|Photo by Alan Cleaver|
The frequency of such criticisms makes many translators nervous about using language that is in the least out of the ordinary. This too is a loss.Upon reading this, I realized that I have, in fact, fallen victim to this insidious way of thinking, unconsciously weighing certain translations in terms of whether the reader will pause and wonder if they're mis-translations. Granted, it's not nearly so great an issue in commercial translation, where the goal is usually to make the text read as smoothly as possible. And yet every once in a while, I'll hit upon a solution that though perfectly elegant is perhaps somewhat unorthodox, and I'll hesitate and maybe even change it to something more white-bread, simply to head-off any criticism at the pass.
So today I make a vow. No more. If it's the right translation, I'll stick to my guns, criticism be damned. Maybe if we translators rock the boat a little more, we can shrug off this clinging cloak of invisibility.