Loosed in Translation discussion

The Nature of Translation > Challenges in translation

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message 1: by Akemi (new)

Akemi G (akemig) | 6 comments I wrote a short article on translation, and thought someone here might be interested:

message 2: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy (jimmylorunning) | 140 comments Mod
Thanks for sharing!

message 3: by Caroline (new)

Caroline (carobibliophile) | 17 comments Very interesting!

message 4: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy (jimmylorunning) | 140 comments Mod
I enjoyed your article. I wonder if badly translated book titles reflect badly translated book contents. Because the title is usually tied with marketing, and so I wonder if the title was translated well at first, but then the publisher decided to change it to something more catchy (or that they deem more catchy) to a certain audience.

Of the examples you chose to highlight, I think the Power of Now was the worst. What a laughable and wrong-headed translation.

message 5: by Robert (new)

Robert Wechsler | 9 comments Speaking as a former publisher, some of the worst titles of translated books are the ones that are close translations. For example, I'm reading Jean Dutourd's The Horrors of Love, which is an exact translation of the original, Les Horreurs d'amour, except that the French original has a humorous part-rhyme and, therefore, reflects the wit of the novel. The English-language novel does not. I would have picked an altogether different title, but one that came from the novel.

For example, I published a novel that in Czech was called literally Professional Woman, which in English sounds like a dull magazine. I called it The Four Sonyas, because the protagonist has four personas.

But publishers do sometimes force horrible titles onto novels for marketing purposes.

message 6: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy (jimmylorunning) | 140 comments Mod
Very interesting. Thanks for the perspective, Robert!

message 7: by Akemi (new)

Akemi G (akemig) | 6 comments I'm glad you guys find the article interesting.
I've never worked in the publishing industry, but my guess is that at least some titles are changed later as a marketing scheme. And I'm pretty sure the contents are often messed up.
Robert, your feedback is intriguing. I can see that direct translation is not necessarily the best option.

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