It is a punning reference to the phrase ‘trip the light fantastic’, which means (per The Phrase Finder)
To dance, especially in an imaginative or 'fantastic' manner.
The phrase seems to arise from the works of Milton, in Comus he wrote, as you have already seen,
Come, knit hands, and beat the ground,
In a light fantastic round.
And in L’Allegro
In-universe the "light fantastic" is an actual, factual thing.
There was no real need for the torches. The Octavo filled the room with a dull, sullen light, which wasn’t strictly light at all but the opposite of light; darkness isn’t the opposite of light, it is simply its absence, and what was radiating from the book was the light that lies on ...
This is an error introduced by the translator. The original Portuguese text says:
Sabei que estais na Índia, onde se estende
Diverso povo, rico e prosperado
De ouro luzente e fina pedraria,
Cheiro suave, ardente especiaria.
A literal translation (mine) would be:
Know that you are in India, where dwell diverse people, rich and prosperous from bright gold ...
That wouldn't follow the rhyme scheme of the other verses, which follow the scheme ABCC. The next verse is:
There is a lady all in white,
Holds me and sings a lullaby,
She's nice to see and she's soft to touch,
She says "Cosette, I love you very much."
The extra rhyme is unnecessary. Further, "toys" and "boys" are a very simple, sing-songy rhyme, ...
Many works of literature derive a lot of value from implied context.
Cultural norms. Idioms. Insider jokes.
This is especially a big factor in a book which contains elements of humor (especially parody) - but not necessarily.
When translating, this layer of implied information is frequently irrevocably lost - both due to the new audience's unfamiliarity ...
The purpose of keeping parts of the source langue no-translated, or using some variant or dialect of the target language for some elements (eg: dialog, a specific character talk, ...), depends on the work, its creators (author, translator), and the languages involved. But, here is some general reasons and uses that I can think of:
The original text, is ...
Native speaker here. The most important part that was lost in translation was the rhythm of the prose. Lem's texts at all times have a quality similar to that of a blank verse. Sadly, I think it would require much better writer than Lem to save the meaning and give a similar quality to English translation.
Also a number of passage's literal details got lost....
Some context: I recently did a job as a proofreader for a translated document. This quickly turned into editing, which in turn turned into mostly re-translating. That's what most of this based on.
It is very useful for an editor - and even a proofreader - to know the source language.
For a proofreader who is literally just looking for typos and the like - ...
“Branch of Ares” is a literal translation of “ὄζος Ἄρηος”, for example in the passage quoted in the question:
οὐκ οἶος, ἅμα τῷ γε Λεοντεὺς ὄζος Ἄρηος
υἱὸς ὑπερθύμοιο Κορώνου Καινεΐδαο:
τοῖς δ᾽ ἅμα τεσσαράκοντα μέλαιναι νῆες ἕποντο.
Homer. The Iliad, book II, lines 745–747. Oxford University Press (1920).
“Branch” here means “descendant”: it is a metaphor ...
The original Russian version does not use any made-up or composite word for "anisotropic". "Anisotropic" is a real world present in English language; it is used in science, as well as technology. Britannica defines it as following:
Anisotropy, in physics, the quality of exhibiting properties with different values when measured along axes in different ...
We don't know whether it was an arbalest or a crossbow.
To quote (for the lack of a better source) Wikipedia:
A large weapon, the arbalest had a steel prod ("bow").
Taking that as the trait that distinguishes an arbalest from a crossbow, we... gain nothing. There is no mention of arbalests in the original Russian version, and ...
Many renditions of the original English text use the word "shortly" instead of "soothly". For example, this version from Librarius:
Now have I toold you shortly in a clause,
Th'estaat, th'array, the nombre, and eek the cause
Why that assembled was this compaignye
In Southwerk, at this gentil hostelrye
That highte the Tabard, faste ...
First, it's not true to assume that all foreign bits in Foucault's Pendulum were left untranslated in the English version:
However, Latin is more familiar to Italian, French, Spanish,
Portuguese, or Rumanian readers than to Britons or Americans. For
this reason, Weaver, with my approval, sometimes shortened some
long quotations and nonchalantly ...
I would say firstly that this question relies on what you mean by the term 'accurate', as when we normally describe a translation as 'accurate' we mean that the meaning conveyed when translated is as close to the original as possible. However, in a literary work this is far more difficult to verify because, in the view of the majority of contemporary ...
I believe he translated at least some of his works into English himself:
In most cases, Singer published a story in the Yiddish press, and then used tear sheets or clippings to translate it into English.
