In Translation

I read a lot of books. nothing serious, but none the less I read a lot. Right now I’m reading yet another Swedish crime novel. Yes I’m one of those people that has trouble with non-fiction.

It strikes me that translating from Swedish into English –like anything other translation for that matter–would be hard to do well. Asa Larsson might be a gifted writer in Swedish but her books in English must owe a great debt to the translator. one of her older books was translated by Marlaine Delargy, I wonder if she did the one I’m reading now?

Thinking about this led me to an idea that a simple Swedish sentence must have several different English translations and that the translator must understand the tone, and writing style of the author so well that they can personify that in their work. Maybe this is one of the reason that Nordic crime fiction is becoming so popular in the English speaking world. There’s a sparseness to the pros that feels like how I think. Maybe I should read some other Nordic fiction and see if it retains the same attraction.

Take simple sentences from the Swedish and translate them. Rewrite them about 20 times in different ways. accompany the text with a photograph of a coffee pan. I have this image of people making coffee in Sweden like cowboys.

Do it for Swedish, Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Finland

 Facebook Twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>