The Beauty in Translation

This class really made me sit back and reflect on the definition of translation. Before this semester, I saw translation as taking a piece of literature in one language and simply translating each word to another language. I thought of the process as simple with no real work. It never occurred to me though that some words cannot be translated. I never considered that translation could be more than just words in different languages. The first book we read this semester opened my eyes to the real definition of translation. Reading each poem and then writing my own made me realize the importance of putting your own experiences into your translation.

Because certain words cannot be translated, it is impossible to truly state everything the original author was wanting to say. In those times, it is important to add your own experience of the literature piece and write what you got from it and what you felt it was trying to say. Obviously, it will not have the same effect, but that is what makes translation so beautiful. Every author adds their own unique twist to it and makes it beautiful in another way that the original author could not capture in their own language. Each language has its own personality and own words just like each author has their own way of writing.

This class taught me to appreciate the tedious work that goes into translating and truly changed my view of it completely. I now define translation as taking main elements from the original text and making it your own from your own experiences. Translation is sort of like literature classes. Every student reads the same novel, but when it comes to discussing the meaning behind each character and each symbol, everyone sees something different. Everyone processes information in their own way and each person adds a new perspective to the already amazing story. Discussions help other students understand the text in a different way and that brings a new element to the story. Translation does the same exact thing that literature discussions do and this class gave me the tools to comprehend that.


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