Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bookpresentations I

During the week around Unesco's World Poetry Day, March 21 world internet books will be presenting several books and turn a day into more than a week. The first author to be presented is Job Degenaar, Dutch poet with a trilingual book Ich bin-I am on March 17, at salon12b. Producer of the book is Fred Schywek, also responsible or the German translation and Annmarie Sauer translated the Dutch original in English and kept Translation notes by Ich bin - I am

The first Korrekturlesen/proofreading  of some poems by Job Degenaar in their German version and some in English was on February 25, 2011. The concept was to publish a trilingual book by Job Degenaar: Ich bin. It is interesting to reflect upon the different 'poetry cultures' in the three language areas involved. The reading of the Dutch poetry is usually sober, straightforward- unless the poet considers himself a performance artist. In that case all is possible. In Germany, a poetry lover expects to understand what is read. Readers and listeners differentiate between silent (stille Gedichte) and loud poetry, (laute Gedichte). The silent poetry gains by being read, the loud poetry by being heard. This is an element to consider in the translation of poetry into German. A repetition, an extra word might be needed to turn the translation into a good poem in the target language. In my feeling about the English version, it might be actually the other way around. The English translation might well be a touch shorter, compacter... I enjoyed this first tri-lingual reading. 
Achtung Hochspannung is the title of a poem in Dutch with German quotes in the text. This constitutes no problem in Dutch since both languages are rather close relatives. Translating such a poem into English is however not as straightforward as it may seem. American and British readers would probably not understand the German quote Abfall ist unser Fall or even the title of the poem. The Dutch poet however choose to introduce this foreign element in his poetry, albeit in a gentle way. In English I would not want to loose the exotic element, yet it would be far harsher if I just kept the German without mediating this for the reader. In  another poem Ich bin I have opted to place the English translation as kind of an echo of the German quotes, just next to each other. This kind of option disturbs slightly the visual of a poem when printed side by side and the choice to try to be loyalty to the verse. I am looking for an interesting, playful ways in problem solving, ways readers can enjoy. 

for further information:

1 comment:

  1. Nice post.The importance of a english translation being accurate and efficient can indeed not be overstated. Especially in the ever faster moving world of globalized business, successful information and technology transfer within multinational businesses can make the difference between win or lose