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Great Quotes About Translation
September 27, 2017 - By: - In: Translation - Comments Off on Great Quotes About Translation

At Responsive Translation, we take translation seriously. We also love a good quote – those little doses of inspiration that make us think, make us smile or both if we’re lucky.

Here are some of our favorite quotes about translation:

“It is the task of the translator to release in his own language that pure language that is under the spell of another, to liberate the language imprisoned in a work in his re-creation of that work.”
– Walter Benjamin

“Translation is not a matter of words only: it is a matter of making intelligible a whole culture.”
– Anthony Burgess

“Without translation, I would be limited to the borders of my own country. The translator is my most important ally. He introduces me to the world.”
– Italo Calvino

“To have another language is to possess a second soul.”

“The translator is the author’s accomplice.”
– Jorge Gonzalez Moore

“Translation is that which transforms everything so that nothing changes.”
– Günter Grass

“No glass renders a man’s form and likeness so true as his speech.”
– Ben Johnson

“Never trust the translation or interpretation of something without first trusting its interpreter.”
– Suzy Kassem

“Every act of communication is a miracle of translation.”
– Ken Liu

“Western Europe owes its civilization to translators.”
– Kelly Louis

“In translation language facility is not enough; blood and sweat are the secret.”
– Samuel Putnam

“If the translator does his job as he should, he is a benefactor of humanity; otherwise he is a veritable public enemy.”
– Miguel Sanz

“Writers make national literature, while translators make universal literature.”
– José Saramago

“I believe the essence of translation lies in taking what is unsaid in a work from one language to another. Words have memories, a history of their own. There are no two words with exactly the same meaning. To recreate the unspoken in another language, one needs to understand what went into making the original; then one must dismantle it and rebuild it in the other language.”
– Vivek Shanbhag

“Without translation, we would be living in provinces bordering on silence.”
– George Steiner

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is really a large matter – it’s the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”
– Mark Twain

“Translating is producing analogous effects by different means.”
Paul Valéry

Now over to you. Are there are any other translation quotes that you’d add to this list?

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