From The New Yorker
The Smithsonian implies that he did it himself, but sometimes with the help of editors:
He published them first in Yiddish language ...
As Cascabel rightly says, there is no direct equivalent to a Pension in Britain - in terms of the particular facilities provided.
As mentioned, this is not the only work in which Pension is not translated, either from Spanish or from French.
Translation to, for example, Bed & Breakfast would carry connotations to a British reader that are not intended ...
Nabokov sometimes used translations into English as an opportunity to touch up his work, but sometimes he didn't. Below are a few case studies.
Maybe the best example of Nabokov making changes is Laughter in the Dark, the author's rewrite of Winifred Roy's 1935 translation of the Russian Kamera Obskura.
Colapinto has a piece in the New Yorker called How ...
In Recomposing the Past: Representations of Early Music on Stage and Screen, it's claimed that:
The original title of Hugo's work was Notre Dame de Paris, making no mention of the disfigurement of Quasimodo, highlighting that the cathedral itself, rather than Quasimodo, was to be the central character. […] The shift in emphasis towards Quasimodo as a main ...
The light that Pratchett refers to is Octarine.
This is defined in the Discworld books as the eighth colour of the spectrum and the colour of magic. "The Colour Of Magic" itself being a title of another book in the series.
This is fantastic because its existence is part of the Discworld fantasy universe. Pratchett is very fond of such puns and ...
The first example in Der Orden des Phönix seems to be
Solch wilde Gedanken wirbelten durch Harrys Kopf, und seine Eingeweide verknoteten sich vor Zorn
The original English is
These furious thoughts whirled around in Harry’s head, and his insides writhed with anger
Next we find
Harry spürte, wie seine Eingeweide einen mächtigen Satz ...
@yaitloutou has a great answer, but there's three reasons they've miss out on that I'd like to include here:
To convey a change in language in the original text: possibly the most famous example of this is Shakespeare's Et tu, Brute? from Julius Caesar. Shakespeare's source for the historical incident, the Roman historian Suetonius, has Caesar switch from ...
The German version reads Do what you want (Tu Was Du Willst). The ambiguity could exist in German as well with Tu Was Du Wünscht, albeit that would be a less common phrase and kids probably had trouble understanding it.
The quote that follows the inscription (chapter M, p.199 in my edition):
[...] Wichtig war allein, dass die Worte die Erlaubnis, nein, ...
TL; DR: There is an ambiguity, intended by the author, between "do what you wish" and "find your true will" which is important for the development of the main character Bastian.
To answer the question we can look at what the author himself said or wrote about it. The following comment is from a typescript from his literary estate. I quote it ...
Read the Malayalam original first. Whatever your aim in reading the English translation, you will achieve it more readily by having the knowledge of the original in mind.
As the quote you have provided from P P Ravindran says, the two works are far enough in Vijayan's career as to belong to completely different stages in the development of his sensibility. ...
In some books, such as The Iliad, The Odyssey, or other poems, which take advantage of a specific meter, it can make a very significant difference in the feeling it gives the reader and can lead to a very different meaning. However, in most novels, translation has less of an effect on the meaning because word choice is less important. Anecdotally, for ...
Here is the entire sentence from the English translation on Wikisource:
During this time, the farewell ceremony was taking place. I have already said that this magnificent function was being given on the occasion of the retirement of M. Debienne and M. Poligny, who had determined to "die game," as we say nowadays.
Here is the corresponding part ...
There is a translation here, in the book Mandelstam, Blok, and the boundaries of mythopoetic symbolism by Stuart Goldberg, that looks okay to me (although I can't say for sure, since I don't read Russian). It starts:
I will not see the celebrated Phèdre
In a venerable, many-tiered theater,
From the high, soot-smoked gallery,
By the light of guttering ...
The original German text begins with the following lines:
»Wann treffen wir drei wieder zusamm'?«
»Um die siebente Stund', am Brückendamm.«
»Am Mittelpfeiler.« »Ich lösche die Flamm'.«
Compare this with the opening lines of the translation by Dorothea Tieck, first published in 1832 (in: Shakspeare's dramatische Werke. Übersetzt von August ...
The phrase "girls and boys" would seem more natural than "boys and girls", and using that phrase would have naturally set up a rhyme with "toys". I suspect, however, that the rhyme was probably seen as detracting from the song rather than enhancing it, and the words "boys" and "girls" were swapped for the purpose of avoiding the rhyme.
In the Original ...