turkey). It's been translated into various other languages, as listed ...
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43 views

English standard of the (Prose) Edda?

Gustav Schwab‘s Gods and Heroes of Ancient Greece (OT: Die schönsten klassischen Sagen des Altertums) is at least to the German audience the encyclopaedia of Roman and Greek mythology (despite its ...
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1answer
73 views

First Dutch children's bible

In the second half of 1943, Anne Frank received a children's bible from her father. Her older sister Margot objected to the idea of giving Anne a Bible on Hannukah, so her father thought giving it on ...
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1answer
381 views

Why was “Notre Dame de Paris” changed from “Notre Dame of Paris” to “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” when it was re-published in English?

In the foreword to my copy of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Elizabeth Massie writes this: Victor Hugo's early novel, Notre Dame de Paris, published in 1831 and set in medieval Paris of 1482, was the ...
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68 views

Did Maugham originally write in French or English?

Currently I can only read with Chinese and English. So if his works are originally wrote in French, I may choose Chinese version.
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When was Machiavelli's Art of War first translated into Chinese?

Bookeater recently asked when Sun Zi's Art of War was first adopted outside China. However, Sun Zi was not the only author who wrote a treatise on this topic. Machiavelli wrote Dell'arte della guerra /...
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382 views

Difference between translations of Sun Tzu's “The Art of War”?

I am planning to buy "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu (in English translation) but I've found versions of 90 pages, 170 pages and 200 pages. What is the difference between these versions? Is there a ...
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476 views

Dante Alleghieri's Divine Comedy “has been translated into the most languages in the world & top printed work after the Bible”?

There is a MOOC about Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy by the The University of Naples Federico II, in which a certain professor named Raffaele Giglio starts a video (published in September 2017) in ...
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301 views

Did Isaac Bashevis Singer write only in Yiddish, or also in English?

While researching another question, a couple of us have found what appears to be a contradiction in the Wikipedia page for Isaac Bashevis Singer. The introductory section of the article says: He ...
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1answer
434 views

How did Ursula Le Guin translate the Tao Te Ching / Dao De Jing?

In 1998, Shambhala Publications published a translation of the Tao Te Ching (in pinyin: Daodejing and Dao De Jing) by Ursula Le Guin. The Dao De Jing was written in Classical Chinese, so it takes much ...
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3answers
2k views

How can the inscription on AURYN be interpreted?

In The Neverending Story, AURYN, the medallion of the Childlike Empress, bears the following inscription (at least while Bastian is carrying it - it's never 100% confirmed that it had the same writing ...
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124 views

What narrative techniques and literary devices in The Three-Body Problem required or justified adjustment in the English translation?

In a postscript to the English translation of Liu Cixin's The Three-Body Problem, Ken Liu drew attention to his approach to the translation work. Ken Liu writes that "differences in linguistic ...
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1answer
218 views

Why is there German in the English version of All Quiet on the Western Front?

In All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul remarks Then I become quiet. "Pardon me, Herr Doctor, I will keep still but do not chloroform me." After the doctor threatens to chloroform him when he ...