Wednesday, September 12, 2007

How Jules Verne Got Butchered in (European) English

Adam Roberts of Guardian Unlimited talks about how he was shocked that Jules Verne wasn't translated accurately:
But when I checked the 1877 translation against the original my heart sank. It was garbage. On almost every page the English translator, whoever he, or she, was (their name is not recorded), collapsed Verne's actual dialogue into a condensed summary, missed out sentences or whole paragraphs. She or he messed up the technical aspects of the book. She or he was evidently much more anti-Semitic than Verne, and tended to translate what were in the original fairly neutral phrases such as "...said Isaac Hakkabut" with idioms such as "...said the repulsive old Jew." And at one point in the novel she or he simply omitted an entire chapter (number 30) - quite a long one, too - presumably because she or he wasn't interested in, or couldn't be bothered to, turn it into English.

1 comment:

Merric said...

I've got two translations of The Three Musketeers. It's great fun looking at the differences - entire scenes get removed, and some clumsy, clumsy sentence construction...