Carles Miró has serendipited one N Tassin’s enlistment of Josep Pla and Eugeni Xammar, as short of money as they were of Russian, in his mission to bring to the benighted South Americans the curious blessings and recommendations produced in such prodigious quantities by his compatriot. Here’s a high-speed bit of unplanned Pla:
Tassin placed himself in front of a Russian edition of the book and began to translate aloud using a mixture of French and German. At the typewriter Xammar converted Tassin’s segregation [sic: think about it] into South American form and grammar. I was responsible for refining the work’s philosophical lexicon and for reinforcing, in some fashion, its substance. It was a method that was very complex, but there was no other solution if one was to respect the authenticity required by the Argentine publisher. It was a method that created situations that were positively comical. When Tassin encountered an erect [?: enravenada] difficulty, he opened his mouth like a child and appeared to bear the lily of truth in his hand. When he encountered a case like that, he invariably ended up watching the cat that slept on top of the cupboard. Meanwhile, Xammar sometimes struggled to find the correct turn of phrase and the machine ground to a halt. Then his gaze turned to the the cat. Of the three translators, I had to be the most laboured, not only for the intrinsic difficulty of my role, but also because of my inexperience. Thus I often broke down, causing me, due to the same mechanism acting on the others, to look at the cat. It was curious to see all three of us intermittently, silently, bewilderedly, pensively, looking at the sleepy and indifferent cat.
Yes, said Tassin, this method is somewhat long and difficult. I suspect we will have to spend long hours looking at this animal. But there is no choice.Above all we have to do a clear translation. This celebrated author has written a book of an extraordinary childishness. He has written an anti-Darwinian ethics. To the ideas of natural selection and the struggle for life, the Russian author opposes a contrary thesis. In the life of the animal species is to be found permanent mutual help and a tendency to kindness and generosity. Translations of books like this, so infantile and dangerous, must be clear, because, for every small quantity of obscurity they contain, they cause the throwing of a disproportionate quantity of bombs…
- I assure you that if you trust us, you will not regret
In Essan Translations we work with specialized translators whose job is excellent. Therefore, if you need translation services, whether translation of documents, web pages, books, letters, etc., as well as searches of information in other languages, altogether with the corresponding translation, please, do not doubt in communicate it to us. I assure
- The worst translator in the world? “Quoth she, so much I hate this nation, / I’ll damn this author in translation”
The London Magazine, 1734:
Verses occasioned by Mr. Budgel’s modest Proposal, in the Daily Post-Boy of Aug. 31. to give the Publick a new and accurate Translation of a late celebrated French Treatise, on the Causes of the Grandeur and Declension of the Romans, and which has been already translated.
Dulness, good goddess, chanc’d to
- The divine prohibition of bullfighting in English and Cagancho in Almagro: whatever won’t be, won’t be
Programmes are rarely distributed at bullfights, and are never translated into English. There is an excellent reason for this, recounted over at La Aldea del Tauro in an interesting piece on the Taurine Bibliophiles of America (via Salmonetes no nos quedan):
It’s said that while negotiating with Cagancho the possibility of him filming a movie the representatives of
- Borrowed glory
Tim Parks slags some prominent Italian-English literary translators and praises some lesser-known ones in the New York Review of Books:
The problem is that it is hard for the wider public or even the critics really to know whether they have been given a good translation, and not easy even for the editors who have the