Dirty secrets of a translator

“The good translator knows when to throw up his hands and move on to the next sentence.” George Blecher shares a secret every translator knows to be true — social cues and subtext, among other things, get lost in translation. He cites Japanese as an example: asking the time using “Ima nagi kai’ina” (spelt phonetically) is suitable when the speaker is a proud older person of low social standing talking to a younger person of higher social status. Read full article here


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