Over the past couple of years, I’ve been collecting any sort of quote or aphorism that relates to language translation. This week, I browsed my list and grabbed 10 of my favorite quotes to share with you.
10 More of the Best Quotes for Language Translators
“It is the task of the translator to release in his own language that pure language that is under the spell of another, to liberate the language imprisoned in a work in his re-creation of that work.”
“In antiquity, for instance, one of the dominant images of the translators was that of a builder: his (usually it was him, not her) task was to carefully demolish a building, a structure (the source text), carry the bricks somewhere else (into the target culture), and construct a new building - with the same bricks.”
“Translation is that which transforms everything so that nothing changes.”
“I just enjoy translating, it's like opening one's mouth and hearing someone else's voice emerge.”
“The first rule of translation: make sure you know at least one of the bloody languages!”
―Faiz Ahmad Faiz
“Without translation, we would be living in provinces bordering on silence.”
"Translation is not a matter of words only: it is a matter of making intelligible a whole culture." ―Anthony Burgess
"The best thing on translation was said by Cervantes: translation is the other side of a tapestry."
"To translate, one must have a style of his own, for the translation will have no rhythm or nuance, which come from the process of artistically thinking through and molding the sentences; they cannot be reconstituted by piecemeal imitation. The problem of translation is to retreat to a simpler tenor of one’s own style and creatively adjust this to one’s author."
"A translator is the most observant reader. Watching a life of the book under a different cultural context, with respect to other people is for me a great adventure and challenge. I enormously respect the translators’ arduous, solitary and unrewarding work."