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Literary translation


Literary translation

Literary translation is a very rigorous specialty and one of the most important specialist categories of translation; it covers any type of document used in the literature world like novels, short stories, plays, poems and drama.

Literary texts are translated by specialized translators, who have an exclusive combination of translation expertise and artistic knowledge because translating literary works isn't an easy task.

It is much more that an art, because literary works contain specific ideals called the aesthetic and expressive ideals. Each literary genre possesses its particular translation problems, e.g.: A translator is translating the discourse of a drama. It is not to simply read and write. The translator needs to decide the appropriate language to the occasion and the relationships among characters.

Another example is short stories which are not simple to translate. The difficulty appears from the fact that formal and thematic concentration and unity should be carefully conserved through definite cohesive effects.

Poetry is also very difficult in translation. The dispute a literary translator faces when trying to reproduce the form, rhythm, meaning, and imagery of a poem in the target language.

The film industry employs literary translators to subtitle films intended for foreign audiences.

In conclusion, a literary translator needs to have a very good knowledge of two or more languages and cultures. Experience in literature and talent for creative writing are also important skills for a good literary translator.