Top Translator Quotes

Browse top 44 famous quotes and sayings about Translator by most favorite authors.

Favorite Translator Quotes

1. "The revolt in Asia Minor was snugged out in 494, and the Athenians realized that they had acquired a dangerous enemy. Darius I's first attempt at invasion in 492 was abortive: a huge storm wrecked his fleet. In 491 the Persians demanded 'earth and water' --signs of submission--from the Aegean islands and mainland cities. Many submitted. Athens and Sparta not only stood firm but murdered the Persian ambassadors. The Athenians put them on trial and killed both the ambassadors and their translator for offenses against the Greek language; the Spartans simply thew them down a well."
Author: Alan Ryan
2. "Boys! Are they always this impossible? Do they always say cryptic, indecipherable things? (Noteto self: work with Liz to adapt her boy-to-English translator into a more mobile form—like maybe awatch or necklace.)"
Author: Ally Carter
3. "This is my gift to you, this story that is also a song, these words that are a part of Fokir. Such flaws as there are in my rendition of it I do not regret, for perhaps they will prevent me from fading from sight, as a good translator should. For once, I shall be glad if my imperfections render me visible."
Author: Amitav Ghosh
4. "(...) the translator of prose is the slave of the author and the translator of poetry is his rival."
Author: Andreï Makine
5. "You don't find strangers declaring themselves to you awkward?' But then she wouldn't, would she? People must fall in love with her hourly. She must keep a staff of translators to interpret the proposals of love and marriage.'It's easier to love a woman when you can't understand a word she's saying,' Roxane said."
Author: Ann Patchett
6. "And I always read the English translation and always have conversations with my translator, for example about the names. I always have to approve it."
Author: Cornelia Funke
7. "I joined a organisation called Wycliffe Bible Translators that had the objective of translating the Bible into all the languages of the world, and to do that you had to study linguistics, and so that was my initial exposure to linguistics."
Author: Daniel Everett
8. "The most basic barrier was language itself, very few Americans in Iraq whether soldiers or diplomats or news paper reporters could speak more than a few words of Arabic. A remarkable number of them didn't even have translators. That meant for many Iraqis the typical 19 year old army corporal from South Dakota was not a youthful innocent carrying Americas good will, he was a terrifying combination of firepower and ignorance."
Author: Dexter Filkins
9. "Intrinsic to the concept of a translator's fidelity to the effect and impact of the original is making the second version of the work as close to the first writer's intention as possible. A good translator's devotion to that goal is unwavering. But what never should be forgotten or overlooked is the obvious fact that what we read in a translation is the translator's writing. The inspiration is the original work, certainly, and thoughtful literary translators approach that work with great deference and respect, but the execution of the book in another language is the task of the translator, and that work should be judged and evaluated on its own terms. Still, most reviewers do not acknowledge the fact of translation except in the most perfunctory way, and a significant majority seem incapable of shedding light on the value of the translation or on how it reflects or illuminates the original."
Author: Edith Grossman
10. "There are few efforts more conducive to humility than that of the translator trying to communicate an incommunicable beauty. Yet, unless we do try, something unique and never surpassed will cease to exist except in the libraries of a few inquisitive book lovers."
Author: Edith Hamilton
11. "A translator, caught in the space between two tongues. Such people tend to come a little bit unglued from the task of trying to convey meaning from one code to the other. The transfer is never safe, the meaning changes in the channel — becomes tinted, adulterated, absurd, stronger."
Author: Elena Mauli Shapiro
12. "Music Doesn't Need Interpreters and Translators"
Author: Ellen J. Barrier
13. "Translators are like ninjas. If you notice them, they're no good."
Author: Etgar Keret
14. "Andrew Moraviscik, one of the best American scholars of Europe, points out that once you exclude translators and clerical workers, the European Commission employs 2.500 officials, "fewer than any moderately sized European city and less than 1 percent of the number employed by the French state alone". As for its undemocratic nature, any new law it wishes to pass needs more than 71 percent of the weighted national-government votes - "a larger proportion than the required to amend the American Constitution"."
Author: Fareed Zakaria
15. "When some years ago, knowing ten words of English and using them all wrong, I applied for a translator's job, my would-be employer (or would-be-not-employer) softly remarked: ‘I am afraid your English is somewhat unorthodox.' This translated into any continental language would mean: EMPLOYER (to the commissionaire): ‘Jean, kick this gentleman down the steps!"
Author: George Mikes
16. "He wonders again if the dead need translators; perhaps in a moment, in a simple twist of unbecoming, they know everything they need to know."
Author: Hilary Mantel
17. "It is natural for a translator to be prejudiced in favour of his adopted work. More impartial readers may not be so much struck with the beauties of this piece as I was. Yet I am not blind to my author's defects."
Author: Horace Walpole
18. "Without translation, I would be limited to the borders of my own country. The translator is my most important ally. He introduces me to the world."
Author: Italo Calvino
19. "I lowered my hands to try to save from disorder the arrangement of the tleaves and flowers; meanwhile, she was also dealing with the branches, leaning forward; and so it happened that at the very moment when one of my hands slipped in confusion between Madame Miyagi's kimono and her bare skin and found itself clasping a soft and warm breast, elongated in form, one of the lady's hands, from among the branches keiyaki [translator's note: in Europe called Caucasian elm], had reached my member and was holding it in a firm, frank grasp, drawing it from my garments as if she were performing the operation of stripping away leaves."
Author: Italo Calvino
