Happy Translators' Day everyone! I know there's a lot of complaining about this profession, but I always like to take the positive point of view. As a "gift" to translators, I've compiled a few translation quotes, but only optimistic or at least funny ones (left Umberto Eco out :-).
"Common European thought is the fruit of the immense toil of translators. Without translators, Europe would not exist; translators are more important than members of the European Parliament." Milan Kundera
"Say what we may of the inadequacy of translation, yet the work is and will always be one of the weightiest and worthiest undertakings in the general concerns of the world." J. W. Goethe
"Translation is not a matter of words only: it is a matter of making intelligible a whole culture." Anthony Burgess
"Translation quality assessment proceeds according to the lordly, completely unexplained, whimsy of 'It doesn’t sound right'". Peter Fawcett
"Translators live off the differences between languages, all the while working toward eliminating them."
(from Translating is an Art)
"The secret to becoming a good and insightful translator is to think, think, and think some more. Then research, analyze, read, and never ever lose your sense of humor." Pimpi Coggins
(from Translation Journal)
“The best translators slip into the glove of a text and then turn it inside out into another language, and the whole thing comes out looking like a brand-new glove again. I'm completely in awe of this skill, since I happen to be both bilingual and a writer, but nevertheless a lousy translator."Alma Guillermoprieto
"I hope to finish the book before I'm 90. It keeps you alive. The secret of being a translator is not to be in a hurry. Sometimes it takes hours to find a single word.” Dr. Leonard Rosenman
(from Think Exist)
"The translator's task is to create, in his or her own language, the same tensions appearing in the original. That's hard!" Manuel Puig
"By reason of weird translation, many such sets of instructions read like poems anyhow." Brian Ferneyhough
(from Brainy Quote)
To learn more about the International Translators' Day: