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April 13, 2016
“A word is a bridge built between myself and another… a territory shared by addresser and addressee.”
It is argued that our daily discussions are in fact translations, a translation of our thoughts, notions and ideas, our Hollywood clichés, our culturally shaped phrases morphed by the echoes of our grandmothers mutterings and our school boy encounters. Our own discussions are slowly rendered by previously socially acknowledged words, the boundaries between the newly formed and the ancient blurring until they are scarcely visible.
How can you translate a lifetime of metamorphosis? The uniqueness of your tongue, the specialness of your culture, not between two minds with a shared history and language, but into another language, another history, another world. Is it even possible to go within another’s mind, armed with just grammar, vocabulary and a cultural understanding to make two discrete voices chime in harmony?
In the spirit of the seemingly impossible task of translation, I would like to outline how Latin Link aims to communicate the whole message, giving thought to each sentence, breathing life into text.
Some languages don’t translate into other languages well?
Romance languages and English translate well, much better than Germanic, or even Asian languages. William the Conqueror facilitated this when he brought over ‘latinate‘ words from France. Specializing in translating a few languages well, allows for the linguistic focus that further aids our translations. Further raisng the quality of our work is that fact that these languages stem from the same root and are grammatically complementary.
A translation can never be better than the original?
A translation can only ever be an approximation of the implied meaning, but this does not mean it is worse. The original text is thought of as the blueprint, where the author/architect fill in his/her instructions, but it is the role of the builder to enhance the vision, to realize their plans. A skilled builder can construct a house from the etchings on a napkin; out of a murky or subtle text, the translator can give it full voice, strutting across that linguistic bridge between addresser and addressee and building new shared territory.
Training in translation involves more than rules and writing, it requires a deeper appreciation of the task at hand, learning languages takes time, translating effectively between them takes the right personality and perhaps just a little word magic.
On that note welcome to Latin Link, where we strive to bridge the world’s linguistic and cultural gap, one word at a time.