How to translate books

The whole week before and during non/fiction, the main book fair of the year, discussing how to create books. Today translator talks about clouds of meanings, word order, the most complex pages and why it is so important to the characters talking in the mind of the translator

Interpreter, teacher of the Literary Institute. Gorky, the head of the seminar for translators from the English language, winner of many awards, including the prize “Master”. Author of translations of Joseph Brodsky, James Joyce, Vladimir Nabokov, George Orwell, Jerome D. Salinger, Thornton Wilder, William Faulkner, and other writers.

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Only by doing can you figure out how not to or how to translate. It consists of small things, from some crumbs. No principles there, just every time you have another problem. The translation must be exact and free, and if you seriously, before you undertake to translate a book you have to read to the end. You have to understand the tone — how it is dramatic or ironic. And on the first page is impossible to understand: on the first pages are very worried that the tone was right; the first page until you enter, is usually the most difficult.

About Faulkner and Hemingway

Remember when I didn’t want to be a lot of verbal participle phrases, but it is determined rather original, and not your desire. You will not imagine such a task to put that Faulkner translation: then, God forbid, just to get out of a long phrase. I read “the sound and the fury” in English. Read ten pages — I don’t know, ten pages — I don’t know. Ten or eleven times I read the beginning, then figured out in this parsley — there are times confused because Benji no brains. Faulkner wanted to print this in different colors because I knew that to understand it would be difficult.

It is believed that Hemingway’s simple sentences only the subject and predicate: “I will go to war”, “You’re not going to war.” In fact, he has a long and rather clumsy phrase, and very uncomfortable, by the way, for translation. And quite a lot of humor — he’s not that ugly, and some underdeveloped.

If you translate fiction, preferably in this world to get to see the picture, engage yourself in the dialogue. Freedom gives only what you yourself inside books, but this is not required when translating non-fiction: there just need to figure out what a person said, to ensure that it was clear in . You must participate in what is happening in the book. No matter how you see this picture, but you picture you describe, not words. No matter what these people say in the mind of the author, important as they are in your head say, then you have freedom.

About the technology

You can’t know all the words including and in . Most importantly, the phrase was in  and arranged similar to the original to not missed some little things, the nuances. It’s all three-business, but they all add up. For example, it is important not to rhyme adjectives. Ugly sounds, if rhyme happens when it should not be. It should be when it is done on purpose by the author — for a laugh. Translation was not just this Titanic: “He wanted in this way to give so-and-so…” — not in this case. The translation is a technology, not a technique, even a technology. We confuse these concepts, by the way. As in English “technology” that we now all write “technology.” Technology is the method of production, and they mean technique. Students need to explain that this is a different word. Science is “science”, but their literature is not considered a science, and we have considered, and it is also necessary to tell. I repeat: it’s all worth a penny, but it is wallet.

Sentence the main impact of the word — first or last, and what is between, is not as important as in English — a permanent order of words (unless, of course, the author purposely does not convey a foreign accent): subject, predicate, direct object… If we in  we write all the time, get boring, it is monotonous text. But if the word to rearrange, the more stands out and a phrase less sluggish. Still need to keep in mind that all around the English and  words of different clouds meanings. They do not match, partially overlap. “Clouds” is where the word was used, what associations it creates… If we say bunk, you’re going to choose a word — whether “the bed”, or “bed” or “couch”, and it depends on the context.

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Translations obsolete, and I think because of reality. Now people use information in small chunks: “Hello! Well. Let’s go.” And before: “sir, I wish to inform you…” — and so on. Consciousness becomes danceable, and if someone with classical training would be the modern literature to translate, it is necessary to take into account that people read once, and should write shorter.

Taking what is already translated, you proceed from the idea that should translate better. This is a very relative criterion, and do not think that you better decode than the other: it is very much a process. Translation is not a sport where it is clear who one hundred meters ran faster. You translate as you can, and then the challenge of translating better than someone else. It is better not to translate already translated.

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