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Wanted: Black women English to Dutch translators

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Tom in London
Egyesült Királyság
Local time: 21:42
Tag (2008 óta)
olasz - angol
I can't be bothered trying to think up a title Mar 5

Katalin Horváth McClure wrote:

So, if someone is Dutch spoken word artist, that makes them automatically excellent and experienced translators of American English, too?.


That reminds me of the hilarious recurring scene in "Family Guy" featuring foreign guys that almost sound American.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMHEsE8bO7k



[Edited at 2021-03-05 11:28 GMT]


 

sailingshoes
Local time: 22:42
spanyol - angol
Why poets translate poets Mar 12

Katalin Horváth McClure wrote:

So, if someone is Dutch spoken word artist, that makes them automatically excellent and experienced translators of American English, too?
Writing and translating are different "fields", I would say.


This is just poor inference because there there was no suggestion that anything, least of excellence, follows anything else automatically, or even that the choice of the Dutch translator was wrong. The suggestion is simply that poets working in given areas, in terms of style and subject matter, might be more suited (although this is neither automatic nor imperative) to translating poets working in the same areas.

As you helpfully point out, writing and translating are different fields. However, literary translation and in particular translation of poetry are also subject to somewhat different conventions to those governing translation in general.

This is why a poet was chosen to translate Gorman's work, rather than a professional translator. Poets aren't always chosen to translate poetry, but this is very often the case (although being a poet doesn't make you an automatically excellent and experienced translator of American English, or any other source language, either). In fact not infrequently, knowledge of the source language and experience as a translator are seen as secondary to a poet's ability to create an equivalent in the target language by revocation of the spirit of the source. This would be the case of Hugh MacDiarmid's celebrated translations from Russian, which he didn't speak.


Chris S
P.L.F.Persio
Liviu-Lee Roth
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spanyolország
Local time: 22:42
spanyol - angol
+ ...
"First they came for..." Mar 12

Apparently the Catalan translator originally booked for the job has also now been "cancelled". It appears career activist Janice Deul has truly opened up a can of worms with her meddling.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-56340162


P.L.F.Persio
IrinaN
Gerard Barry
Liviu-Lee Roth
 

Jo Macdonald  Identity Verified
Spanyolország
Tag (2005 óta)
olasz - angol
+ ...
To fight/encourage racism Mar 12

Well if the idea is to fight racism they're not doing a very good job, discrimination makes people more racist.

For the sake of equality perhaps they should invite a young male redneck headbanger to the next event and specify they only want WASP blokes in on the job.

Then again when a lot of people tear down the statue of a slaver and next day others on the radio are saying they were wrong to do so, it's easy to see how deeply ingrained racism is in society so perhaps
... See more
Well if the idea is to fight racism they're not doing a very good job, discrimination makes people more racist.

For the sake of equality perhaps they should invite a young male redneck headbanger to the next event and specify they only want WASP blokes in on the job.

Then again when a lot of people tear down the statue of a slaver and next day others on the radio are saying they were wrong to do so, it's easy to see how deeply ingrained racism is in society so perhaps we are not in fact ready for change.
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P.L.F.Persio
Liviu-Lee Roth
expressisverbis
Daryo
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Hollandia
Local time: 22:42
Tag (2006 óta)
angol - afrikaans
+ ...
Surely the proof is in the pudding Mar 12

The BBC article says "Critics said it was not just about skin colour, but identity too. This was not simply about translation, but whether Gorman's poetry could be accurately reflected, interpreted by someone of a different ethnicity, genre, and mother tongue." but it should be easy to answer that question: simply show us the translation, and let us (and those who criticize) evaluate it.

It's one thing to claim that only a black person can correctly translate a text, but if that is
... See more
The BBC article says "Critics said it was not just about skin colour, but identity too. This was not simply about translation, but whether Gorman's poetry could be accurately reflected, interpreted by someone of a different ethnicity, genre, and mother tongue." but it should be easy to answer that question: simply show us the translation, and let us (and those who criticize) evaluate it.

It's one thing to claim that only a black person can correctly translate a text, but if that is true (and if those who say so truly believe it), then... show us. Show us how the translation by a non-black person is lacking. But they won't do that (they can't!), because for them the principle is more important than the truth, and if there is any danger that the truth could contradict the principle, then (so they say) it's best to simply avoid the truth.

[Edited at 2021-03-12 17:40 GMT]
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Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
P.L.F.Persio
Philip Lees
Gerard Barry
Daryo
Liviu-Lee Roth
 

Philip Lees  Identity Verified
Görögország
Local time: 23:42
Tag (2008 óta)
görög - angol
Done and dusted Mar 13

Samuel Murray wrote:

This was not simply about translation, but whether Gorman's poetry could be accurately reflected, interpreted by someone of a different ethnicity, genre, and mother tongue." but it should be easy to answer that question: simply show us the translation, and let us (and those who criticize) evaluate it.



