What happens when our favorite novels are translated into another language? What happens when literature unknown to us is translated from another language into English? Does it lose something, or is it easily transferrable? That's a question that was posed when I came across Smartling, a translation software company.
Smartling does the translation but we do the reading. I can't say I've read a lot of novels that were originally in a language I don't speak and then translated into English--but, I wonder if some things get lost in translation. I've often spoken to people that speak other languages, and they have quotes and things that usually only make sense in their original language. It makes me wonder does that happen in books? When it's translated will I no longer understand the parts that I should?
Have any of you read novels that were in languages you don't speak but then translated into one you do? Was it hard to understand, did it seem like something was missing? What do you think is most important in keeping the consistency between the languages?
How important is translation in novels? Is it important that books like classics are translated into additional languages? I, for one really love when a novel I'm reading in English includes, tid bits of the language of it's characters, be it Spanish, Chinese whatever the character speaks. But if it's not explained I sometimes don't understand, and lose something in the reading. Has this happened to you?
I would love to hear what you guys think about this!