Beyond Words - Language Blog

Translator and Playwright Christopher Hampton Discusses The Importance of Translation

Christopher Hampton loves linguistics and has a deep appreciation for the art of translation.

In addition to translating Chekhov’s The Seagull, Hampton is currently directing a revival of a 1969 play about an English philologist, The Philanthropist.

The NY Times featured an interview with Hampton today where he discusses the play and says the following about translation:

I think translation is very underappreciated and under-rewarded. I feel quite strongly that translation is performing an incredibly valuable service for us all. As often as not, when you read a translated novel, you have to search to find the name of the translator. Of course the translator is the person who is directly mediating the language to you and giving you access to all these worlds that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to enter.

Read the whole interview here.