Absolutely right. This time the translator had completed the work before being sacked. Was his translation substandard? If so in what way?

I agree with Samuel that we're never going to find that out, because if the translation was fine, that would be too embarrassing for the politically correct brigade.

I hope that at least Víctor Obiols got paid for his work. And I wonder how they're getting on finding "a female activist with African-American origins" who also speaks fluent Catalan and is capable of translating poetry.

Good luck with that one.


P.L.F.Persio
Marina Taffetani
Gerard Barry
Daryo
Natalia Potashnik
Liviu-Lee Roth
Katalin Horváth McClure
 

P.L.F.Persio  Identity Verified
Hollandia
Local time: 22:42
Tag (2010 óta)
angol - olasz
+ ...
Saving my indignation Mar 13

Philip Lees wrote:

I hope that at least Víctor Obiols got paid for his work. And I wonder how they're getting on finding "a female activist with African-American origins" who also speaks fluent Catalan and is capable of translating poetry.

Good luck with that one.


Well, apparently the publisher promised to pay him, but we know that's not the only point:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/mar/10/not-suitable-catalan-translator-for-amanda-gorman-poem-removed

And yes, good luck with that one. I wonder what they're going to do in countries where the majority, if not 99% of the population is white, like in the Baltic Republics. And what about China, Japan, Vietnam, just to name a few other places? Do their experiences of racial discrimination and colonialism match those of the African-Americans?

Rijneveld and Obiols have been bullied out of their jobs, mainly on the base of their skin colour. If only we had a term to describe such a disgraceful attitude ... oh wait, but we do, it's spelt r-a-c-i-s-m.

Don't call it reverse racism, somehow it sounds dismissive. Racism is racism, no matter what direction it goes. Centuries, or even thousands of years of injustice and cruelty are not going to be erased or righted by applying a reverse manoeuvre. We should know by now that two wrongs don't make a right.

I'm appalled and disgusted by racism, like all of you are, I think. That's why I feel quite strongly about this situation.

For those of you who can read Dutch, here's an interesting point of view: https://www.volkskrant.nl/columns-opinie/opinie-ik-ben-tegen-de-culturele-apartheid-van-de-woke-stemmingmakerij~b8e27cb4/?utm_source=link&utm_medium=app&utm_campaign=shared%20content&utm_content=free

The title translates more or less as I'm against the cultural apartheid of the woke propaganda, and the author is Assita Kanko: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assita_Kanko a Belgian journalist, human rights activist and politician who was elected as a Member of the European Parliament in 2019 representing the New Flemish Alliance, and she's a Black woman.

I think the term cultural apartheid is rather strong, and I don't think I'd agree with most of her political beliefs, but she makes some good points.


Mervyn Henderson
Chris S
Gerard Barry
Liviu-Lee Roth
Marina Taffetani
expressisverbis
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
 

IrinaN
Egyesült Államok
Local time: 15:42
angol - orosz
+ ...
Hiring problems? Mar 13

Jo Macdonald wrote:

a young male redneck


is just about the only guy left who can be fired for incompetence, laziness, negligence etc...

Everyone else with the same magnificent qualities will sue your pants off for discrimination


Gerard Barry
P.L.F.Persio
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
Daryo
 

Tom in London
Egyesült Királyság
Local time: 21:42
Tag (2008 óta)
olasz - angol
CORRECTION Mar 13

The saying is

"The proof of the pudding is in the eating".

There is no proof in the pudding itself, inherently. If there were, there would be no need to eat it.


steamed-vanilla-jam-pudding-scaled

[Edited at 2021-03-13 15:49 GMT]


Chris S
Mervyn Henderson
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
Egyesült Királyság
svéd - angol
+ ...
Correction Mar 13

Tom in London wrote:

The saying is

"The proof of the pudding is in the eating".

There is no proof in the pudding itself, inherently. If there were, there would be no need to eat it.

Sorry, Tom, but you do have to eat it. Anything else would be a waste. Being eaten is a pudding’s raisin d’etre, one might say.

(For any non-pedants out there who don’t already know this (though surely we are all pedants here, if not as brazenly as Tom then at least secretly), proof in the context of this saying means test rather than evidence: the true test of the pudding is how it tastes.)

PS Tom, why did you choose a yellow cake dripping with blood?🤔
PPS Portia, how could I disagree? Yet... It’s complicated...

