19 Ways: The Power of Translation




Translation, in of itself, is a form of art that not all can master easily. However, with patience and practice, translation can help create new and exciting pieces that readers can easily understand and enjoy. In the book, “19 Ways at Looking at Wang Wei”, the books features translated poems by the Chinese writer Wang Wei, written and translated by the author Eliot Weinberger. Through the handful of translated poems, you can read the notes that came about from Weinberger as to the process of translation, as well as his own personal thoughts on the piece. However, readers have become more knowledgeable, and more critical, of works in translation over the years.

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One thing that I learned from this book, is that not all translations can be exactly the same, or even perfect, as some might wish. With the construction of language barriers, as well as the idea that some words and phrases can not be translated to another language easily, some steps and choice at forced to be made in order to bring the translated piece to its full potential. Never the less, I believe that translation is a way that all can enjoy a piece, either by the original authors initial structure, or by a translators interpretation that they write to the best of their ability. As long as the same meaning and similar view is expressed in the translated version, why make a fuss?


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