Dear reader: did you know that we also have a Spanish Facebook page? In keeping with our mission to break the English-centered flow of information, we’ve been commissioning translations into Spanish, among other languages.
Now, with our Latin American issue coming up in less than a month, we’re looking to increase our Spanish readership and we’d like to ask for your help. All it takes is a moment: help us by inviting your Spanish-speaking friends to follow us at Asymptote en español. We’ll promise to deliver even more Spanish content in return!
Adam Gopnik and Ann Goldstein ask whether it’s more important to translate accurately or to capture the spirit of an original text, how speaking and writing in another language changes us, and the reasons for the persistent belief that the subtleties of language often get lost in translation.
Recommended Viewing: What actually happens when a book gets translated? Publishing Trendsetter has an infographic of a translated book’s life cycle complete with interviews with a foreign rights agent and a translator.
Idiomatic Expressions - Ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente
Literally, ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente translates as “eyes that do not see, heart that does not feel”.
More loosely, it’s Spanish’s version of, “Out of sight, out of mind”.
Can I barge in uninvited? It’s actually quite close from the French expression; “Loin des yeux, loin du coeur” (literally “far from the eyes, far from the heart”).
I guess each language has an expression that means more or less the same thing, and I just love it. Is it possible to have other “translations” of the same idea in different languages?
The portuguese expression is quite close to the spanish version too: “o que os olhos não vêem o coração não sente” (literally ‘what the eyes don’t see, the heart doesn’t feel)
In German there is “Aus den Augen, aus dem Sinn.” (Out of sight and out of mind) and in Dutch there is “Uit het oog, uit het hart”
In Italian we have “Occhio non vede, cuore non duole”, that literally translates as: “Eye (that) does not see, heart (that) does not hurt”.
We also have “lontano dagli occhi, lontano dal cuore” if I’m not mistaken, which is exactly the same as the French version!
Latin: Quantum oculis, animo tam procul ibit amor. (Properzio) Love is as far from the soul as far from the eyes.
Another Italian one: Occhio non mira cuore sospira. Eyes don’t see heart sighs.
"When we learn to speak, we are learning to translate."
Happy birthday, Octavio Paz! b. 1914
On Translating “The Metamorphosis”
Susan Bernofsky shares the difficulties of translating Kafka’s celebrated novella: http://nyr.kr/1hXzjHd
Illustration by Hannah K. Lee
“The word ‘translation’ comes, etymologically, from the Latin for ‘bearing across’. Having been borne across the world, we are translated men.”
— Salman Rushdie, ”Imaginary Homelands” (via lifeinpoetry)