Questions tagged [translation]

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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What is the Ukrainian equivalent of a community college?

At one point in Voroshilovgrad, Injured and Herman go from the old airport to what's referred to in the books as the community college dorms. I'm slightly confused by this translation, since I don't ...
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8 votes
2 answers
919 views

Who translated the 1995 Penguin Popular Classics version of "The Phantom of the Opera"?

I recently started reading the 1995 Penguin Popular Classics version of The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux. While reading it, however, I noticed that there is no attribution printed in the book ...
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1 answer
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Why is this chunk of the Decameron Day 3 Story 10 left untranslated?

In the Decameron Web full text of the Decameron and English, which uses the Rigg (1903) translation and is hosted by Brown University, a significant chunk of Day 3 Story 10 is left untranslated: ***...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Why is it so important to Aias that he die in the light as opposed to the mist in "The Iliad"?

In Book XVII of The Iliad, when Patroclus is killed and Zeus has turned the tide to the favor of the Trojans, we have this statement by Aias: Aias and Menelaos also saw that the victory was passing ...
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Is this instance of "little girl" a translation error in "The Magician of Lublin"?

There's a scene in The Magician of Lublin (part six, section 5) where Yasha is playing cards with Herman, a shady character in Warsaw. Yasha allowed him to perform several tricks: the trick with the ...
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3 votes
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Has the Maltese poem "Fuq Għoljiet Dingli" ("On Dingli Cliffs") by Victor Fenech been ever translated into any other language?

I've been reading some of the poems of the collection Ċirasa (Under the Cherry Tree) by John Peter Portelli, available at the author's website with a translation to English. I especially liked the ...
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How much did Alfred the Great translate himself?

I just heard that Alfred the Great, the famous 9th-century king of Wessex who is sometimes said to be the first founder of "England" as a country, was also a translator of literature. ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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What does "reet fain" mean in Poseidon's message to Agamemnon in the Iliad?

In Book XIV of The Iliad, when Poseidon is encouraging the Greeks while the Trojans are attacking their ships, he says this to Agamemnon while disguised: But the famous Earthshaker kept no blind man'...
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6 votes
2 answers
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Is Evil Hole / Malpertugio a realistic name for a district in Naples?

Day 2 Story 5 of the Decameron is set partly in a district of Naples with (at least in the English translation) a striking name that sounds comical and exaggerated. Here follows the translation I'm ...
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6 votes
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How do I choose between a French translation and an English translation of a work written in a language that I cannot read?

Disclaimer: I have asked this question on both French and English Stack Exchange sites, and they both recommended that I ask it here instead. I hope it is on-topic, and apologize if it is not. I can ...
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Why are "Ser" and "San" left untranslated to "Sir" and "Saint"?

Day 1 Story 1 of the Decameron is about the knavish Ser Ciappelletto, who after his death becomes reputed as the holy San Ciappelletto. In the Rigg translation which I'm reading, these names are left ...
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4 votes
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Why do Athena and Talthybios speak "plainly" in the Iliad?

In Book IV of the Iliad, there are several instances where the translation refers to someone speaking "plainly": Athena now took the form of a Trojan, the doughty warrior Laodocos Antenor's ...
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6 votes
3 answers
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What is meant by "traffic" in this list of men's activities?

In the introduction (proem) to the Decameron, the author spends some paragraphs writing about lovesick women and how he hopes his stories may give them some solace as their situation means they're ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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Why does Aphrodite speak like this while disguised as the old woman?

In Book III of The Iliad, there's an incident where the goddess Aphrodite disguises herself to speak to Helen. The translator wrote her speech like this: Now she took the shape of an old woman who ...
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6 votes
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Why has this Premchand story been translated as both "Catastrophe" and "A Positive Change"?

There is a Premchand short story whose original Hindi title is "Vidhwans"; it's been translated into English as "Catastrophe", as seen here, but the same story has also been ...
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4 votes
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Who translated "CEO's Wife So Sweet"?

CEO's Wife So Sweet This seems to be an online novel series originally written in Chinese. The language in the translated end product seems stilted and unnatural to say the least. I am wondering about ...
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2 votes
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Why haven't more of Bernard Werber's works been translated?

Empire of the Ants is a translation of the first in a trilogy of books "Les Fourmis" by Bernard Werber. Quoting the Wikipedia article: Les Fourmis (English: The Ants) is a 1991 science ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Which Premchand stories are written in Hindi and which in Urdu?

The Indian writer Premchand started off writing in Urdu, and started writing Hindi stories later in his career. According to Wikipedia: In 1914, Munshi Premchand started writing in Hindi (Hindi and ...
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4 votes
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What is the contemporary translation of this quote from The Art of War?

Guy Debord's 1988 essay “Comments on The Society of the Spectacle” opens with this epigram from Sun Tzu's The Art of War: However critical the situation and circumstances in which you find yourself, ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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How to find out if a translation exists?

Is it possible to find out if a translation exists? Books since 1966 have an ISBN (International Standard Book Number), so a book can be traced to the publisher, and then in theory to the ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Are Disney comics "the world's most translated"?

