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In my novel A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea, which was written in English and translated into fourteen languages, I made liberal use of these sayings in creating the voices of four older village women who mutter and opine and worry in idioms. In translating each phrase into English (and watching them be translated into other languages, though my involvement was limited to clarification and approval of slight variations), I had to strip each idiom of its connoted, cultural meaning in my own mind (e.g., it’s difficult for a Persian to think of I want to eat your liver as anything other than I love you, especially since modern speech has shed a few of its syllables so it sounds more like I want your liver). Then I rebuilt the expressions using precise images (e.g., we are talking about eating a liver, not admiring one). By Dina Nayeri, on the translation of idioms

Reblogged from theparisreview  78 notes
theparisreview:

“It is odd, what a translator draws on to call up the mental atmosphere necessary to do justice to another’s text, and it reminds you that linguistic facility is only a part of the job.”
Enjoy our selections from Josef Winkler’s novel Graveyard of Bitter Oranges? Read this conversation between translators Bernard Banoun and Adrian Nathan West discussing the ins and outs of translating Josef Winkler at The Quarterly Conversation.

theparisreview:

“It is odd, what a translator draws on to call up the mental atmosphere necessary to do justice to another’s text, and it reminds you that linguistic facility is only a part of the job.”

Enjoy our selections from Josef Winkler’s novel Graveyard of Bitter Oranges? Read this conversation between translators Bernard Banoun and Adrian Nathan West discussing the ins and outs of translating Josef Winkler at The Quarterly Conversation.

Reblogged from theparisreview  66 notes
theparisreview:

“When I said at age twelve that I wanted to be a writer my family said, Certainly. When I went off to boarding school, my going-away present was a typewriter. Becoming a writer was like going into the family firm. I started writing—mostly ghastly poetry—in boarding school. At the same time, I was absolutely fascinated by ‘abroad.” The minute I learned there were foreign countries I wanted to go to them.” RIP William Weaver.Read our interview with the English translator here.

theparisreview:

“When I said at age twelve that I wanted to be a writer my family said, Certainly. When I went off to boarding school, my going-away present was a typewriter. Becoming a writer was like going into the family firm. I started writing—mostly ghastly poetry—in boarding school. At the same time, I was absolutely fascinated by ‘abroad.” The minute I learned there were foreign countries I wanted to go to them.” RIP William Weaver.

Read our interview with the English translator here.