Fifty Outstanding Translations

| 7/29/2008 10:38:41 AM

pretty booksThe Translators Association of the Society of Authors is 50 years old this year, and to mark its anniversary, the group has released a list of 50 outstanding translations—from the past 50 years, but of course. Are your favorites on the list?

Translating is a noble but complicated endeavor, as we’ve discussed in some recent posts, which is why I’m happy to partake of the organization’s expertise, in spite of its modest claim that the list is “a sampler… by no means definitive.”

Image by Kenny Louie, licensed under Creative Commons.



8/6/2008 9:37:12 PM

Unfortunately what I think of as one of finest modern translations fails to meet the requirements of this list in that it is 85 years old and is a translation FROM English to another language: Nabakov's translation of Alice in Wonderland into Russian. It maintains the spirit of Carroll's whimsy and love of language with a distinctly Russian flavor. Beyond that, there are many fine works on that list. Translation of literature is sadly too often taken for granted.