Lost in translation… (Christina)

Cory and I have been in Augsburg for almost a week, and have about five rehearsals in. The process is going well.  I am beginning to have a clearer and clearer idea of my character with each day. I think I struggled so much at first because I couldn’t understand all of the German text; I only had an idea of what was happening. Nora translated the entire play though, and that has helped a lot.

Nora and I had an interesting conversation yesterday on the role of the translator.  She was talking about a particular line in Cory’s play that just doesn’t work in German. So much of a text is lost when translated. Nora also mentioned a class or lecture or something, where she spoke with an American writer and the German translator of his book. The translator basically rewrote the book with his translation because certain things just don’t work in German. I guess what I’m getting to is that, at least in the States, the translator is often overlooked; he is taken for granted. It is a lot of work to be a translator, but it also requires a lot of creativity.

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One thought on “Lost in translation… (Christina)

  1. Also, I think that some lines don’t work in German, but they work in English and the other way around. It’s not just a question of translation, though, but of how you ‘think’. I have written an entire play in English, because it was English in my mind. I couldn’t have written in German, because that’s not what it was – it had to be English.
    When I tried to translate it into German I failed. There are some things that cannot be said in German. Especially emotional lines sound cheesy when you translate them into German. English is a more emotional language, I guess.

    So, if I wanted to translate “Cherrykisses” into German, I would have to rewrite the entire play, and, still, it would probably be a bad play afterwards…

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