- Luis Javier Salvador
Translator English to Spanish / Spanish to English,
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Are translations a necessary evil?
I have been translating for quite some time (including TEDTalks) and always come to the same conclusion: it is not possible to convey all the subtleties and nuances of a particular source language into any target language.
Well, maybe if you get lucky and the source text, because of its simplicity, lends itself to an easy transferral of information and style, then you could claim that the reader might take in up to 99% of its original meaning.
However, just on the opposite side, a translated poem will most likely have much of its original meaning changed, as well as the musicality and the essence of it, thus rendering the resulting text less faithful to the original than any other translated piece of work, in my view.
Sometimes it is very frustrating, because you find yourself on a dead-end, unable to come up with a good translation for certain puns and wordplays that only work in the source language. In my opinion, there is no such thing as a perfect translation, just a valiant effort to alter the original work as little as possible.
But of course, translations are of great importance, as they allow people to access information that would otherwise have been limited to a small population.
What is your take on the matter?