Supplement to Cook's Voyage: A Translation of Jean Giraudoux' "Supplemént au voyage de Cook"
Sherwood, Bruce Moore
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My primary goal in translating Supplement au voyage de Cook was to achieve a comprehensible English version of the play, written in as smooth and idiomatic a style as I could manage. When I say English, I mean of course that brand of the language spoken 1n the United States. (an Englishman, I suspect, would object to my wording in several places). My intended audience is the American who knows little or nothing of French. Those who are capable of reading the original should do so, for no matter how talented a translator may be (I hold no pretensions in this regard, of course), he can never reproduce all aspects of a foreign work of l1terature. This is so because of the irreconcilable differences that exist between languages and cultures, and because literary expression espec1ally involves a choice of words and phrases which usually cannot even be approximated in another language. Indeed. I agree with Ciardi that "translation is . . . the wrong word for the process of rendering from one language to another. The idea of 'translation' seems to suggest that there exists 1n Language A some word that will equal any g1ven word in Language B, and that the translator need only find that equivalent word and put it in place, allowing of course for something called 'idiom.'
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