Re: [Czechlist] Re: "Kde se to v nem bere?" - how would YOU translate it?
- On Aug 28, 2007, at 10:16 AM, Beata Rodlingova wrote:
> Pepa the Context-Setter is fictional, literally, and the piece ofI was interested to know that someone else does this, although I
> fiction is a short story a friend wrote, and as we joked about how he
> was not to ask me for translation once he decided to publish in
> English, I started pondering over the possible translation of bits and
> pieces of it because it bugs me when I find myself unable to get a
> Czech idiom expressed in another language.
shouldn't be surprised.
One of my frequent habits, when reading or listening to music, is to
think about how this or that expression would be mistranslated by an
incompetent translator. When I do this, I not only identify
difficult words and idioms, but more often cultural cues that are
liable to be missed.
I even use parts of these texts or songs in my English classes to see
how the students translate them. Even Germans who have lived in the
US as long as 10 years, and who have what sounds like near perfect
English, will still totally mess something up. For example, when
given a verse that starts out, "They put up a plant where we used to
park," they're liable to write a German sentence that means, "They
planted a tree on our parking lot." In reality, it's obvious to
every American that the sentence means, "They built a factory in the
remote field where we used to kiss in my car at night."
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