Saturday, May 01, 2010

Bilingual Editions

I know that it isn't always practical or feasible to publish bilingual editions of translations, but when possible, I think publishers should do so. Such editions are good for language-learners, of course, and I remember a bilingual version of Carlos Fuentes' book Aura that I read when I was learning Spanish many years ago. But they are also great for people who are interested in translation, because then we can analyze the original and the translation in a convenient way.

I was thinking about this recently while reading a bilingual edition of Edward Lear's nonsense limericks, as translated to Spanish by a student of mine, Matías Godoy, and published by Destiempo Libros. Here, for example, is one page in the book:

Había una joven con una quijada
Igual a la punta de una larga espada;
Mandóla afilar, compróse un citar,
Y así tocó música con su quijada.

There was a Young Lady whose chin
Resembled the point of a pin;
So she had it made sharp and purchased a harp,
And played several tunes with her chin.

It's really nice to be able to see Lear's original with Godoy's translation. Poetry is particularly well-suited to bilingual editions due to its length, but I wonder if, as more people gain a deeper understanding of translation and what it involves, publishers might start to publish bilingual editions of prose as well.

4 comments:

Translation Services said...

Seems its a crap!! Sorry for this comment!

B.J. Epstein said...

Sorry, but I'm not sure what you mean. Can you explain?

Best wishes,
BJ

marion said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Lucy

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B.J. Epstein said...

Thank you, Lucy!
Best wishes,
BJ