by | Dec 18, 2020 | Blog, Facts & Quotes, Translations

The title says it all really…

Here, we have compiled a list of 17 inspirational quotes about translation in order to help you get through these unprecedented times. (Note: Initially, we set out to accumulate just 10 quotes, but there was just so much positivity that we thought, ‘well, why stop at 10?’.)

“Words travel worlds. Translators do the driving.” – Anna Rusconi

“Without translation, we would be living in provinces bordering on silence.” George Steiner

“A translator is a reader, an interpreter and a creator all in one.” – Bijay Kumar Das

“Language is a process of free creation; its laws and principles are fixed, but the manner in which the principles of generation are used is free and infinitely varied.”— Noam Chomsky

“There is no such thing as a perfect, ideal or ‘correct’ translation. A translator is always trying to extend his knowledge and improve his means of expression; he is always pursuing facts and words.” – Peter Newmark

“A translator ought to endeavor not only to say what his author has said, but to say it as he has said it.”— John Conington

“Translation is a journey over a sea from one shore to the other. Sometimes I think of myself as a smuggler: I cross the frontier of language with my booty of words, ideas, images and metaphors.” – Amara Lakhous

“The best thing on translation was said by Cervantes: translation is the other side of a tapestry.”— Leonardo Sciascia

“The original is unfaithful to the translation.”— Jorge Luis Borges

“Without translation, I would be limited to the borders of my own country. The translator is my most important ally. He introduces me to the world.”— Italo Calvino

“Even the simplest word can never be rendered with its exact equivalent into another language.”— Kimon Friar

“In translation language facility is not enough; blood and sweat are the secret.”— Samuel Putnam

“Translation is not a matter of words only: it is a matter of making intelligible a whole culture.”— Anthony Burgess

“Translation is that which transforms everything so that nothing changes”— Günter Grass

“A major difficulty in translation is that a word in one language seldom has a precise equivalent in another one.”— Arthur Schopenhauer

“Translators have to prove to themselves as to others that they are in control of what they do; that they do not just translate well because they have a “flair” for translation, but rather because, like other professionals, they have made a conscious effort to understand various aspects of their work.”— Mona Baker

And finally,

“Translators are the shadow heroes of literature, the often forgotten instruments that make it possible for different cultures to talk to one another, who have enabled us all to understand that we all, from every part of the world, live in one world.” – Paul Auster

So, there you have it, 17 inspirational quotes about translation that will be able to lift your spirits anyday. Do you have any other quotes that you can add to our list?

Feeling insightful? Why don’t you go ahead and read a previous blog post to find out 10 Interest Facts About “Translation”.