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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Understanding the use of the word “Negress” in the Kilmartin and Cox translation of Solaris

I just finished reading Kilmartin and Cox's translation of Stanislaw Lem's Solaris, and one particular passage stood out to me. I'm hesitant to ask a question about the Kilmartin and Cox translation, ...
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Why does the Czech translation of “Till we have faces” mean the opposite?

The title of the book Till we have faces by C. S. Lewis is translated into Czech language as Dokud nemáme tvář. I would translate that into English literally as "While we don't have a face" or "Until ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Why is the last title in Proust's “Search For Lost Time” not consistently translated as “Time Found Again”?

Marcel Proust wrote a seven-volume French novel called A la Recherche du Temps Perdu. The original French title of the last volume was Le Temps Retrouvé. It seems to me that in these titles Proust ...
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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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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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Why do translations of the line “Now have I told you soothly in a clause” ignore the word soothly?

I personally prefer to read The Canterbury Tales in the original English, but over the course of asking questions on this site I've come across several modern English translations. One thing that I'...
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Is there a good English translation of “Foundations of Geopolitics” by Aleksandr Dugin?

This book is fairly geopolitically significant, because it describes a lot of the recent events in the world as driven by Russia and Russian disinformation campaigns. I'm looking for an English copy ...
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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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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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Translation: Why are parts of the original language kept?

Inspired by this question. In many translated works (the first to come to mind are translations by Richard Pevear and the English versions of Isaac Bashevis Singer's writings) there are elements of ...
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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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Accuracy of a translation: how to forge an opinion?

This question is directly inspired from this one on French Language stack exchange. To summarize it, the OP is wondering about the good translation for "chimiste" in Baudelaire's opening poem Au ...
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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 ...
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What is the meaning of “hearth” in Charles Reade's work The Cloister and the Hearth?

I haven't read the book. The author of the article I'm translating mentions him and his novel, I need to include the exact translation of the title but I'm not sure what he meant. Is it a home, a ...
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What is the creative device naming used for text generation in Pelevin's S.N.U.F.F.?

What is the proper, published, translation in the only AFAIK existing English version of the book S.N.U.F.F. by Victor Pelevin? Grim uploaded the germ of his perplexity and sadness in the creative ...
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“The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle”: English vs. Russian translation?

I recently started reading "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" by Haruki Murakami in English and I'm quite enjoying it. However, I learned that the English version — although well-translated — omits ...
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328 views

In Foucault's Pendulum, by what method does the translation choose to keep or translate Italian?

Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco was originally written in Italian. Most of the book was translated to English, except for the parts that weren't in Italian to begin with. I understand that ...
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Is there a term/example for the danger in translating an idiomatic term by a loanword which exists in the language from which one is translating?

What is a technical term, used by professional translators, and are there 'notorious' instructive examples for the following danger when translating a text: I have to translate a text T from language ...
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303 views

Do authors who translate their own works tend to do accurate translations?

Closely related: Accuracy of a translation: how to forge an opinion? Several authors, such as Samuel Beckett, periodically translated their own works. Are their translations generally regarded as ...
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Why is “pensión” left untranslated in “The Shadow of the Wind”?

In The Shadow of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, they attempt to find a place to live for Fermín Romero de Torres, a former street beggar with a great mind, who they hire to help them find the books ...
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Why don't these lines rhyme in Les Miserables?

In Castle on a Cloud from Les Miserables, There is a room that's full of toys, There are a hundred boys and girls I know it's translated from French, but why isn't it girls and boys? There ...
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How much of the original verse is lost in Fitzgerald's translation of The Aeneid?

I checked out The Aeneid from the library and read it today. I found it a bit easier to read than I'd expected (I guess I expected worse-than-Shakespearean language/turns of phrase) and then I ...
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For works translated by the original author, how common is it for additional translations to exist? What might these translation add?

Sorley MacLean was a Scottish poet who worked in Gaelic. This was the language of his poem, Hallaig, about the Highland clearances and how time changes our perception of history. However, he also ...
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Does translation take away from the meaning of verse and poetry?

I am currently reading The Heart of Haiku by Jane Hirshfield. In it, many examples of haikus translated from Japanese are given. However, in their English form, they lack the rhythm and meter of Haiku....
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What are the challenges in translating a work of literature?

I'm currently in the process of reading Cyrano de Bergerac (translated by Charles Renauld). There, an introduction is made by Adolphe Cohn, said to be the Professor of the Romance languages and ...
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Should this word in Hard to Be a God be translated as “arbalest” or “crossbow”?

In this answer edit, someone changed my translation of a word "арбалет" as used in Strugatsky's Russian text of Hard to be a God from the one I used ("arbalest") to "crossbow". In the context of ...
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What word was used for “anisotropic” in the original Russian text of “Hard to Be a God”?

In the beginning of Hard to Be a God, there is the matter of the skeleton chained to a machine gun. "An anisotropic road," Anton explained. Anka stood with her back to him. "Traffic can move only ...