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The faster the book is translated, the more quality it eventually loses to the time

Date: 2018-03-28
Views: 22

“Without the wisdom of translators, thousands of readers like me, we are like the blind people in the world literature starry sky.” Recently, the 2016 Fu Lei Translation Award was presented by Tie Ning, Chairman of the Chinese Writers Association. Rapidly spread on the web and the network. I do not know when, people's impression of literary translation seems to have fixed forever in the last century, with the departure of Russian literary translator Cao Ying, Fu Lei, Yang Hao, Zhu Shenghao, Qian Chunyu, Liu Mingjiu... These earliest translators who brought a group of world literary classics to China and their translators' spirit and demeanor also seemed to be against us for a long time.

In the increasingly globalized world today, with the increasing level of foreign language proficiency of young people, why is it difficult to have a large number of excellent translations? This has become a real anxiety for the industry. A few days ago, the reporter had an exclusive interview with Jin Jufang, the newly-acquired Fu Lei Translation Award winner. From her conversation, a keyword "time" gradually surfaced.

To translate Balzac, you have to take the door to the Balzac Society

This year's Fu Lei Translation Award awarded the literature prize to Jin Jufang, the translator of “Thorn Tree”, in recognition of her breakthrough in the stylistic barrier and to restore the French new novel leader Claude in a spirit that is extremely faithful to the original text. Simon's indescribable language style. In the interview, Jin Jufang mentioned that the preparation for translation is very important. Older generations of translators have such a tradition. There were 559 people in "War and Peace." Mr. Cao Ying had done 559 small cards and wrote each person's name, identity, and personality traits until they actually entered the world of the novel. Mr. Fu Lei's translation also mentioned that the brewing process of translating a book is as long as a few months and as long as several years. It is not ready and it is not easy to write. Any translator who wishes to thoroughly improve the quality of any work must contact the foreign academic institutions. If it is a modern work, he must contact the original author. If you want to translate Balzac, you must go to the door of the French Balzac Society.

“A lot of excellent translations are starting with a small amount of preliminary preparations.” This is also the case with Jin Guofang’s translation of “Thorn Tree”. Since she had studied in France in the early years, the object of his doctoral dissertation was “The Locust Tree”. Author, Claude Simon, representative of the new French novel. In 2011, before deciding to return to China, Kim Jui-fang made a special trip to France's most famous literary and publishing institution, Gallima Publishing. He consulted the editor-in-chief of the "Seven Star Bookstore" on Simon's writing style and translation issues. She asked the old editor: "If you want to give a strange country a representative of the French new novel, which works should be cut in?" The old editor's advice to her is "Thorn Tree." After returning home, Kim Kwang-fang found this 386-page original in French. When she sat down at her desk and started translating her first sentence, it was the end of November 2011. At the time, she did not think how long she would struggle with the love and hate of “Thorn Tree”.

Translation books are not a business.

At the same time, the publishing community in China is constantly creating and refreshing the record of a work's translation time in pursuit of the synchronous publishing and publishing rhythm. The 700,000-word "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" was published from the English version to the Chinese version. It took only two months. It is reported that the time for listing the other language versions of the book must be several months or even a year longer than the Chinese version. Beckham's autobiography, "My Position," translated into English, and even caused a lot of media in the United Kingdom to question. The initial translation of the book took only one week, and there were as many as 12 translators. To find a few or even a dozen or so translators, translated in chapters and chapters, perhaps the best-selling book is still interpretable, but this rush to meet deadlines has now spread more and more to pure literary works and even academic books. In October each year, the Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded and the domestic publishing community immediately set off a wave of copyright rushes. After that, as usual, it was robbed and driven out. “Quick! Fast! Fast!” has become the key word for literary translation to outperform the market. Coetzee won the Nobel Prize in October 2003 and the Coetzee Novel Library has been listed six months later. Monroe, a female writer, won the Nobel Prize in October. At the Beijing Book Fair in January of the following year, several of his works have been published.

In the hurry of more and more translations, there are still people who can slow down and calm down. Kim Kwang-Fang spent more than two years before and after the first translation of “Thorn Tree”. “The whole process turned very slow and very difficult.” According to her, the biggest difficulty lies in the handling of sentences. “Croed Simon is used to writing long sentences, even connecting many short sentences into one long sentence, which is also very avant-garde. The translation of long sentences is considered to be the most difficult problem in literary translation.” Proust Classic Zhou Kexi, a translator and French literary translator of The Lost Time, once said that in order to sentence a long sentence, he would often be deficient, and he would sometimes have to ponder for days or even longer.

After the translation of “Robinia pseudoacacia”, the publishing house took another two years of work to revise and revise the book. Since the first draft of Jin Jufang was very close to the original, the publishing process was considered to be smooth. Nevertheless, the book was only published in April this year. Just published, it took 5 years from translation to publication. Similar to the "Robinia pseudoacacia," this year's Fu Lei Translation Award newcomer was awarded by Zhou Peiqiong, a young translator of the book "The Siberian Forest". The French translation of “In the Siberian Forest” is not the same as the “quick finished product”. Zhou Peiqiong, who lives in France, has spent several years working for it. "A good book is inexhaustible. A good translator is getting less and less. Translation books are not a business.

A foreign literary editor told the reporter that in the past, translations of old versions often saw the names of the editors behind the translator’s signature. However, nowadays, there are fewer and fewer words on the title page of the translation page, which are almost “extinct”. The reason is of course to reduce costs and shorten the publishing cycle. There are also some eager translators. Trustees buy traditional Chinese translations, and even after copying them with their own translations, they are given the names of new translations. This phenomenon is also common.

The faster the book is translated, the more quality it eventually loses to the time

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