What makes a translation good?
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,402
    When evaluating hymn translations, what makes them good? I'm writing an article on the subject, and while I have a number of opinions, it would help me to hear others' views.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,423
    1. Accurate representation of the sentiments of the original.
    2. Good poetry which would stand on its own if it wasn't a translation.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,402
    Thank you, Adam.

    #2 is maddeningly difficult.
  • Not for Stan Fortuna, when he's channeling his inner Eminem, Kathy. See "Fortuna, Stan; School of the Eucharist"
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,402
    Yes! That be the flow!
  • Word
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,873
    Are we talking principally Latin to English? Or a continental European language (such as French, Italian, German, Spanish, or Swedish) to English? Or a Slavic language, such as Church Slavonic, Russian, Polish, or Ukrainian to English? Or to a language other than English.

    Does one preserve the meter or not? I know one usually tries, but this isn't always advisable, depending upon the source and target languages (I once translated a trochaic-66.86 meter Ukrainian carol to a 77.87 meter version with some success).

    In poetical translations of poetry, one often encounters the perfect literal translation of a word or short phrase that is completely unpoetic, causing great consternation to the translator. One then has a huge problem to solve in order to find something that comes as close as possible to the original in spirit, in meaning, and in rhythm/rhyme.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,536
    Beauty and euphony are part and parcel of meaning. Failing to do justice to them is like taking reverse colorizing a film....
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,873
    Well said, Liam!
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,402
    Thanks, this is very helpful!
  • Chrism
    Posts: 830
    The closeness of the relationship between the translator and Cardinal Newman.
  • I love Liam's word, 'euphony'