Kinneret Zmora-Bitan Dvir considering LOTR translation reissue

Well, this has been a long time coming.

On the KZBD blog (in Hebrew), the publisher reports it is it is considering publishing a new edition of the first LOTR Hebrew translation, done by Ruth Livnit, to exist side by side with the current translation. This by request of the Israeli Tolkien Society.

While the blogs reports is clearly biased in favor of the new translation (officially, an edited version of the original translation), the public announcement is a very good sign. The original translation was the one I read as a child, and while it is certainly not perfect (some thing the Tolkien Society readily admits), it does a far better job of conveying Tolkien's language than Emanuel Lottem's edited version does.

As a translator, I expect translation editors to respect my decisions, and to make changes only when they are truly needed. As a translation editor, this is what I try to do. I feel that Dr. Lottem, Israel's premier SF translator, and the man responsible for the brilliant Hebrew translation of Dune, did not do this when editing Livnit's translation of LOTR. The result was a translation that, while correcting many actual errors in the text, is poorer than the first translation.

I no longer have my copies of the original translation. Being a proselytizer for books, rather than a collector, I probably lent them to someone, and never got them back. I am very happy about possibly having the option of buying new ones.

3 תגובות על ״Kinneret Zmora-Bitan Dvir considering LOTR translation reissue״

  1. You mispelt Tolkien in the link text, but not in the link. Also, you've got something on your chin.
    Made you look.
    I found the language on Kinnblog very diplomatic, but the whole post is odd. Is this an official announcement from the publisher, this blog post? It cited no other source for the story (it only linked to the Tolkien society page), no press release or anything.
    I wonder if this news item will make it to the literary press, or if it's just a post because the primary audience for this announcement is an online community?
    – Dotan

  2. Oh, it's definitely an announcement. The blog is the publisher's newssite. I'm sure they also put out a press release about it.

    Of course, they're only announcing that they're CONSIDERING it. They'll probably use responses on the blog to help them gauge public response

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