21 February 2009
Translations and audience effect
At the Panrehiyong Forum Pangwika [Regional Language Forum] in Legazpi City, Philippines, last Thursday (19 February), teachers of Bicol University read a poem with each line written in or translated into three languages (Spanish, Filipino, and Bicolano). It was not clear to me (listening as a non-Bicolano) which were the original lines and which were the translations, but it was clear from the reading that the mood or tone of the lines changed with the language (of course, it could have been the three interpreters who were reading alternately). A thought: does a translation change the tone of a text? Translations are supposed to produce in the target-language audience the same effects they produce in the source-language or original audience, but perhaps they really don't.