OT: rambles about translation
margaret at onr.com
Mon Sep 20 10:54:29 EDT 2004
> Does anyone have any anecdotes of silly mistakes in
A long time ago, I read some sf writer (sorry, forget who) saying that
in one of her books the translator had had the gall to INSERT a scene
she never wrote. So, just to give him/her grief, she promptly wrote that
scene into the next book.
On a sillier note, I am still ticked about having been trapped many many
years ago by a title change/translation. My last year in college, the
only movie theatre in walking distance of campus played _The Sound of
Music_ for six solid months while I refused to go see anything so
gloppy. (Had a lot of coffee-and-talk dates that year!). That summer I
hitchhiked around Europe. One day in Austria I was trying to politely
avoid the attentions of a nice but boring young Czech and told him I was
going for a Very Long Walk. (He was also lazy). I hadn't gotten out of
town before it started pouring rain, so rather than return to the hostel
I ducked into the nearest movie theater, which was showing something
called "Meine Lieder, Meine Traume."
Yup. You guessed it. I still haven't forgiven the Austrians for tricking
me into seeing that musical.
But if anybody's interested, the way they translated "You are sixteen,
going on seventeen," was "Du bist sechzehn, und du wirst siebzehn." I
will admit that I'd been wondering how that would work in German. (You
might be able to avoid the movie that year in America, but there was no
way to avoid the songs - not living in a dorm anyway.)
“Americans treat their language with a furiously abundant energy – contriving two words for the price of one, hooking up unlikely neighbors with a hyphen, turning nouns into verbs and verbs into nouns – and generally beating the hell out of it.”
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