Apr 9, 2015

Discussion -- Book Translations

I came across some questions by Smartling and felt I needed to make this post about the translation of literature. I was really interested in the questions that were asked, so of course I had to answer them myself. I am going to answer them here as a discussion for anyone to join in on :)

Question 1:
What is the value of literature and the written word?
*To me literature is everything. I have been interested in books as young as I can remember. I loved going to the library. I was afraid to read them when I was little, but I still was drawn to them anyway. Once I was older and actually started reading it was amazing. I noticed most books try to give off a message. The flow of the character or characters that you are following have their own personality. It can take you out of your life and put you into a new completely different world. I used to read to escape my depression, now I read to enjoy the worlds that authors create. Some are simple and some are very different and complex. They are all thought up in our brains though. It can shock anyone if you really sit down to see what our brains are capable of imagining.

Question 2:
What aspect of writing would you want to be preserved from language to language?
* Each book has a message. Some are very in your face. Some messages take some time to work out and you really have to look for them. Once you get a hold on the message it will usually be something that will smack you in the face. A great author can make that happen. I have read so many books from authors that have left me sitting and staring at the wall. I sit there thinking of everything in the book and relate it to my life and how I can use what they taught me. It has helped me more than anyone could ever imagine. Books have saved my life. I would be very disappointed if I were to read a book that was translated and it came across as a robot. I would want to be able to experience the world and messages that the author wrote in the original language.

Question 3:
How can language translation allow literature to be shared with the world?
*It can give us bits of culture for all of us to learn. I can read books about India or Russia and realize how different things can be from here in the US. Then, at the same time, we are so similar. We may dress a little differently but the essence we all have inside of us is the same. We can learn so much from each other and fictional stories to me could be a great way to do that. If the translation was right to where we really get the essence of the characters and the world itself, it could be a beautiful thing.

What would you guys answer to these questions?

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