I am afraid I am going to get all English Major on you guys today. I have to say that one of my favorite things about my current position as a Librarian are the research questions that I get to assist with every day. We often have a lot of trouble in the library when trying to find novels for bilingual patrons. Although there is a definite need in the library for novels that have been translated into different languages, due to budget constraints this rarely happens.This got me thinking about the value of literature, language and their working relationship. What resources are there for those who need things such as websites translated? As a research librarian, I clearly embarked on a journey to find answers to this question! I found many resources but was especially impressed by the translation software provided by Smartling. From what I can gather, based on the needs of the customer, Smartling uses human translation and the translation software platform so that the best quality and accuracy is provided. I am sure you all have experience using Google translate, and I am sure that you have found that sometimes their translation just doesn’t make sense. Smartling strives to preserve and carry over the original intent and purpose of the text, without losing anything in translation.
It is no question that much is lost in translation. Though we are provided with the gist of a story, it is not reaching to say that we miss the essence when missing out on reading in the original text. One of the greatest examples that I can think of is when looking back to my days working in a high school when my students would ask for “No Fear Shakespeare.” I have to be honest, this is a great resource as some really struggle with the language used in Shakespeare’s original works but the flow of the story is lost. We go from “For never was a story of more woe, than this of Juliet and her Romeo,” to something like, “there was never a story sadder than of Juliet and Romeo.” It doesn’t flow as well as the first one, it doesn’t rhyme, and is far from lyrical. Imagine then, what we miss when we have actual translations of classical literature.