Best 114 of Translation quotes - MyQuotes
Jorge Luis Borges
It was under English trees that I meditated on that lost labyrinth: I pictured it perfect and inviolate on the secret summit of a mountain; I pictured its outlines blurred by rice paddies, or underwater; I pictured it as infinite—a labyrinth not of octagonal pavillions and paths that turn back upon themselves, but of rivers and provinces and kingdoms....I imagined a labyrinth of labyrinths, a maze of mazes, a twisting, turning, ever-widening labyrinth that contained both past and future and somehow implied the stars. Absorbed in those illusory imaginings, I forgot that I was a pursued man; I felt myself, for an indefinite while, the abstract perceiver of the world. The vague, living countryside, the moon, the remains of the day did their work in me; so did the gently downward road, which forestalled all possibility of weariness. The evening was near, yet infinite.
The evening sky is gold and vast. I’m soothed by April’s cool caress. You’re late. Too many years have passed, - I’m glad to see you, nonetheless. Come closer, sit here by my side, Be gentle with me, treat me kind: This old blue notebook – look inside – I wrote these poems as a child. Forgive me that I felt forsaken, That grief and angst was all I knew. Forgive me that I kept mistaking Too many other men for you.
Our words are often only vague, inadequate descriptions of our thoughts. Something gets lost in translation every time we try to express our thoughts in words. And when the other person hears our words, something gets lost in translation again, because words mean different things to different people. "A long time" may mean 10 hours to one person, but 10 days to another. So when a thought is formed in my brain, and my mouth expresses it in words, and your ears hear it, and your brain processes it, your brain and my brain never truly see exactly the same thing. Communication is always just an approximation.
His wife had also studied art in her hometown, and she could paint, but depending on such work for her livelihood was just not possible. As far as appearances went, she was definitely a real beauty. When she was young, she looked a little like Gong Li, but now that she was middle-aged, she had put on weight and gradually taken on more of a bell-shaped look, resembling Li Siqin. But no matter what, a wife always looks better than her balding, broadbellied husband.
Shall I apologize translation? Why but some hold (as for their free-hold) that such conversion is the subversion of Universities. God holde with them, and withholde them from impeach or empair. It were an ill turne, the turning of Bookes should be the overturning of Libraries.
Death is only a translation of life into another language.
Sometimes I long to forget… It is painful to be conscious of two worlds.
Sometimes words are just a crude translation of love.
Still, there is something disappearing from the world, something composed of many instances of tradition and skill, or maybe not disappearing, but translating. Maybe culture, like physical matter, doesn’t disappear, but is subject to infinite play, and th e world is a vast workshop for making and remaking everything, including people, and the engine of play is desire…
John Millington Synge
A translation is no translation,’ he said, ‘unless it will give you the music of a poem along with the words of it.
Be as vigilantly on guard against translating such a sentence into the passive voice as you would against committing murder.
Animosity does not eradicate animosity. Only by loving kindness is animosity dissolved. This law is ancient and eternal. (attributed to Buddha)
Poetry translation is like playing a piano sonata on a trombone.
At this moment, in this place, the shifting action potential in my neurons cascade into certain arrangements, patterns, thoughts; they flow down my spine, branch into my arms, my fingers, until muscles twitch and thought is translated into motion; mechanical levers are pressed; electrons are rearranged; marks are made on paper. At another time, in another place, light strikes the marks, reflects into a pair of high-precision optical instruments sculpted by nature after billions of years of random mutations; upside-down images are formed against two screens made up of millions of light-sensitive cells, which translate light into electrical pulses that go up the optic nerves, cross the chiasm, down the optic tracts, and into the visual cortex, where the pulses are reassembled into letters, punctuation marks, words, sentences, vehicles, tenors, thoughts. The entire system seems fragile, preposterous, science fictional.
Al igual que todos nosotros, Klima también consideraba real únicamente aquello que llega a nuestra vida desde dentro, gradual, orgánicamente, mientras que a lo que llega desde fuera, inesperada y casualmente, lo veía como si fuera una invasión de lo irreal. Por desgracia no hay nada más real que esta irrealidad.
