My long experience has taught me to be accurate, correct in every detail and to acquire excellent research skills in archives and through the Internet; I have also learned to evaluate the reliability (or not) of information regarding individual authors or theatre texts. This also makes me very reliable in finding scripts from authors of the past and identifying reference texts for studies and analysis.
In the case of a foreign text the first critical operation is the translation. I would even say that the ‘critical work’ of the director is strictly linked with the problem of translation. The two things are or should be part of one and the same deep unity.
Pages translated from French
Pages translated from English
Pages translated from Spanish
Any translation which intends to perform a transmitting function cannot transmit anything but information – hence, something inessential. This is the hallmark of bad translations.
As far as modern writing is concerned, it is rarely rewarding to translate it, although it might be easy. Translation is very much like copying paintings.
A translator ought to endeavor not only to say what his author has said, but to say it as he has said it.
The difference between the right word and the almost right word is really a large matter – it’s the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.
To use the same words is not a sufficient guarantee of understanding; one must use the same words for the same genus of inward experience; ultimately one must have one’s experiences in common.
Without translation, I would be limited to the borders of my own country. The translator is my most important ally. He introduces me to the world.
In its happiest efforts, translation is but approximation, and its efforts are not often happy. A translation may be good as translation, but it cannot be an adequate reproduction of the original.
George Henry Lewes
“When I use a word”, Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less”.
A great age of literature is perhaps always a great age of translations.
The best thing on translation was said by Cervantes: translation is the other side of a tapestry.
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