August 23rd, 2005

on books and translations

I love reading. I love books.
I've learned how to read when I was four. I skipped all the 'Dog with a Ball' books, mostly because when I was little there was not a lot of them in bookshops, time of comunism and depression and whatnot... But my parents loved books too, and I remember them sitting after dinner, each in their own armchair, each with their own book.
I wanted to read too.
So they taught me letters and words and I started reading whatever was on the shelves in our home, which means that the first book I've ever read was Hobbit.
Which probably explains a lot about me and my mental diseases, as the first film I've ever watched was Star Wars, screw the cartoons.
I was reading everything that I could find, from newspapers to Kafka. And even though I didn't understand, like, 90% of what I was reading, I was reading it.
Then, in second grade of high school (which was... 4 years ago?) my teacher wanted to fail me in English. No, really. She said I can't speak, can't write, and my grammar is awful. Which was kind of true.
But I decided to prove her I can do this. I can learn English. And I did, and somehow during that I've fallen in love with English.
Mostly because I was learning by reading books. First with a book in one hand, dictionary in the other, translating every second word. Reading Pride and Prejudice this way was... interesting.
Then, slowly, without the dictionary, but with more and more enthusiasm.
Now I don't read books in Polish if I can only avoid it.
Why? Because when I read a book in Polish, one that was translated from English, I can tell how it was written in original. And I can tell where the translator fucked up.
Not every one is bad. I love translations by Piotr W. Cholewa (he translates most of the Discworld books). I love, love, love Barańczak's translations of poetry. I can tolerate some other translators.
But when someone changes the names without reason? When someone translates idioms word by word, even though their equivalent in Polish is absolutely different? (like, the Butterfly thing. You know, when you are nervous, or excited, or whatnot, and you feel butterflies inside? There's no such thing in Polish. When someone reads that a main character had butterflies in her stomach he starts to think she stood with her mouth open for too long and something flew in.)
But the thing I hate most is inconsistency.
You can see that in a longer series, where books are translated by different people. One of the most annoying examples is Star Wars series.
There is a ship. It's called Errant Venture in original. In Polish, it's translated correctly. I rejoyce. Then, next book, a ship appears, and it's called (in Polish) Errant Knight. I go 'wtf what ship is that?'. It's Errant Venture alright, just renamed by the translator. Then, next book, the ship is back, with a completely different name.
So, is it that strange that when I go to a bookshop with intent to buy a book, I always check who translated it?
And sometimes, when it's someone whose translations I really, really hate, I don't buy it, even if I really wanted to read this book?
Is it so strange that I spend twice the money I would pay for Polish translation on the books in English?
I don't think it is.

On related news. They published 'Isard's Revenge' in Poland finally. It's the only X-wing book I hadn't read (though I've read Starfighters of Adumar only once :/ ), so I'm pretty much excited. I don't know the translator, though, so I'm pretty scared, too. Let's hope he's one of the good ones... But! New dose of Wedge!
Also, related. GIP! *points at her icon* Coolness, ain't it? Heee!

(no subject)

Mostly because nastey is a biatch...

She keeps on posting Emmy/Clive manips and icons and squees and whatnot.
So I made this.

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You, evil incarnate, you.
I hope you at least like it a little.

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I fell in love with this photoshoot and had to make wallpaper.
Thought that maybe someone would be interested.


I know it's like umpty-umpth update today, but I had to share this.

Picture this. Noelia sits in her room, reads fanfics in peace and listens to her dearest iPod when suddenly there is a bloodcurling scream, evil laugh and 'Serves you right, Mothefucker!' coming from the other room.

You see. My Mom watches Football. (Soccer, for those of you who happen to be Americans, which means most of you and I should have just say soccer at the beginning but I will call it football, damn it.)

It continues. I had no idea my Mom knew such words. Really. She goes from a totally normal 'Holy Mother of God!' to words I use only when I write really naughty, filthy, sick porn. Which means in every second fic, but that's beyond the point, because I write them in English and That's Okay Because It's Called Language Freedom (my prof told us that when speaking foreign language we are more likely to swear or/and voice controverial opinions. But whatever).

Things she wants Our Players to do to the Other Players are... well... technically impossible, methinks. And I should know, because I do read fanfics and everything I've learned about life comes from there. And texts on buttons I buy to attach to my bag.

She begins to scare me.

And next time she tells me I'm insane because I yell at the small people on screen to finally get the fuck over it and fuck each other (especially when it's like, Jack and Daniel, or other two guys...) I'll... well, shut up, obviously. Because she's freakin' scary, that is.

Yet, hope remains.

We are related. I will be freaking out my own kids someday.

If I ever decide to have kids, which is unlikely, because that 'educational movie' entitled 'the Miracle of Life coughbullshitcough' they shown us in high school scared me for life and traumatised to the bone and I'll never, ever, have kids.
It took me like, two years, to stop being freaked out by sex after that.

Yeah. That would be all.