Sunday, August 23, 2020

The History of Translation

I grew up reading a lot of the classic authors: Shakespeare, Jules Verne, Allan Poe, Khalil Gibran, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Charles Dickens, Tolkien, Mark Twain, the Brontë sisters, and many, many others. I wouldn't have enjoyed their books if they were not translated into Spanish, the language that opened up the doors for me to the fascinating world of the written word. It was much later that I came to the realization that I was reading a translation of the original books, but that never prevented me from enjoying and being transported by these stories the first time I read them.

This article gives a great walk through history about the role of Translation and why it's a Work of Art. It might not feel like it when we're translating a manual of instructions, an app, an infomercial, a menu, an ingredient list, or a product catalog. But that doesn't take away from all the creativity that the translator has to put to preserve the core storyline, idea, or message that the original creator tried to convey with their production, being a book, a film, a short video, a marketing slogan, a news article, or a website. 

Translation might seem today, more than ever, to be serving a more practical purpose because it's an exciting time for international expansion and globalization for companies and organizations, and localization is serving the purpose of allowing products to reach out to new markets. But for those of us who still translate out of love (with all my respects for those who make a living from different roles in the localization industry -- it's also my daytime job, by the way), I still believe that TRANSLATION is an ART.

That's why I created my blog "Eating With My Five Senses", where I publish subtitles for videos that I really enjoyed watching or have learned something valuable from it, so that I can help to make them accessible to many, many more people around the world. This volunteer project is something really out of my personal love for translation and the romantic belief that Translation is an Art.

(*) There's a small typo on the Infographic that came from the source. It should be "The Philosophy of Plato".

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