In order to celebrate Translation Day I would like to share with you one of my favourite definitions of translation, said by the author and translator Tim Parks in a beautiful article that you can read here.
“You’ll never know exactly what a translator has done. 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.”
To all the translators out there – congratulations on your hard work and on making a living out of your passion!