Friday, July 13, 2007

Fidelity

The following is a favorite quote of mine, from Robert Heinlein (Time Enough for Love):
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

Here is that same quote as it circulates in Spanish:
Un ser humano debería ser capaz de cambiar un pañal, planear una invasión, despiezar un cerdo, ensamblar una barca, diseñar un edificio, escribir un soneto, hacer un balance, levantar una pared, expresarse en otro idioma, remendar un hueso roto, confortar a un moribundo, obedecer órdenes, dar órdenes, cooperar, actuar en solitario, resolver ecuaciones, analizar un nuevo problema, esparcir estiercol, manejar un ordenador, cocinar una comida sabrosa, sufrir con entereza, luchar eficientemente. La especialización es para los insectos.

This latter version is quite consistent. If you find this quote in Spanish, this is the version you will find, and people faithfully copy it and pass it along, just like this. The interesting thing is that it is not an exact translation. The last two items are reversed: suffer (strongly/with fortitude), fight efficiently. Also, the translator either started with a different version of the English or put some words into the author's mouth: expresarse en otro idioma (express oneself in a different language) is absent from the English version in circulation.

2 Comments:

Blogger H.I.C.T. said...

.

¿Alguna vez has analizado las traducciones de las peliculas? Son en exceso frustrante...

Have you ever analyze the translation of the movies? They are analyze frustrating...

Moustique.

.

27 August, 2007 22:14  
Blogger H.I.C.T. said...

They are excessively frustrating...

Sorry :P

27 August, 2007 22:16  

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