Thursday, 22 August 2013

Found in translation.

Misery by Stephen King ( was written in English and has been translated into many other languages. I have a copy of it in English with explanations for French people who are learning English. You can see in the photo above.

It's fantastic to read translated work as it gives an insight into other people, their lives and sensibilities. It's not just translation that takes place but interpretation. I have had my work, a play called Walking De Niro, translated into German. An interesting process.

Consider a few translated writers. Isaac Singer wrote in Yiddish, a language he considered more vibrant than others, and believed was more expressive than English.

 J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels have been translated into dozens of languages.

If you understand more than one language try translating a few lines from work in one language into another.

Try writing some dialogue in your usual style. Re write it in the voices of different characters, for example someone very psh. Someone very un-posh. Does it make a difference?

Read some translated work and a bit about the people who did the translating. Very insightful.