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Translation Quotes

Quotes tagged as "translation" Showing 1-30 of 341
Ken Liu
“Who can say if the thoughts you have in your mind as you read these words are the same thoughts I had in my mind as I typed them? We are different, you and I, and the qualia of our consciousnesses are as divergent as two stars at the ends of the universe.

And yet, whatever has been lost in translation in the long journey of my thoughts through the maze of civilization to your mind, I think you do understand me, and you think you do understand me. Our minds managed to touch, if but briefly and imperfectly.

Does that thought not make the universe seem just a bit kinder, a bit brighter, a bit warmer and more human?

We live for such miracles.”
Ken Liu, The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories

Salman Rushdie
“The word 'translation' comes, etymologically, from the Latin for 'bearing across'. Having been borne across the world, we are translated men. It is normally supposed that something always gets lost in translation; I cling, obstinately to the notion that something can also be gained.”
Salman Rushdie, Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism 1981-1991

Walter Benjamin
“It is the task of the translator to release in his own language that pure language that is under the spell of another, to liberate the language imprisoned in a work in his re-creation of that work.”
Walter Benjamin, Illuminations: Essays and Reflections

Orson Welles
“In my opinion, there are two things that can absolutely not be carried to the screen: the realistic presentation of the sexual act and praying to God.”
Orson Welles

Ken Liu
“Every act of communication is a miracle of translation.”
Ken Liu, The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories

“We cannot control the way people interpret our ideas or thoughts, but we can control the words and tones we choose to convey them. Peace is built on understanding, and wars are built on misunderstandings. Never underestimate the power of a single word, and never recklessly throw around words. One wrong word, or misinterpreted word, can change the meaning of an entire sentence and start a war. And one right word, or one kind word, can grant you the heavens and open doors.”
Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

Anne Michaels
“Reading a poem in translation," wrote Bialek, "is like kissing a woman through a veil"; and reading Greek poems, with a mixture of katharevousa and the demotic, is like kissing two women. Translation is a kind of transubstantiation; one poem becomes another. You choose your philosophy of translation just as you choose how to live: the free adaptation that sacrifices detail to meaning, the strict crib that sacrifices meaning to exactitude. The poet moves from life to language, the translator moves from language to life; both like the immigrant, try to identify the invisible, what's between the lines, the mysterious implications.”
Anne Michaels, Fugitive Pieces

Vladimir Nabokov
“All religions are based on obsolete terminology.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire

Friedrich Nietzsche
“I say unto you: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. I say unto you: you still have chaos in yourselves.
***
Where is the lightning to lick you with its tongue. Where is the frenzy with which you should be inoculated. Behold. I give you the Ubermensch. He is this lightning. He is this frenzy.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra

“Oh, no-" They weren't even on the runway, and Jonah's father was already immersed in his BlackBerry. "Remember those 'Live Large with the Wiz Generation' posters? Well, guess how that translates into Chinese- 'Jonah Wizard Makes Your Ancestors Fat'.”
Gordon Korman, The Emperor's Code

“A satisfactory translation is not always possible, but a good translator is never satisfied with it. It can usually be improved. (Newmark)”
Peter Newmark, Manual De Traduccion / A Textbook of Translation

Umberto Eco
“Translation is the art of failure.”
Umberto Eco

Patrick Rothfuss
“All explicit knowledge is translated knowledge, and all translation is imperfect.”
Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man's Fear

Amara Lakhous
“So many people consider their work a daily punishment. Whereas I love my work as a translator. Translation is a journey over a sea from one shore to the other. Sometimes I think of myself as a smuggler: I cross the frontier of language with my booty of words, ideas, images, and metaphors.”
Amara Lakhous, Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio

Alan W. Watts
“It is hard indeed to notice anything for which the languages available to us have no description.”
Alan Wilson Watts

Faiz Ahmad Faiz
“The first rule of translation: make sure you know at least one of the bloody languages!”
Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Joseph Campbell
“When you translate the Bible with excessive literalism, you demythologize it. The possibility of a convincing reference to the individual's own spiritual experience is lost. (111)”
Joseph Campbell, Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor

Dejan Stojanovic
“The world cannot be translated;
It can only be dreamed of and touched.”
Dejan Stojanovic, The Creator

Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Imagination is a very high sort of seeing, which does not come by study, but by the intellect being where and what it sees, by sharing the path, or circuits of things through forms, and so making them translucid to others.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Louise Penny
“The night is a strawberry.”
Louise Penny, Bury Your Dead

Don DeLillo
“When I work, I'm just translating the world around me in what seems to be straightforward terms. For my readers, this is sometimes a vision that's not familiar. But I'm not trying to manipulate reality. This is just what I see and hear.”
Don DeLillo

Jorge Luis Borges
“Let not the rash marble risk
garrulous breaches of oblivion's omnipotence,
in many words recalling
name, renown, events, birthplace.
All those glass jewels are best left in the dark.
Let not the marble say what men do not.
The essentials of the dead man's life--
the trembling hope,
the implacable miracle of pain, the wonder of sensual delight--
will abide forever.
Blindly the uncertain soul asks to continue
when it is the lives of others that will make that happen,
as you yourself are the mirror and image
of those who did not live as long as you
and others will be (and are) your immortality on earth.”
Jorge Luis Borges, Selected Poems

“it is better to have red a great work of another culture in translation than never to have read it at all.”
Henry Gratton Doyle

Iris Murdoch
“I just enjoy translating, it's like opening one's mouth and hearing someone else's voice emerge.”
Iris Murdoch

Harold Bloom
“I think the Greek New Testament is the strongest and most successful misreading of a great prior text in the entire history of influence.”
Harold Bloom

“There can never be an absolutely final translation.”
Robert M. Grant

“Abba is not Hebrew, the language of liturgy, but Aramaic, the language of home and everyday life … We need to be wary of the suggestion … that the correct translation of Abba is ‘Daddy.’ Abba is the intimate word of a family circle where that obedient reverence was at the heart of the relationship, whereas Daddy is the familiar word of a family circle from which all thoughts of reverence and obedience have largely disappeared … The best English translation of Abba is simply ‘Dear Father.”
Thomas A. Smail, The Forgotten Father

Jomny Sun
“Don't fret my dear. If art is translation of the ephemeral into observable form, then always remember that it is the translationn that is the craft. The craft is that which can always be improved. But the ephemeral is that which only you have been able to observe, and that which only you have chosen to translate, and so in a way, the ephemeral is you, and it is already beautiful.”
Jomny Sun, Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too

Walter Benjamin
“Fragments of a vessel which are to be glued together must match one another in the smallest details, although they need not be like one another. In the same way a translation, instead of resembling the meaning of the original, must lovingly and in detail incorporate the original's mode of signification, thus making both the original and the translation recognizable as fragments of a greater language, just as fragments are part of a vessel.”
Walter Benjamin, Illuminations: Essays and Reflections

“Never trust the translation or interpretation of something without first trusting its interpreter.”
Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

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