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Experiences in Translation Hardcover – Dec 15 2000

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division; Canadian First edition (Dec 15 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802035337
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802035332
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 1.7 x 22.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 354 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,114,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"'Umberto Eco's Experiences in Translation is witty and engrossing, and it will inform and entertain readers who have ever wondered about the work that goes into transforming a text from a language they cannot read into one they can.' Jules Verdone, The Boston Globe 'This book is remarkably concise, yet rich, in its discussion of the enigma posed by translation. Eco has provided the reader with an informative and succinct discussion of translation. This work will help translators, literary specialists and scholars of comparative literature to understand the process of translation better.' Frank Nuessel, Journal of Literary Semantics" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

'Eco remarks at the outset that he doesn't offer a theoretical approach to translation, but a common sense approach ... Then he gives us enough theory to satisfy the most demanding readers.'

-Floyd Merrell, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Purdue University --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good start Jan. 17 2011
By Language Watcher - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For anyone interested in how literary translation works, this is an appropriate place to begin. Eco writes in a clear, almost spare manner, mixing general observations with actual examples from his own works. The Name of the Rose. his most famous novel, is cited from the standpoint of the challenges it represented for his various translators, and William Weaver, who rendered it into English, comes in for special kudos. Experiences in Translation is divided into two parts. The first, "Translating and Being Translated," is the more interesting and will appeal to both experienced and fledgling translators. The second, "Translation and Interpretation," deals with semiotics and seems aimed more at specialists. The book is based on a series of lectures Eco gave in 1998, but the insights are timeless. Recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars A must book for any true scholar or individual in Translation and Interpretation July 24 2013
By Dr. Arthur Frederick Ide - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Eco is at his finest here. I use the work to augment the study of his book The Name of the Rose (well done by Sean Connery in movie format that I also employ in my classes) and the supplemental work illustrating and refining points in that wonderful treasure of fact and fiction, from Eco's Postscript to the Name of the Rose, to the well-crafted volume The Key to The Name of the Rose: Including Translations of All Non-English Passages (Ann Arbor Paperbacks) by Hart, White and White (all available on Amazon). Eco, an Italian semiotician, essayist, philosopher, literary critic, and novelist, is one of the premier investigators, researchers, translators, interpreters and writers in western civilization.

As in The Name of the Rose, and in all of his stellar literary efforts, Eco combines semiotics in fiction, biblical analysis, medieval studies and literary theory to captivate audiences in all areas of intellectual adventure and craftsmanship. This unique book on the trials, tribulations and triumphs of translation (and interpretation) goes into the subtleness of meaning of translation and details how it is impossible for an verbatim (word-for-word) translation will fail and why a true translator needs more than a dictionary or computer. Interpretation comes when a translation is correct but not easily understood and defines a separate field in the world of understanding languages. This should be used regulary, not just confined to the bookshelf to await a later use, of every translator and interpreter. I wish I could raise my rating to ten stars.
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative & light read about translation March 3 2014
By Una Softic - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not a typical monograph about translation. It’s a very light read based on several Eco’s lectures. He shares his personal experience as a translator, as well as translated writer, showing a distinctive line between translating and writing professions. He advocates the utmost importance of delivering „proper“ translations, maintaing the intention and effect of the text.

This is a very good and easy read for anyone with the love for written word. It gives covers basic principles and challenges of literary translation.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply beautiful March 13 2007
By Stephen Wilkins - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Quality book, typical Eco. What's so difficult about translation? Isn't it really just a matter of synonymy between languages, or if not synonymy, then propositional content? Short answer: no.

For Eco fans, this is a must have book. Interested in language, translation, and interpretation? Clicky.
5.0 out of 5 stars To my students, a must read. March 14 2014
By aniswal abd ghani - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is a translation. In the original, the author talks about his work being translated and in translation. The book provides an insight into translation quality from an author's perspective for those who cannot read the original.