The Importance of Literary Translations

Arts & EntertainmentBooks & Music

  • Author Albert Carter
  • Published April 12, 2012
  • Word count 568

Books are a man's best friend. Books are the ultimate source of wisdom and knowledge. Can you imagine a world without books? It would feel as if we have gone back to the dark ages. As once Mark Twain rightly said, "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them." Books are the windows that allow you to get a peek into different country's cultures and people.

No wonder then that translations of books from one language to another have always been an important business. Translations of literary works play a critical role in helping exchange ideas across different languages and cultures and enhance intercultural understanding.

Most people feel comfortable reading in their own primary language. Translations of literary works, be it novels, poems, short stories and plays, open up completely new worlds to explore. It is not only novels which are translated in large numbers. Academic books, for example, are translated for students who wish to study and get an understanding of different cultures.

Literary translations are regarded as a creative pursuit in its own right. And several writers have carved a niche for themselves for their literary translation works such as Vladimir Nabokov, Jorge Luis Borges, Sheila Fischman, Robert Stiller, Vasily Zhukovsky, Robert Dickson and more.

History of Literary Translations

The tradition of translating literary works is very old. Throughout history, innumerable literary translations were commissioned by the emperors and the governments. During the Middle Ages, Arabs translated various Greek philosophical and scientific works into the Arabic language.

Similarly in India, various books in Sanskrit on poetry, medicine, astronomy, chemistry and others were translated into Persian and Arabic on a large scale by Arabs to gain a better understanding of the rich Indian culture and learn about achievements in the field of religion, science, literature and culture. Likewise millions of books have been translated from English to French, French to English, Spanish to Italian and so on.

Demand for Literary Translations is Always High

In today's global age, literary translations have become even more important as countries depend on translations to facilitate communication in the field of education, literature and cultural relations.

Literary translations help preserve cultural traditions and have made it possible for people to transcend borders and learn about other faiths and cultures. It doesn't matter if you don't speak French. You can read French writer Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time ("A la recherche du temps perdu" in French), thanks to literary translators.

Seek experts for literary translations

Literary translations are not just about translating one language into another word for word. A good literary translation must keep the meaning of the original text intact and use stylistics that are appropriate for the target language. If you seek literary translations, you will need the help of translation specialists who have the expertise to go into the depth of the original text, understand its context and then translate it idiomatically while keeping the true meaning intact. A translated work must be able to convey to its readers the true sense and the same delight as the original text would.

If you require literary translations on books of arts or social sciences, always seek the services of a renowned and reliable translation agency, be it an Ottawa translation services provider or certified translation services in Calgary, where literary translations are completed by expert professional translators.

Albert Carter is a freelancer who writes exclusively for Textronics Communications Ltd, Canada. A renowned translation agency which provides high quality Ottawa translation services and certified translation services in Calgary to corporate clients located in different parts of the world.

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