Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

29 October 2014. Something to Show You “How” I Translate

00 happy easter. 08.10.14

The original in Russian


00 happy easter 01. 08.10.14

My Englishing of the text


There are two “schools” of translation… one is “formal equivalence”… that is, “word-for-word”. Often, this produces a jangly foreign-sounding text that’s off-putting to most readers. Ergo, most of us in the translation trade (for it is NOT a “science”… it’s more like cooking, baking, carpentry, and woodcarving… the particular piece of work in front of you dictates your response), the preferred method is “dynamic equivalence”… that is, you seek to implant in the translation the impact and “flavour” of the original. This requires what I call “facility”… NOT “fluency”… fluency refers to being able to speak and understand a particular language. Facility refers to having the knack to break a language’s “code” so that one can transfer the ideas intact into another language (I’d argue that these are two separate and unrelated abilities). You can see that I took “liberties” with the above text… I’d argue that such were necessary to export the nuances of the Russian.

This should give you a concrete example of how I work. I’ve been at this for some seven years now… in November, my eighth year begins. I’ve learnt much… I’ve come a long way. However, as I always say… “Love built this house. Love of life, love of the truth, love of my fellow-man, and love for Almighty God. May my right hand wither if I forget that”. Thanks for coming… God willing, I’ll be at this post for some time yet (I’m only sixty… that’s not as old as it used to be). Be good and may God bless…


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