Is mistranslation sometimes merely an attempt to inject life into English, a dull, stumbling language?

Michael Gilleland < Christoph Irmscher < Longfellow:

The difficulty of translation lies chiefly in the color of words. Is the Italian “Ruscelletto gorgoglioso” fully rendered by “Gurgling brooklet”? Or the Spanish “Pájaros vocingleros” by “Garrulous birds”? Something seems wanting. Perhaps it is only the fascination of foreign and unfamiliar sounds; and to the Italian or Spanish ear the English words would seem equally beautiful.

I really have no great problem with “Vino en botella” > “He/she came in bottle”.

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Posted on 2013

Barcelona (483):

English language (424):

Föcked Translation (413): I posted to a light-hearted blog called Fucked Translation over on Blogger from 2007 to 2016, when I was often in Barcelona. Its original subtitle was "What happens when Spanish institutions and businesses give translation contracts to relatives or to some guy in a bar who once went to London and only charges 0.05€/word." I never actually did much Spanish-English translation (most of my work is from Dutch, French and German) but I was intrigued and amused by the hubristic Spanish belief, then common, that nepotism and quality went hand in hand, and by the nemeses that inevitably followed.

Spain (464):

Spanish language (426):

Translation (462):


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