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Literary Translation: A Practical Guide [Paperback]

Clifford E. Landers
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Sept. 28 2001 1853595195 978-1853595196
In this book, both beginning and experienced translators will find pragmatic techniques for dealing with problems of literary translation, whatever the original language. Certain challenges and certain themes recur in translation, whatever the language pair. This guide proposes to help the translator navigate through them. The book's hands-on approach should make it accessible to translators of any background. A significant portion of this "Practical Guide" is devoted to the question of how to go about finding an outlet for one's translations.

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Review

Mr Landers, a prize winning translator of many books, confidently answers questions instinctive to translators in a personal and friendly tone that puts the reader at ease. This book serves as an excellent guideline for successful maneuvering while quenching my passion for literary translation.Diane Teichman, inforMATIon, Issue 17, Summer 2008No book exists that takes such a practical and comprehensive approach to the myriad issues faced by translators of literature, and in sharing his wisdom in such an accessible way, with Literary Translation: A Practical Guide, Cliff Landers has, in his own charming, humble way, made an enormous contribution to our craft.Kirk Anderson, Welcome to TranslationZone.com!This book is a jewel, displaying in its facets: artistry, hard-headedness, patience, common-sense, courage and charm... His guide should have a long and useful life.Marilyn Gaddis Rose, ATA Chronicle, Vol. XXXI No 6It is an eminently practical (and accessible) guide to literary translation, and one which I am sure will prove invaluable to translators just starting out.Margaret Jull Costa, In Other Words, Autumn 2002What I find most valuable in this book is Landers' insight and knowledge gained from his years of experience as a prolific literary translator.Julie Huynh, Linguistlist 13.1821Landers' witty and accessible style makes the book a pleasure to read, and the humor that he injects into the discussion will coax occasional laughter from even the most serious readers.Donald Reindl, Linguistlist 13.904Written in an engaging, witty and accessible style, this practical guide provides a concise overview of techniques and tools for translating literary works for publication.... Best read from cover to cover, this book will interest professionals but will prove especially useful and instructive for beginning and prospective translators.K. Rosnek, Choice September 2002Here is a guide that defies its generic limitations thanks to the flair and panache of its author.Elzbieta Wojcik-Leese, Perspectives: Studies in Translatology Vol 11 No 3

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A useful, readable manual for translators April 16 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The author's purpose, he says in the preface, is to provide guidelines to "work our way through, to use a Borgesian metaphor, the seemingly infinite labyrinth of forking paths" (read choices) in doing a literary translation. Additionally, his is "a practical, not a theoretical guide. While I have no quarrel with theorists, in theory at least, this is a get-your-hands-dirty, wrestle-with-reality type of book." Its content speaks to Landers's success in achieving his goal. He sets the brisk, colloquial, and often irreverent tone on the opening page, where he reproduces his translation of a "Night Drive," a chilling vignette by the noted Brazilian writer Rubem Fonseca. From there he deals, often episodically, with questions of technique such as: Getting started, stages of translation, fluency and transparency, adaptation vs. translation, tone, register, and other topics beginning and more experienced translators need to know. There are also items not to be found in more conventional texts: A day in the life of a literary translation, the hijacked author, when not to translate cultural cues, fiction and footnotes, pornography or "pornography?", English before there was English, and my favorite, "stalking the treacherous typo." In the book's less exciting but necessary final section, "The Working Translator," Landers deals with more mundane matters-e.g., translator's tools such as dictionaries and reference books, taxes, setting a fee, workspaces, contracts, and copyright. Several typographical errors (one of the most amusing is Stewart Potter for Potter Stewart) will hopefully be corrected in a future edition, and an index would have been useful. Still, this is the most up-to-date and readable of any work aiming at the would-be literary translator.
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A useful, readable manual for translators April 16 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The author's purpose, he says in the preface, is to provide guidelines to "work our way through, to use a Borgesian metaphor, the seemingly infinite labyrinth of forking paths" (read choices) in doing a literary translation. Additionally, his is "a practical, not a theoretical guide. While I have no quarrel with theorists, in theory at least, this is a get-your-hands-dirty, wrestle-with-reality type of book." Its content speaks to Landers's success in achieving his goal. He sets the brisk, colloquial, and often irreverent tone on the opening page, where he reproduces his translation of a "Night Drive," a chilling vignette by the noted Brazilian writer Rubem Fonseca. From there he deals, often episodically, with questions of technique such as: Getting started, stages of translation, fluency and transparency, adaptation vs. translation, tone, register, and other topics beginning and more experienced translators need to know. There are also items not to be found in more conventional texts: A day in the life of a literary translation, the hijacked author, when not to translate cultural cues, fiction and footnotes, pornography or "pornography?", English before there was English, and my favorite, "stalking the treacherous typo." In the book's less exciting but necessary final section, "The Working Translator," Landers deals with more mundane matters-e.g., translator's tools such as dictionaries and reference books, taxes, setting a fee, workspaces, contracts, and copyright. Several typographical errors (one of the most amusing is Stewart Potter for Potter Stewart) will hopefully be corrected in a future edition, and an index would have been useful. Still, this is the most up-to-date and readable of any work aiming at the would-be literary translator.
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful, easy to follow, a good choice! Nov. 14 2013
By Laura Herrlein - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book deals with most of the topics a translator is interested in. It is abundant in examples, what makes it clear and straightforward. Very useful.
3.0 out of 5 stars IS OK April 1 2013
By Alejandra Ayala - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is more a guide for getting your works published than anything else, I was looking for something more hands on translation, but felt a but disappointing that this wasn't the case.
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you for writing this March 5 2013
By Jody - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm reading this book now, and I am just so grateful for it. I just finished translating a "self help" book for a publisher, and that project was fun and easy. The next book they assigned me to translate (from Hebrew to English) is a historical novel, and as soon as I read the first page I realized that translating it would be a different experience altogether. I started to do some research online to see if I could find tips on translating a novel. When I came across this book I immediately ordered the Kindle version, and I'm so glad I did. I'm not even half way through, but I am so enjoying it I wanted to come here and tell people. Lovely book and enjoyable read in its own right even if you don't want to translate literature! Okay, maybe that's just me, but I appreciate so much of what I've read so far, and it's already immeasurably helped me. I'll feel ready to start my new project armed with some sense of what it really means to translate literature. So thank you again.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just a practical guide. Not suitable for research. Nov. 15 2012
By H. Flores - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although it has some interesting insights about literary translation, the effort of compiling all that empirical research lacks the rigor of an academic research, which would have made it more interesting and much more useful!
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