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August 30th, 2013, 21:57
Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
With tight deadlines, it's not always possible for translators to read everything before they do the translation. And how should they know what happens in sequels if they are not out yet?
Schedules might be tight, but research is an integral part of translating. Mr Bergner renamed a character just because … I have no idea why. Perhaps he thought it was uncool, and it WAS uncool, and for a reason at that. His action had serious consequences for the end of the book the character first appeared in, so no sequel problem here. He might have called or written to the author to ask about the name, aye? But, oh well.

I'm really happy when there are translators like Nagel who manage to stay true to the word as long as it's possible and also stay true to the spirit of the original whenever a literal translation is impossible … no matter how good or bad the original text is. One of the later Asimov translators had a tendency to make her translations sound better than the original text. You might say she tried to show off her writing skills instead of her translating skills. I was not too fond of this method, either.

Whoever translated Karen Traviss' first 'Republic Commando' novel has been rather sloppy, I'm afraid. Not only did this person have a rather unique way to interpret German punctuation rules, he also did some literal translations of proverbs and other stuff that made it necessary to try and translate whole passages back to the original languages to get a grasp of what they originally said. The same was true for the person who translated the sequel to 'The Mote in God's Eye' - it was nearly unreadable in German due to heavy use of Babelfish, I'd say.
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