Why I haven't been posting…

First, there was this, which depressed the hell out of me. For non Hebrew readers, that's a link to a review of my translation of Childhood's End. A review which slams my work, and points to several errors that, well, are only errors if you can't do math, don't know how people get down canyons, and consider choices-you-would-have-made-differently to be errors .

Then there were this, this, this, this, this, and several comments in the talkback to the original review. All disagreeing with the slam. Which cheered me up.

I know one shouldn't comment on reviews. Reviewers should review, and translators should translate. And each should do the best job possible. But when one is slammed unfairly, remaining quiet is hard. And when a reviewer finishes a review in which she demonstrated a rather serious lack of understading of the text by offering to help "correct" it for the next edition… well.

So I'm breaking my silence here. I hope this will be my one and only post on the matter. If you read Hebrew, read my translation of CHILDHOOD'S END yourself and judge for yourselves.

We now return to your irregularly scheduled blogging about subjects other than the quality of my translations.

3 תגובות על ״Why I haven't been posting…״

  1. "Mule Train". Gah.
    The annoying thing is that on first read I didn't question her "fix", even though it made no sense in my mind. Only on seeing the comments did I understand what an idiotic error she made. The "voice of authority" effect, which probably compounds your distress.
    I assume she's relying on the old translation, not the English for these nits. Cigars and Torpedos, pah.

    Speaking of translations, my girlfriend is plowing through "Transformation", grumbling about the occassional Englishism as is her want ("sleep well, my prince" or something), but in general, unable to put it down.

  2. Bah on her!

    The problem with this working-as-a-translator thing is that after you've done it, there's a certain kind of person who *knows* they can do it better, and tell you about it in no uncertain terms, publicly if possible.

    I don't know why this is so, but I can assure you that it happens outside of literary translation, too. Lawyers are the worst offenders, in my experience. If the obejecting reader is your editor, the best policy is sometimes the on phrased, I think, by Heinlein: "editors like it better after they've pissed in it, a bit". If it's reviewers, like Ms. M., you're kinda stuck.

    The good news is that it affects sales very little (that's the purpose of the publishing game); the bad news is that the dyed-in-the-wool "I read it that way when I was a kid and that's the only way I'll accept it" take a long time to die off and are REALLY LOUD.

    Hang in there! I'm sure your translation is an improvement.

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