I recently posed a question to those writers and literary professionals in the EWN about reading translated texts. The following is the question and the responses that I received:
When you are reading material that has been translated from the original language - do you find yourself questioning a bit more about the story and how it is written than you would otherwise?
I rarely read translations. Those I have read were mostly poetry. The translations were very good, but I suspect they do lose a nuance in the process. But no, I do not question the story.
Depends on the medium. Poetry and fiction always make me wonder if I’m getting “the real deal.” But non-fiction prose, newspaper pieces, etc. I usually accept as information without too many reservations.
Sheesh, I scarcely read any translations (Marquez being the most noteworthy exception): I’ve a hard enough time keeping up with the home-grown typists, never mind those trying to reach me from abroad (another shortcoming of character, alas).
Lee K. Abbott
Yes. I sometimes wonder about the author’s intentions and whether they have been – whether it is even possible for them to have been – fully realized in translation.
No. Although it it’s in French or Latin, I try to read the original. Just curious.
Nicole Mary Kelby