Fidelity is surely our highest aim, but a translation is not made with tracing paper. It is an act of critical interpretation. Let me insist on the obvious: Languages trail immense, individual histories behind them, and no two languages, with all their accretions of tradition and culture, ever dovetail perfectly. They can be linked by translation, as a photograph can link movement and stasis, but it is disingenuous to assume that either translation or photography, or acting for that matter, are representational in any narrow sense of the term. Fidelity is our noble purpose, but it does not have much, if anything, to do with what is called literal meaning. A translation can be faithful to tone and intention, to meaning. It can rarely be faithful to words or syntax, for these are peculiar to specific languages and are not transferable.
Pak Karman hugged his wife’s gravestone tightly. “You left without saying farewell!” The whole of the graveyard was ablaze with light.
So many people consider their work a daily punishment. Whereas I love my work as a translator. Translation is a journey over a sea from one shore to the other. Sometimes I think of myself as a smuggler: I cross the frontier of language with my booty of words, ideas, images, and metaphors.
For me, therapy is partly translation therapy, the talking cure a second-language cure. My going to a shrink is, among other things, a rite of initiation: initiation into the language of the subculture within which I happen to live, into a way of explaining myself to myself. But gradually, it becomes a project of translating backward. The way to jump over my Great Divine is to crawl backward over it in English. It's only when I retell my whole story, back to the beginning, and from the beginning onward, in one language, that I can reconcile the voices within me with each other; it is only then that the person who judges the voices and tells the stories begins to emerge.
Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize nothing is lacking, the whole world belongs to you.
Turn off the light! Who? Not me, but you!
It is naive to suppose that something that has been expressed in one form can be expressed in another without significantly changing its meaning, texture or value. Much prose translates fairly well from one language to another, but we know that poetry does not; we may get a rough idea of the sense of a translated poem but usually everything else is lost, especially that which makes it an object of beauty. The translation makes it into something it was not.
A translator is a reader, an interpreter and a creator all in one.
I cannot say that I know Brahman fully. Nor can I say that I know him not.... Nor do I know that I know him not.
Literary translation is not merely an act of picking words from one language and keeping it by dipping in the vessel of another language. Those words need to be rinsed, washed, carved and decorated as much as possible.
I ville, at vi skal være Christne, og I ville selv ikke være det. Men, hvis I ville ikke være Christne, saa værer i det ringeste Mennisker. Handle med os i det ringeste ligesom I ingen anden Religion havde end den, som Naturens Lys dicterer.
If we expect translation to reproduce the totality of the semantics and affective uses of the original text, then we believe that translation must be loyal to the seminal language system, rather than letting the discourse travel and undertake the adventure of discovering - or creating - a new set of meaning according to the politics of the translation itself. Rigid loyalty to the original in the translated version was, in effect, the intentionality of the translation of the doctrines and precepts that constituted the colonial discourse.
God values the mother tongue, even for people who may know other languages.
Du skal bare huske at det ikke er en perfekt krig i en perfekt verden.
But then it came time for me to make my journey—into America. [... N]o coincidence that my first novel is called Americana. That became my subject, the subject that shaped my work. When I get a French translation of one of my books that says 'translated from the American', I think, 'Yes, that's exactly right.
Un traduttore qualificato dovrebbe essere in grado non solo di tradurre letteralmente, ma di tradurre i termini, anche concettuali, di una determinata cultura nazionale nei termini di un'altra cultura nazionale, cioè un tale traduttore dovrebbe conoscere criticamente due civiltà ed essere in grado di far conoscere l'una all'altra servendosi del linguaggio storicamente determinato di quella civiltà alla quale fornisce il materiale d'informazione.
That you should not be here when something we've both wanted happens is no new thing for me. Today too, as always, you're not here.
Not everyone who knows how to write can be a writer. Not everyone who knows two languages can be a translator.
The problem, of course, is that languages are not only languages. They're also worldviews -- and therefore, to some extent, untranslatable ...
We know there are colours in the spectrum untranslatable to our eyes; sounds beyond the range of our hearing; sensations beyond the tolerance of taste or touch. What else is there that we might be missing? Could it be that we, ourselves, only ever really experience the mere gist of our own lives? (attrib: F.L. Vanderson)
That which is not comprehended by the mind but by which the mind comprehends—know that...
