How can you improve literary translations?
Geeta Singh | September 5, 2018 | Translations
Literary translation is a challenge tough to overcome for the language translators. Even the best of best language translators in Delhi, often, fall short of words and expressions to retain the essence of original literary work of art. When talking about the intricacies involved in the entire process of translation and recreation, Robert Frost’s popular quote cannot miss the sight. He rightly says, “Poetry is what gets lost in translation” because the original beauty of the poem is either further refined or shadowed by the self-imposed constraints of the translator. It seldom remains the same as the original.
Keeping the nitty-gritty of dramas, poem, novels, and any sort of literary work same while doing translation requires a lot of efforts. The companies which exclusively offer literary translation services in Delhi spend a good deal of time and money training their language translators on how to improve their literary translation skills and thence, the work quality. Well, the improvement in work begins right from self-improvement. Some good habits need to replace the old obsolete ones.
Translation is often assumed as slightly an easy task than writing from the scratch. Anyone who is very well aware of both source language and target language can become a translator. While budding companies hire translators who are less proficient in L1 & L2, the big language translation agencies in Delhi only recruit dexterous translators having ample work experience. One should have a strong command of literary devices, skills, and creative writing for literary translation and not just literal or word to word translation.
He should also have an in-depth or core knowledge and understanding of the literary work he is going to translate. Many translation companies in Delhi have to bear the irrelevant or not so good work done by the translators as they do not work hard to gain an understanding of the book and have zero interaction with the author. The genre, period, work, theme, etc., all should be understood well before translating any literary work.
There is a dearth of competent translators who can directly translate L1 to L2 without getting the work translated first into the English language. This, further, deteriorates the quality of the translation. Therefore, a translator should become masterfully skilled at translating the literary works directly from L1 to L2 without bringing English translation in between. For this, he should read a lot of books and write a lot of articles in both target language and source language to become versed with both. Fiction and creative non-fiction are highly recommended to get better at literary devices, idioms, and jargons.