20. "Eve talking to someone on her computer and having trouble with the language translator....."I have two like crimes. Your data and your input on Leclerk would be very helpful"Marie pursed her lips and humor danced in her eyes."It says you would like to have sex with me. I don't think that is correct""Oh, for Christ sake" Eve slammed a fist against the machine....."
Author: J.D. Robb
21. "We are all mediators, translators."
Author: Jacques Derrida
22. "He'd shot and beaten people because he couldn't talk to them.Violence was the only language nobody could understand. There were no translators."
Author: James Meek
23. "God employs several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice."
Author: John Donne
24. "The biggest markets for my books outside the UK are France and Italy, and those are the two countries where I also have the closest personal relationships with my translators - I don't know whether that's a coincidence, or if there's something to be learned from it."
Author: Jonathan Coe
25. "Nowadays we are fond of literal translations...That would have seemed a crime to translators in ages past...They wanted to prove that the vernacular was as capable of a great poem as the original."
Author: Jorge Luis Borges
26. "Judge: And what is your occupation in general?Brodsky: Poet, poet-translator.Judge: And who recognized you to be a poet? Who put you in the ranks of poet?Brodsky: No one. And who put me in the ranks of humanity?Judge: Did you study it?...How to be a poet? Did you attempt to finish an insitute of higher learning...where they prepare...teachBrodsky: I did not think that it is given to one by education.Judge: By what then?Brodsky: I think that it is from God."
Author: Joseph Brodsky
27. "I ran this through my "girl talk" translator and said, "I could eat him, if either of you'd like. Seems like it might be the easiest thing to do."-Bram to Nora & Pamela"
Author: Lia Habel
28. "I think the close work I do as a translator pays off in my writing - I'm always searching for multiple ways to say things."
Author: Lydia Davis
29. "The choices that bedevil the writer bedevil the translator ten times over."
Author: Margaret Atwood
30. "So much of translating, Gil once told me, takes place in an imaginary space where the writer and the translator come together. It is not necessary to sympathize with the writer, to agree with what he's written. But it is necessary to walk alongside and stay in step. It's harder, he says, when the other person has a bad limp or stops and starts all the time or moves erratically. It is hardest of all when the story comes from a place the translator himself can't go."
Author: Meg Rosoff
31. "I encourage the translators of my books to take as much license as they feel that they need. This is not quite the heroic gesture it might seem, because I've learned, from working with translators over the years, that the original novel is, in a way, a translation itself."
Author: Michael Cunningham
32. "When I was 16 years old, I assembled a 2.3 million electron volt beta particle accelerator. I went to Westinghouse, I got 400 pounds of translator steel, 22 miles of copper wire, and I assembled a 6-kilowatt, 2.3 million electron accelerator in the garage."
Author: Michio Kaku
33. "If I make a speech, I need a translator. But music does not need a translation. People understand me through the sound. That I think is very important. This is just one planet, like one family."
Author: Mstislav Rostropovich
34. "No one is charismatic. Someone becomes charismatic in history, socially. The question for me is once again the problem of humility. If the leader discovers that he is becoming charismatic not because of his or her qualities but because mainly he or she is being able to express the expectations of a great mass of people, then he or she is much more of a translator of the aspirations and dreams of the people, instead of being the creator of the dreams. In expressing the dreams, he or she is recreating these dreams. If he or she is humble, I think that the danger of power would diminish."
Author: Myles Horton
35. "Not everyone who knows how to write can be a writer. Not everyone who knows two languages can be a translator."
Author: Nataly Kelly
36. "Translation software is not making translators obsolete. Has medical diagnostic software made doctors obsolete?"
Author: Nataly Kelly
37. "Translators are the shadow heroes of literature."
Author: Paul Auster
38. "Changing words isn't so hard. Recognizing a particular sound, swapping it for another - that was easy even for your ancestors. Reading what happens in your head and the heads of all the beings around you, now that is difficult. Finding equivalents in one culture for the basic concepts of another - that is really difficult. I say the word vegetable and the translator tells you something like 'edible moss'. So, yes, it's a miracle, but it's a dangerous miracle. It makes you think you understand beasts and you never do. When it comes down to it, you can't even understand your own species."
Author: Peadar Ó Guilín
39. "What the translator - myself in particular - does is not comparable to what the Homeric performer was doing."
Author: Robert Fitzgerald
40. "The troll rumbled away in the direction of the coal store and his place in front of Billy was taken by a smartly dressed young lady with an air of authority. ‘Sir, I think the railway is going to need a translator. I know every language and dialect on the Disc.' Her voice was firm but there was a glint of excitement in her eyes as she looked at Iron Girder and the other engines in the compound and Billy knew she was hooked. He also knew that ‘translator' was not on his list of vacancies and sent her off to Sir Harry's office, while he returned to his search for shunters, tappers and other workers. And so the line moved on again. It seemed everybody wanted to be part of the railway."
Author: Terry Pratchett
41. "Zembla is a site devoted to the life and works of author, translator, and lepidopterist."
Author: Vladimir Nabokov
42. "To read is to translate, for no two persons' experiences are the same. A bad reader is like a bad translator: he interprets literally when he ought to paraphrase and paraphrases when he ought to interpret literally."
Author: W.H. Auden
43. "It is the task of the translator to release in his own language that pure language that is under the spell of another, to liberate the language imprisoned in a work in his re-creation of that work."
Author: Walter Benjamin
44. "Even a poor translator couldn't kill a style that moves with such narrative clarity."
Author: William Zinsser

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A man devoid of hope and conscious of being so has ceased to belong to the future."
Author: Albert Camus

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