In the bottom-right corner on page 34 of Walt Disney's Kalle Anka & C:o issue number 29, 16th July of 1990, there is this bizarre claim, translated here to English by me: Disney news Did you know ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Modern English versions of Wonders/Marvels of the East from the Nowell Codex

The famous epic poem Beowulf is known from a single manuscript, part of the Nowell Codex, which also contains other texts and fragments, including one called The Wonders of the East, sometimes also ...
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Options for when a text has not been translated into English from Spanish

Several of Arturo Perez-Reverte's works have been translated into English, but in the case of "El Cid" (Sidi), no English version has been published to my knowledge. I fear my prospects are ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Full English or French online translation of "De pugna avium"

I am trying very hard to find an English (or if not French) translation of the Carolingian poem "De pugna avium" from Theodulf of Orleans. I found a Latin version in the Bibliotheca ...
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3 votes
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Who translated the Baccano! series into English?

I am researching the light novel series Baccano! authored by 成田良悟 (Narita Ryōgo). I haven't been able to find out who the translator(s) is/are. Especially for Vol. 5 (light novel): 2001 The Children ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Who is the English translator of "The Man Who Wanted to Know" by Dror Mishani if it is a work of translation?

I am under the impression Mishani doesn't write in English. Wikipedia: Haish sheratza ladaat hakol (2015; To be published in English during 2016: The Man who wanted to know) This source claims: Two ...
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16 votes
1 answer
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Chilli peppers in fifteenth-century India?

In Canto 7 of The Lusíads, when Vasco da Gama and his crew finally land in Calicut, they encounter a Moor named Monsayeed who explains to the former: You are now in India, with its various Peoples ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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English translation of "Encargo"

Is there an English translation of "Encargo" by Julio Cortázar? I've not been able to find one online.
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4 votes
1 answer
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Translation of Onomasticon by Julius Pollux of Naucratis

Is there an English translation of the Onomasticon by Julius Pollux of Naucratis?
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3 votes
1 answer
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"Cease, cows, life is short" - what does it mean?

"Cease, cows, life is short" is a quote from One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. It is a phrase that Aureliano Segundo says in Chapter 17, and is later written on his ...
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7 votes
2 answers
897 views

What does "branch of Ares" mean in book II of "The Iliad"?

I have been reading the Iliad in the Penguin Classics edition (translated by Emile Victor Rieu and Martin Hammond), and in the second book, when Homer is naming the groups of Achaeans and Trojans, the ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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Oribasii Collectiones Medicae in Greek/English

I'm seeking a Greek-English translation of Oribasii Collectiones Medicae. I'm specifically looking for the section describing the setting of a dislocated limb where an interesting Greek verb (...
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6 votes
1 answer
229 views

Does the original German version of Fontane's Tay Bridge poem contain the same literary references?

In this English translation of Theodor Fontane's poem "Die Brücke am Tay" (here translated as "The Bridge by the Tay", elsewhere also as "The Tay Bridge"), I noticed a ...
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4 votes
0 answers
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Why does isolating "there" on its own line sound less emphatic in Korean than English?

I was reading Translator’s Note: Three Poems by Ko Un from the Poetry Foundation and came across this excerpt: We translated “명사도 동사도 다” (“all nouns and verbs”) as “all words,” which sounds less ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Are some works of literature almost impossible to translate correctly?

I often read that some things are very difficult to translate without losing significant meaning. For instance, many Muslims say that the Koran can be understood only in the original Arabic: ...
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5 votes
1 answer
332 views

What are the originals of the poems Tagore has translated from English into Bengali?

Rabindranath Tagore's 1886 collection of verse কড়ি ও কোমল / ka.Di o komal, "Sharps and Flats", includes a set of 15 or so poems under the general heading বিদেশী ফূলের গুচ্ছ / videshii ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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A Clockwork Orange: Latvian translation of Nadsat

Does anyone happen to know if A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess has been translated into Latvian? If so, is there a Latvian word list for Nadsat, the fictional teen slang in the book, and is it ...
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7 votes
1 answer
717 views

Why did Tolkien take such extreme offense to the original Swedish translation of The Lord of the Rings?

I may be mistaken, but allegedly, Tolkien really took great offense to the first (and only, during his entire lifetime and decades beyond) Swedish translation of The Lord of the Rings. He called the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
518 views

English translation of "I will not see the famous Phaedra"?

Is there is any professional English translation of "I will not see the famous Phaedra" (Я не увижу знаменитой «Федры») by Osip Mandelstam. Can anyone provide a link where it can be found.
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3 votes
1 answer
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Is there a published English translation of Muhammad Iqbal's "The Parliament of Satan"?

Muhammad Iqbal was a 19th-to-20th-century Muslim poet, philosopher, and politican, one of the most important figures in Urdu poetry and also influential in Farsi poetry, who received a British ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Harry Potter German translation - use of word "Eingeweide"

I am currently reading (aloud with my kids) the German translation of the Harry Potter series and I am a bit surprised that the German word 'Eingeweide' is used so often. 'Entrails', 'guts', 'bowels' ...
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3 votes
1 answer
98 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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1 vote
0 answers
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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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6 votes
0 answers
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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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4 votes
1 answer
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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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3 votes
2 answers
7k 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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4 votes
1 answer
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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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5 votes
1 answer
224 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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4 votes
1 answer
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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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2 votes
2 answers
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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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