Daydreaming Discussions- Why language translation matters in literature.


Hey there guys! Welcome to Daydreaming Discussions. This is a monthly feature created by me where I discuss anything bookish related or sometimes it might be about any non-bookish things as well. Also be prepared for a lot of ramblings and rantings and you’re very welcome to be a part of the discussion.

I hope you are having a great Monday!

Recently, I discovered a company called Smartling. It is a translation software company that translates website content into many languages so that they can be shared worldwide. It’s a great option for those of us who don’t have the time to master each and every foreign language, which brings us back to this topic.

There’s an entire world of literature out there. And there are so many different languages present all over the world. Sure, some people may learn a few foreign languages but it’s not possible for everybody to learn each and every one of them. That’s where translation plays a huge role in literature. Without translations, we would have been deprived of reading so many important and beautiful works by difference authors.

There are so many positive sides about translated works. We learn about diverse values, cultures, different traditions and the roles they play in particular socities. Without the translated works, we would have never known the facts about different countries and their traditions.

So, when I researched a bit about translated works/books I was quite surprised and amazed by many of them.

  1. One of my most favourite book, that has shaped my childhood is Heidi by Johanna Spyri. I think you guys (who have been following my blog for some time now) know my love for this book and that I re-read this every year. This book was originally written in German and have been translated in 50 languages! I would have missed out on this book if it hadn’t been translated in the English language and I’m really grateful for that.
  2. Another example from German to English language is Inkheart by Cornelia Funke.
  3. A classic example of the most renowned fairytale, Cinderella was originally written in French and Italian. It’s one of my favourites, imagine what would have happened if this wasn’t translated.
  4. I have read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson which is a translated work from Swedish to the English language.
  5. Another is The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank which I really liked. It’s also a translation from Dutch into 67 languages.
  6. A few examples of classics include The Illiad and The Odyssey by Homer which have been translated from Greek to many languages.
  7. A book that I’ve buyed recently is Alex by Pierre Lemaitre which is also a work of translation from French to English. I’ve wanted to read this mystery/thriller for so long, after I buyed this one I got to know that it was actually a translation of the original one, thank God for the translation otherwise I wouldn’t have been able read this one.

There are really so many positive sides of translation but I can’t ignore the tini-tiny fact which bothers me. When I’m reading a translated work, I often wonder that if this book is able to captivate the real charm of the original work or not, has the author been able to covnvey what he/she is trying to say. Other than plot and characters, one of the main thing about a book is how it is expressed. So, if the expressions remains the same while it maintains the same vibe or feeling which people might get reading the original work, then translation is really a boon for us.

So, that’s my first take on some bookish discussions. Did you guys like it? What do you guys think about translated works-is it bad or good? Be sure to let me know in the comments below!


3 thoughts on “Daydreaming Discussions- Why language translation matters in literature.

  1. Pingback: Book Snacks Discussion: Translation & Literature | Book Snacks
  2. If done correctly, I believe a translated work is able to reflect and express the original writing and offer readers the same experience. But I have learned the hard way that good translations are difficult to find sometimes!

    Liked by 1 person

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