[Edited at 2021-03-13 16:36 GMT]


P.L.F.Persio
Mervyn Henderson
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Hollandia
Local time: 22:42
Tag (2006 óta)
angol - afrikaans
+ ...
@Tom Mar 13

Tom in London wrote:
[Posts an image of] steamed vanilla jam pudding.


According to this page, the pudding in question is black pudding (blood sausage). What's more, according to Google Ngrams, "the proof is in the pudding" dates from at least the 1860s. Still, "the proof of the pudding" is the more common variant and has always been.


 

Michele Fauble  Identity Verified
Egyesült Államok
Local time: 13:42
Tag (2006 óta)
norvég - angol
+ ...
Earlier meaning of prove/proof Mar 13

Tom in London wrote:

The saying is

"The proof of the pudding is in the eating".

There is no proof in the pudding itself, inherently. If there were, there would be no need to eat it.


This saying makes more sense if you remember that the earlier meaning of “prove”/“proof” was “test”.

Another saying, “The exception that proves the rule”, has undergone a change in meaning as a result of the change in meaning of the word “prove”.





[Edited at 2021-03-13 19:04 GMT]


P.L.F.Persio
expressisverbis
Kay Denney
 

Daryo
Egyesült Királyság
Local time: 21:42
szerb - angol
+ ...
So ...? Mar 14

the only people "approved" to translate "La Ballade des pendus" would be males on Death Row?

Before anyone starts howling in outrage, check first the facts about "La Ballade des pendus" and show how it wouldn't be exactly the same logic?

Would also be in line with "Why poets translate poets" ... wouldn't it?

As for Victor Obiols, the one that has already done the translation into Catalan, he should declare the contract null and void and refuse any paymen
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the only people "approved" to translate "La Ballade des pendus" would be males on Death Row?

Before anyone starts howling in outrage, check first the facts about "La Ballade des pendus" and show how it wouldn't be exactly the same logic?

Would also be in line with "Why poets translate poets" ... wouldn't it?

As for Victor Obiols, the one that has already done the translation into Catalan, he should declare the contract null and void and refuse any payment as this would give the right to this US publisher to just bury his work.

Instead, he should publish his translation for free, so that if and when they finally find an "US publisher approved" translator into Catalan, everyone can compare the two translations and draw their own conclusions.
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Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
Franciaország
Local time: 22:42
Tag (2003 óta)
angol - holland
+ ...
Poets have a hard time making money Mar 15

Poets have a hard time making money and I'm glad Gorman had a break. Assigning the translation job to Rijneveld - an International Booker Prize winner - was a commercially sound idea. Assigning it to a translator would have been even better. But in my opinion the best idea would have been to give a young Dutch female poet of colour a break. They don’t get too many.

I suggest Lauwtje:
https:/
... See more
Poets have a hard time making money and I'm glad Gorman had a break. Assigning the translation job to Rijneveld - an International Booker Prize winner - was a commercially sound idea. Assigning it to a translator would have been even better. But in my opinion the best idea would have been to give a young Dutch female poet of colour a break. They don’t get too many.

I suggest Lauwtje:
https://youtu.be/b4EGqgw8lpQ
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P.L.F.Persio
sailingshoes
 

P.L.F.Persio  Identity Verified
Hollandia
Local time: 22:42
Tag (2010 óta)
angol - olasz
+ ...
It should go both ways Mar 19

Gerard de Noord wrote:

Poets have a hard time making money and I'm glad Gorman had a break. Assigning the translation job to Rijneveld - an International Booker Prize winner - was a commercially sound idea. Assigning it to a translator would have been even better. But in my opinion the best idea would have been to give a young Dutch female poet of colour a break. They don’t get too many.

I suggest Lauwtje:
https://youtu.be/b4EGqgw8lpQ


You're right, Gerard, they deserve a break, but why "pigeonholing" black poets/writers with black translators? A talented young poet/writer/translator should have the chance to translate any kind of poetry and literature.

If a young Dutch female poet of colour feels a literary affinity to Homer, or Dante, or Baudelaire, or Shakespeare, she should translate them, without worrying that she's not the same gender/colour/age/nationality as them.
Those affinities are intellectual, or even spiritual, they shouldn't depend on any other factors.

And Chris, you're right too, it is a complicated issue. I'm aware I could sound dismissive, but I'm not. I care deeply, in fact.

I think that – just like in life – in literary translation you have to use empathy and respect, and I say this with a big "Note to self" warning, because it's easy to talk the talk, I should also walk the walk.

But, as human beings, what we share is far, far bigger than what divides us. In the words of Publius Terentius Afer, a Roman African playwright: Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto, or "I am human, and I think nothing human is alien to me."


Chris S
Zibow Retailleau
Philip Lees
expressisverbis
 
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