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#1187860 - Fri Jan 19 2018 11:19 AM Translations to English
george48 Offline

Registered: Wed Jul 01 2009
Posts: 334
Loc: Ottawa
  Ontario Canada   
I am reading a book called "Every Man Dies Alone" by Hans Falleda, an account of a German couple and their resistance to the Nazi regime,translated from German and published back in 2009.
My question is, does a book lose some meaning in translation owing to variances and nuances in meaning ,cultural differences and just some plain discrepancies in exact meaning?
Other than learning German, in this case,and reading the original,can i trust the translator to get the meanings as intended by the author right?
It has nothing to do with this particular story,but that it just occured to me that we trust translations to be spot on in their intended meanings, when in some cases they are not.

#1187878 - Fri Jan 19 2018 01:05 PM Re: Translations to English
MiraJane Offline

Registered: Tue Apr 30 2013
Posts: 1672
Loc: New York USA
To answer all your questions, it depends on the translator.

Reading the same book that has been translated repeatedly over a 100 or more years can be an interesting experience. You read one translating & think you know the book. Years later, you pick up another copy of the book, start reading it and you have no idea what you are reading.

Sometimes the nuances of a language other than English are translated successfully. Sometimes they aren't. Unless you can read German, there's no way for you to know if the translator got the meanings intended by the author. You take a leap of faith when you read a translated book that the words have been translated properly.


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