Sunday, September 25, 2005

AnimeNation Anime Forums - What does Dattebayo mean?

Cervantes said (ironically enough) that translations were like looking at the wrong side of tapestry. They have many of the same parts in common, but in all the least important ways.

I don't know that I agree with him, having struggled through parts of Don Quixote in spanish, and read several different english translations. but he's certainly right that much in literal translation is useless at best, and obscurantist at worst.

Poor Cervantes, his point may have been valid, but he's likely been read in translation far more times than he has been in spanish. Spanish was outcompeted as the international language by first French then English, and likely again by Chinese, depending on how the next bit of history goes.

I enjoy taking note of the lingual and cultural translations much of the things I watch and read go through before I enjoy them. Some are subtle and likely misunderstood, I have quite a few languages to yet learn, before I'm satisfied.

Perhaps if more works were in something culturally neutral like esperanto.

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