Wow. So people are, um, interested. It would just be better if the debate could stay calm and polite. Seen the number of my posts here on the right ? I'm new here, so if people get rude, I'll use my Graceness to make squirrel eyes and cry and go away, and you'll all feel very guilty deep down inside. Don't want that to happen, eh ?
I think, too, there are some things we don't need that much to debate about. First, the "Don't do X because Dan won't approve of it" argument has already been quoted, so it's not that interesting to use it again. I do hope, though, he'll have the time to take a look at this thread and tell us what he thinks about the idea. Until then, the point of this topic is to see wether people here find the concept of EGS translations interesting, and how they think would be the best method to do it.
Second, let's not wander too much on the general problems of translation and "it's a work of art so it can't be translated". Of course it can. Joyce can be translated. Terry Pratchett can be translated. And I think those two cover much more translation problems than EGS.
So yes, EGS can be translated. How to translate it well, though, is a real problem. I think it will demand some basic reflexion before the start, and the translators will probably need some way to ask Dan and/or English-speakers in general and/or people who know EGS very well about the problems and subtleties they'll find in this or that particular episode. But hey, it's precisely what this board is all about, isn't it ?
Nocturn wrote:See, here's the thing. When you translate, you just don't translate word-for-word. You're going to want to get the meaning of the entire sentence across, not just the meanings of every single word in a way that they just don't match up anymore. This is why translating can actually be a pretty tough job. Finding that balance between sticking to the source-material and adjusting it for the target audience is, well, a balancing act.
I strongly agree. See, translating is
a job all by itself. I personally am not an English-to-French professional translator : I just happen to read English quite well and to love EGS ; but I've done a lot of translating in high school, in English-to-French as well as from and to other languages, so I think I could do it. It would need work and time, of course. But anyway, this is not worse than having anything on the Internet done by fans. And a lot
of very well-done projects work just like this.
EDIT : As for the problem of translating puns, it is mainly a problem of finding equivalents, as was already pointed before. Of course, if we do so, it's not a word-to-word translation, of course, but that's not the point of a translation anyway. The main task of a translator is to 1) understand precisely the text or work he has to translate, and 2) make it understand by the reader/viewer/whatever, so that the meaning keeps either the same, or as close as possible to the original work. When a pun uses homophones or things that are based on something that is specific to the original language, one can always find equivalents. Sometimes it's very difficult, but hey, that's what makes the quality of a translation. I'll take an example from the Lion King
. In the first scene after the opening song, Zazu tells Scar that Mufasa is quite angry because Scar wadn't present at Simba's kinda-birth-ceremony, and he says : "He (Mufasa) is like a hippo with a hernia". Of course there is a play on words with the aspiration provided by the "h" in the two words. In French, the play on words was : "Il est comme un puma qui aurait une pneumonie". Said sentence is not an exact translation ("puma" is not the French word for "hippo", nor is "pneumonie" the correct word for "hernia" - this would be simply "hernie"), but it finds an equivalent of the original play on sounds, using the sound "p" insted of "h".
The same thing can be done, in more complex ways, with cultural references. Of course the translator has to recognize said references in the first place ; if not the translation will be incomplete and poor. But here, in case people don't know EGS and anglo-saxon culture enough, they could ask questions on this board.