emcmullin at kl.com
Mon Jan 10 15:44:38 EST 2000
"And then there's magic in language: Shakespeare, Tolkien, even the
> Anglican church marriage vow - pure poetry and poesy . I can't seem
> to find that so much in German - but then English really is a rich
> language (and I'm not nearly as well read in German as I am in English
> ;) I find that in C.S. Lewis, too, even though I don't go in for the
> Christian images any more - it's still sometimes amazing how he does it!"
Your love of language really comes across - it's so great to have so
many people on this list who do!
One of my favorite professors in college was a German professor who
taught some classes in translation. I took German and French Romanticism
and Faust: Faust Legend with her. Especially when we were reading Goethe
she would be so frustrated with the texts in translation because she wanted
to show us how beautifully he described things in the original. She would
often say "Ah! You just can't say it this way in English." It really made
me want to know what I was missing. I know barely anything about German, so
I can't offer any ideas about why she felt it was so expressive and concise
- just tickled that you see it another way :)
I like volumes of poetry in translation - with the original on one
side and translation on the other. Between the two I can figure out
(somewhat) meaning and expression and get some clue about sound and shape.
All this flies out the window if it's in another alphabet or isn't a romance
or germanic language. Then all I can do is sort of taste the syllables
without being able to figure them out. Just rambling!
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