When not to translate

: la capa atmosférica con cúmulos se viste metalbabyazul :

I respect translation, a lot. Many people don’t realize this but bilinguals spend most of their lives trying to perfect the art to zero obstacle. We entertain theories and we apply our own theories, for many of us it is a matter of the soul. We heighten the idea of translation to the level of spirituality. We tend to see it as a sliding reality and the less obstruction from one meaning to another the better. A translation has to have the same perfection as the next example: La casa azul; The blue house. It is the art of oiling a smooth transition between two worlds, so that is why we tend to be also a tad obsessive and begrudgingly give in to half cooked versions if the urgency demands ready hand made translations. Althouhg there are many arts in this field, we seriously don’t pay attention in the many subdivisions that monolinguals tend to shelve our being. Some see a difference between interpretation and translation. The latter being mostly a voice affair and translation a text affair. Either way, translation doesn’t work well with pressure. And translation also means there is a time for it and then there isn’t one. Language must exist as is at times, you cannot hurry a text into translation if done so the end product will be a maldeformed result, something not of this earth. Every text has a spirit and a good translator will try to attain or reach the level of this spirit, render it into the target language fault free as is in the original language.

So that is why am surprised that a reader of this blog appealed, erronously by all accounts, that I should have translated a recent post into spanish. What this reader fails to realize is that I am not by any means a pure single monolingual speaker of spanish. I am a Xicano from Tijuana. Were I to have been more rude I could have entertained the thoughts that that reader is an unaccultured being whose interests in his language is a mere formality of having been born into it and not one that respects his own culture. I make no such statements. I merely observe. Though I confess that the primary language of my childhood is spanish for most of my lifespan I have been a dual lingual speaker and now a trilingual being though I have been for the most part a bilingual all along.

For me the text in question has all the elements that requiere a nontranslation from my part. The people speaking in the text are all spanish speakers while the text is in english the very essence of it smacks of América Latina. It is this spirit that must be respected, it is part of the spanish world that is not recognized by spanish proper domains, it is a bastard child. Nuestra cosmovisión es enteramente hispana aunque las letras escritas sean inglesas.

Technorati Tags: ,
, , , ,

This entry was posted in Linguistics. Bookmark the permalink.