Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Babel...

Every now and then I remember that Pride of Carthage lives out in the world in various translations. I get to wondering what people in those foreign countries think of it, so I go a looking online. Thing is, of course, I'm a typical American in that I don't speak any second language that well. I find pages and pages in Polish, Swedish, Italian, etc... but I can't read a word of it - other than my name as it pops up. What to do?

Babel Fish Translations! Or any of the many online translation machines out there. Figuring it's worth a try, I culled some chunks of review text in various languages and gave these linguistic machines a try. Here are a few examples of what I got for my efforts...

A chunk of text originally in Polish regarding Duma Kartaginy...

As we observe most slight details of (particularities of) events how (as) on great screens by microscope. And Rome, on fields Kannów and Zamy. Intimate contrast with this picturesque fresco, portraits to details (particularities) rich Hannibala and family, allies and enemies. We learn psychological portraits excellently zarysowane wodzów and slaves, priests and plunderers of corpses, beautiful (fine) women and vacant nobilów. We are witness of triumphs and disasters, determination and weakness, love and hate of people forming contemporary history.

Okay, now that I recognize as a bit of jacket copy. Not exactly a review. Makes me wonder, though, if the original Polish really did put extra emphasis on the beautiful (fine!) women? Maybe they sexed it up a bit...

Okay, here's one that was originally in Swedish, regarding Hannibal Karthagos Stolthet...

Can I type that the book is good only in order to it might myself that nörda away to the library after maps over ancient Iberien? Both Antiquity's fabler and means time even riddarromaner was of course in highest degree note renown spirit and I requires that such a book that has something to learn out can is considered that "better” than it that provides purely nonsense. If I count with the interest that Durham's book arouses at me, I must acknowledge that it is really good.

Hmmm. I think there's a compliment in there, although my reading of that is that what he liked most about the book was that it sent him out the library to do some real research. I can live with that, I guess.

And from the Italian about Annibale...

Lofty. In premising that I have read it in language originates them English, I think that this text merits without doubt a place of first relief in Mount Olympus of contemporary historical novels... Nicholas Guild, Allan Massie, Gore Vidal (giuliano) I interlace brilliant of history parallels that ruotano around to that great condottiero that was Hannibal I fresco of the ancient world with palpitanti personages. Never banal, never retorico, always deep and winning. The novel makes from inspired contour the historical events that have contraddistinto the tragic one rivalita' between two piu' high power of the Mediterranean. One chicca for the lovers of the ancient history, absolutely not to lose. One reading for all.

Okay, this one had some lovely bits to sink my teeth into. Mount Olympus of contemporary historical novels? Nice! Makes me want to shout, "One reading for all!"

I mucked about for a bit longer and pulled up a lot of completely garbled stuff. I think it's fair to say we have a ways to go in perfecting computerized translations. That said, once Acacia starts appearing the around world I'll be back at the Babel Fish again, regardless. Sometimes, one does come across some gems. Like this one originally written on somebody's blog in Spanish...

The thing is that, approximately 3 months ago, I began to read a called book "Anibal, the pride of Carthage" of Anthony David Durham and like the afternoons them step a little put in blogs, and sharpening details of the guideline, cost much to finish to me reading it. Not because it was not entertained, but that but that nothing by lack of time. I must say that at the end of the book, you complete pages have a so enviciante rate, that those 100 or 200 pages, I could not loosen them. In fact a day was walking and I had to stop under a little tree to finish to me reading.

Awesome. I love that. Somewhere out there in the Spanish speaking world a guy had to sit down under a little tree to enjoy the final chapters of my book. As the author, what more could I ask for?

Or, was that translated right?...

Labels: , , ,

4 Comments:

Blogger Gabriele C. said...

palpitanti personages, lol - looks like poor Babel didn't know whether to translate that as trembling or vibrant. :)

I'm fluent in Swedish and have some Italian, so if you give me the links to those two, I can try and make sense of that Babylonian mess.

9:58 PM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Gabriele,

Thanks for the offer. Actually, though, I've gotten pretty comfortable with only knowing what's out there in Babel-speak. Too much information isn't always a good thing, so I'll stick to my fragmented understanding... And now that I've got it out of my system for a while I'll go do some work! (The things we find to do to procrastinate...)

2:01 AM  
Blogger Sorley said...

David
I loved the Babel stuff, had me laughing to myself. A happy distraction from my work. Must get back now - out later with Ben to see GB basketball team featuring Lual Deng of the Chicago Bulls. I too liked the idea of the Spanish guy under a tree - as you say what more could a writer really ask?
Sorley

5:17 AM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Hi Sorley,

Thanks for commenting here! While I said to Gabriele that I didn't mind getting the babel, I might ask both/either of you for some translations when I start getting German feedback about ACACIA. I won't be published there until Feb 2008, but I actually care quite a bit how the book does there. So I might be in touch on that...

I'm sure you know much more about American (and European) basketball than I do now. About all I know, actually, is that the US isn't the dominant force it once was. NBA is doing fine, of course, but the Dream Team is a thing of the pass, yes? Perhaps prophetic in regards to other things as well...

I hope you have a great time with the Johnston family reunion. Wish I - and the kids - could be there...

8:51 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home