We have just celebrated a weekend filled with literature and roses to mark the Day of the Book. A day to promote reading by sharing and recommending books, many of which are translations, to our friends and family.
Saint George's Day, when we pay homage to two of the greatest authors in the history of literature, Cervantes and Shakespeare, is celebrated in cities in Europe, America, Asia and Africa, but it is especially famous in Barcelona, when the city's streets are filled with books and roses to celebrate Saint George's Day (Diada de Sant Jordi). To mark the day, associations, institutions, libraries, writers and illustrators from all over the world converge to sign their works, and to celebrate literature.
Newspapers and social networks echoed the news of the celebrations in Barcelona, and published lists of recommended reading for 2017. It is important to remember that among the literature that forms part of our daily lives and, specifically, last weekend, countless works are translations from the original.
The complexity of literary translation
All translations require excellent knowledge of the source language as well as the target language. The literary translation of novels, short stories, plays and poetry, etc., is one of the most complex types of translations. It requires specialist skills, sensitivity and a deep understanding of culture, as literary works are usually full of references to the culture of the source language. A translator must also be able to reproduce the same emotional effect of the source text in the reader of the target language, and must be able to capture the original essence of the work.
And what about you? What book did you share on Saint George's Day?