Top 15 Of Best Translation Quotes From Translators

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Languages are complex, which is why learning and understanding them is not easy. People have to practice for years before they can get good at understanding different vernaculars. This is why handling vernaculars is not an easy job. Anyone that works with languages reaches their level of perfection after proper training and years of practice, which is why the professionals must be respected for their efforts. Without the help of these professionals, the world would be completely lost. We would not be able to read books and access information without the help of linguistic experts.

Top 15 of Best Translation Quotes from Translators:

No one can understand a field better than those who work in it, which is why linguistic experts, writers, and poets know how hard it can be to interpret a text. It can be pretty difficult to interpret the text. The difficulty level increased depending on the complexity of the text. Sometimes, literature can be more difficult to handle than business text. However, it is the experience of the experts that helps them in finishing their tasks accurately. Here’s what the professionals have to say about translation:

Best Translation Quotes
  • “Words travel worlds. Translators do the driving.” Anna Rusconi, translator of various books.
  • “A translator, like a witness on the stand, should hold up his right hand and swear to “tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, first American to work on Dante’s Divine Comedy.
  • “There is no such thing as a perfect, ideal, or ‘correct’ translation. A translator is always trying to extend his knowledge and improve his means of expression; he is always pursuing facts and words.” Peter Newmark, professor of translation.
  • “Translators are the shadow heroes of literature, the often forgotten instruments that make it possible for different cultures to talk to one another, who have enabled us to understand that we all, from every part of the world, live in one world.” Paul Aster, expert of French literature.
  • “In translation, language facility is not enough; blood and sweat are the secret.” Samuel Putnam, a scholar of Romance languages.
  • “Without translation, I would be limited to the borders of my own country. The translator is my most important ally. He introduces me to the world.” Italo Calvino, Italian author.
  • “Translation is one of the few human activities in which the impossible occurs by principle.” Mariano Antolín Rato, expert of multiple languages.
  • “Say what we may of the inadequacy of translation, yet the work is and will always be one of the weightiest and worthiest undertakings in the general concerns of the world.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer.
  • “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.” Tim Parks, British writer.
Translation Quotes from Translators
  • “It seems to me that we may compare the work of a translator with that of an artist who is asked to create an exact replica of a marble statue, but who cannot secure any marble. He may find some other stone or some wood, or he may have to model in clay or work in bronze, or he may have to use a brush or a pencil and a sheet of paper. Whatever his material, is he is a good craftsman, his work may be good, even great. It may even surpass the original, but it will never be what he set out to produce, an exact replica of the original.” Werner Winter, French linguist.
  • “The translator is a privileged writer who has the opportunity to rewrite masterpieces in their own language.” Javier Marías, Spanish author.
  • “Writers make national literature, while translators make universal literature.” Jose Saramgo, Portuguese writer.
  • “I do not hesitate to read … all good books in translations. What is really best in any book is translatable—any real insight or broad human sentiment.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, American poet.
  • “A translator is to be like his author; it is not his business to excel him.” Samuel Johnson, English author.
  • “Woe to the makers of literal translations, who by rendering every word weaken the meaning! It is indeed by so doing that we can say the letter kills and the spirit gives life.” Voltaire, French philosopher.

The quotes explain how different experts view the work of linguistic experts. They also show how linguistic work influences the world and makes it better for everyone else. It is up to us to appreciate the work of these experts more and hope that they will continue to provide us with their services in the future too. Without them, we will only have words, but no meaning. They not only give meaning to the words we read but also to the world we live in. The whole world is indebted to them for the work they do and how they make it possible for us to stay connected to each other.

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