my loss: did not read Conrad. I referred to translated books I read both in
the original and in a (good!) translation, some of the original was always
lost. I can refer to my mother tongue (non-Indo-European) where shades of
meaning can be expressed by a 'buildup' of words, not experienced in my (so
far 77 year) study of English. I came to the US 1965 then to live here in
1870, have some linguistic gift.
When the English idiom did not occur, I used a Latin equivalent
(Anglicised) and people understood it.
Once I was almost arrested in commi E-Germany for not having a local ID -
because "NO foreigner speaks so proper German". My (US?)-English is not so
good, my vocabulary is moderate - although the dictionary is huge. Many
Hungarian lit uses words that require entire sentences to a proper
translation into other tongues. French included. (My French is fading). Yet
I would love to read something by Conrad (in French) what he also published
in English. I keep away from multilinguistic writing on my own, I NEVER
feel satisfied. (As an auditive I think in the language I use).
t 5:14 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
> On 1/10/2013 1:36 PM, John Mikes wrote:
> you MUST know better....I suppose.
> You wrote in the Lem-story about the first straight Polish to English
> translation: * *
> *allowing English-speaking readers to finally experience the book as its
> author intended.*
> You may be bilingual (at least?) so my experience may not surprise you
> (having almost 2 mother-tongues and lived in the (English?) US for more
> than 4 decades) that
> *NO TRANSLATION*
> gives 'back' the author's original thoughts and phrases.
> I read books translated and the originals, in languages I master as 'my
> own' and saw the benevolent mistakes galore.
> I had an old friend in Hungary, a linguistic professor, who learned
> Russian on his death-bed because he wanted to read Tolstoy in original. (He
> taught T earlier for decades).
> I agree: French is a good transltional interface to change meanings, but
> English is by no means a medium for a good straight translation
> (transfiguration?) (especially from POLISH).
> I find that interesting since my favorite writer and an acknowledged
> master of english prose, Joesph Conrad, was Polish. He lived in France as
> a youngster and also spoke French. He said that he choose to write in
> English because it was more expressive, allowed more metaphors, than French
> - and if he wrote in Polish nobody would read him.
> Yours - Suffering from multilinguistic horrors
> John M
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