Why Translation Matters Edith Grossman Analysis

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What makes a good translation-translator?
According to Edith Grossman in her book, Why Translation matters, “the most fundamental description of what translators do is that we write—or perhaps rewrite—in language B a work of literature originally composed in language A, hoping that readers of the second language—I mean, of course, readers of the translation—will perceive the text, emotionally and artistically, in a manner that parallels and corresponds to the esthetic experience of its first readers. This is the translator’s grand ambition.”
A good translator must therefore first of all have the overriding ambition of giving the readers of his translated work the opportunity to experience exactly what the original writer of the book intended for them to experience. It must become a consuming ambition. If it doesn’t, the translator has
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Read books, blogs, newspapers, magazines, style guides, cereal packets, adverts, and of course dictionaries in both your active and passive languages. A good translator will always have at hand a good translation dictionary because even the best of translators get stuck once in a while and need a boost of inspiration to get going.
Another characteristic of a good translator is that he must genuinely love to listen. He must listen to the radio, TV, family and friends, and even strangers on the street to hear how they speak, their nuances and the color of their language. A good translator must totally absorb the language he hopes to work in.
To totally absorb the language, a good translator must also learn to speak fluently in his passive language. It makes no sense to translate a book or a piece of writing word for word into another language. While the syntax may be correct, the spirit of the book will get lost in the translation if the translator does not have an emotional connection with the language. And to gain emotional connection with a language, you need to be able to speak the language
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