Schwartz sobre tradução literária

13 11 2007

Artigo do tradutor Ros Schwartz sobre tradução literária. Muita coisa que a gente já sabe: uma tradução é uma leitura do texto original e a idéia de transparéncia em tradução é utopia.

Literary translation is about endless choices, weighing up whether to privilege meaning over music, rhythm over rules of grammar, the spirit rather than the letter of the text. The translator is simultaneously reader and writer.

Ele enxerga o trabalho traduzido como uma criação em separado.

In my view, it is important to recognise that a translated work is a separate creation, and that to serve our authors well we must produce a translation that reflects the spirit and intentions of the original while having its own distinctive and coherent “voice.” It should evoke a similar response in the reader to that of the reader of the original work, although the means of achieving this may be different. Especially when it comes to poetry.

O que é uma boa tradução? Segundo ele, não dá pra avaliar se não se sabe a língua original. E como a maioria das discussões críticas não faz referência à qualidade da tradução, de repente a conversa pode estar toda centrada num livro completamente diferente do original.

E na tentativa de fazer uma tradução “redondinha”, o tradutor distorce o texto:

Often, what is termed a “good” translation is one that reads like a piece of seamless English. A “bad” translation is somehow bumpy, or difficult. There’s a fine line between making foreign authors accessible to English-speaking readers and making them sound like English writers. Their rhythms and patterns, their “foreignness” is what makes them interesting. Salman Rushdie wrote: “To unlock a culture you need to understand its untranslatable words,” and that is why he uses a lot of Urdu words in his novels. Publishers and copy-editors do not always agree, and sometimes try to pressure the translator into bowing to what they think readers can cope with and ironing out all the “foreignness.” But if we flatten the text to keep the copy-editor happy, we are, in a way, “colonising” the writer. And this is an ethical problem for translators which calls for vigilance.

I believe translators need to be more explicit about what they do, even writing a foreword or an afterword, to let the reader know how their intervention influences the text. This goes against the grain here in the UK, where one of the great publishing myths is that the public is reluctant to buy foreign authors so it is better not to draw their attention to the fact that a work is a translation.

Eu acho que isso está mudando um pouco. Principalmente com as novas traduções a clássicos como Don Quixote e Guerra e Paz.

E ele conclui com uma citação de Nicholas de Lange, fazendo outra comparação entre música e literatura:

People don’t say that there’s a right way or a wrong way to perform a Tchaikovsky symphony. There may be unsuccessful versions of it, but on the whole the good orchestras produce good but totally distinctive renderings. Every soloist performs in a particular, personal way, and that performance is signed by the performer. People will go to a record shop ask for a recording by a specific artist . . . I wonder if there’ll ever be a day when customers go into a bookshop and say they’d like something translated by a particular translator. That responsibility of the performing musician is analogous to the way I see the responsibility of the translator. The translator is giving a personal interpretation, a personal rendition. The text as it exists on the page in the original language is like a musical score, and it’s like the musical score also because it’s locked up, because the English readers don’t have access to it, just as only the few people that can actually read music and hear it in their heads can read the score. It needs to be performed. So it’s there in a potential, and the performance is going to be totally unique and distinctive.

Mas ainda vai levar algum tempo pra que virtuosos da tradução para o português sejam contratados para tais performances. E não é porque não há virtuosos. É que eles precisam comer.


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