Hvis I ville tillade os at sige den reene Sandhed, da ansee I os heller som eders egne end som eders Religions Fiender; thi hvis I elskede eders Religion, efterlevede I dens Lærdom. Til Slutning maa vi erindre dette, at, hvis Efterkommere holde for at Europa udi vor Tid har været polered, da vil man citere eder for at vise, at vi have levet i Barbariske Tider, og den Idée som man giør sig af eders Opførsel, vil sværte den Alder, som vi leveudi.
We cannot control the way people interpret our ideas or thoughts, but we can control the words and tones we choose to convey them. Peace is built on understanding, and wars are built on misunderstandings. Never underestimate the power of a single word, and never recklessly throw around words. One wrong word, or misinterpreted word, can change the meaning of an entire sentence and start a war. And one right word, or one kind word, can grant you the heavens and open doors.
Translation is another name for the human condition.
We are told that in translation there is no such thing as equivalence. Many times the translator reaches a fork in the translating road where they must make a choice in the interpretation of a word. And each time they make one of these choices, they are taken further from the truth. But what we aren’t told is that this isn’t a shortcoming of translation; it’s a shortcoming of language itself. As soon as we try to put reality into words, we limit it. Words are not reality, they are the cause of reality, and thus reality is always more. Writers aren't alchemists who transmute words into the aurous essence of the human experience. No, they are glassmakers. They create a work of art that enables us to see inside to help us understand. And if they are really good, we can see our own reflections staring back at us.
Dreams, always dreams! and the more ambitious and delicate is the soul, the more its dreams bear it away from possibility. Each man carries in himself his dose of natural opium, incessantly secreted and renewed. From birth to death, how many hours can we count that are filled by positive enjoyment, by successful and decisive action? Shall we ever live, shall we ever pass into this picture which my soul has painted, this picture which resembles you? These treasures, this furniture, this luxury, this order, these perfumes, these miraculous flowers, they are you. Still you, these mighty rivers and these calm canals! These enormous ships that ride upon them, freighted with wealth, whence rise the monotonous songs of their handling: these are my thoughts that sleep or that roll upon your breast. You lead them softly towards that sea which is the Infinite; ever reflecting the depths of heaven in the limpidity of your fair soul; and when, tired by the ocean's swell and gorged with the treasures of the East, they return to their port of departure, these are still my thoughts enriched which return from the Infinite - towards you.
We rarely get the chance to see things anew. I remember a Latin translation that caused me to fail an exam at school because one of the words, translated for us at the bottom of the page and intended to help, was invalid. I read this to mean false, null, illegal. The opposite of valid. But it was meant to be understood as invalid as in a sick person. It torpedoed my entire translation. Instead of tending to the sick, priests were being accused of fraudulence and neglecting their duties. Even though it didn't match up with the grammar, or the story, I kept on returning to that word to check, and every time I saw it only as I had done already—invalid, null, void.
So my mind sinks in this immensity: And foundering is sweet in such a sea".
As long as human beings speak different languages, the need for translation will continue.
Overly literal translations, far from being faithful, actually distort meaning by obscuring sense.
¡Dios bendiga los tiempos antiguos, en que existían cosas raras...!
For him, the kampung was a place to live and work that was based on a steadfast and intimate relationship between man and nature. The village was a true reflection of life in the tropics.
Jorge Luis Borges
Si vous traduisez Shakespeare, il faut traduire aussi librement que Shakespeare écrivait.
This may sound like a terrible generalization but the Japanese language has taught me that a person's understanding of the world need not be so well articulated -- so rationally articulated -- the way it tends to be in Western languages. The Japanese language has the full potential to be logical and analytical, but it seems to me that it isn't its real business to be that way. At least, not the Japanese language we still use today. You can mix the present and the past tense. You don't have to specify whether something is singular or plural. You aren't always looking for a cogent progression of sentences; conjunctions such as "but," "and," and "so" are hence not all that important. Many Japanese people used to criticize their language for inhibiting rational thought. It was quite liberating to me when I realized that we can understand the world in different ways depending on the language we use. There isn't a right way or a wrong way.
In Iraq, interpreters were ten times more likely to be killed than were U.S. troops.