Thursday, April 30, 2015

Translating Karl Ove Knausgaard..

I try to make the text flow the best I can, particularly where the sentences are long and involved. I want the feel of English but the intensity of Karl Ove, so I insist on the punctuation of the Norwegian. Too many semicolons and colons—which copy editors would instinctively feel need to be there—interrupt the flow and make the text feel too organized. I don’t like to stray too far from the Norwegian, but I want the English to feel natural, particularly the dialogues. Finding that line is what keeps translators awake at night. I’m not sure anyone can give you instructions about what to do. You develop with experience. According to the book you are translating.
         -- Don Bartlett

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