Beyond Words - Language Blog

Translator Respect

Here’s an excerpt from translator Tim Park’s recent Guardian article on why translators deserve more credit than they receive. We agree wholeheartedly:

What is it that a translator does?

He reads with maniacal attention to nuance and cultural implication, conscious of all the books that stand behind this one; then he sets out to rewrite this impossibly complex thing in his own language, re-elaborating everything, changing everything in order that it remain the same, or as close as possible to his experience of the original. In every sentence the most loyal respect must combine with the most resourceful inventiveness. Imagine shifting the Tower of Pisa into downtown Manhattan and convincing everyone it’s in the right place; that’s the scale of the task.

Thank your translators today!