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30 Best Translation Quotes Every Translator Should Know

Translation Quotes

Translation is a process of converting a text from the source language to the target language. A great level of concentration and expertise goes into making the translated text flow smoothly as the original text. This work is taken up by a translator. His main role is to author a piece of writing.

Translation quotes are tools of inspiration used by translators on a daily basis. There are a few particular translation quotes mentioned in this blog that are really inspiring. Below are the 30 best translation quotes which I think each professional translator should be familiar with.

“Words travel worlds. Translators do the driving.”
– Anna Rusconi

“The original is unfaithful to the translation.”
– Jorge Luis Borges

“Every act of communication is a miracle of translation.”
― Ken Liu

“I just enjoy translating, it’s like opening one’s mouth and hearing someone else’s voice emerge.”
― Iris Murdoch

“Without translation, we would be living in provinces bordering on silence.”
– George Steiner

“A translator ought to endeavor not only to say what his author has said, but to say it as he has said it.”
– John Conington

“Without translation, I would be limited to the borders of my own country. The translator is my most important ally. He introduces me to the world.”
– Italo Calvino

“In translation language facility is not enough; blood and sweat are the secret.”
– Samuel Putnam

“Translation is not a matter of words only: it is a matter of making intelligible a whole culture.”
– Anthony Burgess

“The translation called good has original value as a work of art.”
– Benedetto Croce

“Translation is that which transforms everything so that nothing changes.”
– Günter Grass

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”
– Nelson Mandela

“Translation is an act of re creation.”
– Ken Liu

“Writers make national literature, while translators make universal literature.”
– José Saramago

“Translators are the shadow heroes of literature, the often forgotten instruments that make it possible for different cultures to talk to one another, who have enabled us to understand that we all, from every part of the world, live in one world.”
– Paul Auster

“Translation is that which transforms everything so that nothing changes.”
– Grass Günter

“God employs several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice.”
– John Donne

“A great age of literature is perhaps always a great age of translations.”
– Ezra Pound

. “Translators never come to rest; they are constantly in two places at the same time by building associations that carry the foreign into the known of their own language.”
– Rainer Schulte

“Through the act of translation we break out of linguistic confinement and reach many other communities.”
– Ngugi wa Thiong’o

“Translation is at best an echo.”
– George Borrow

“Translation is a two-edged instrument: it has the special purpose of demonstrating the learner’s knowledge of the foreign language, either as a form of control or to exercise his intelligence in order to develop his competence.”
– Peter Newmark

“Translation is the circulatory system of the world’s literatures.”
– Susan Sontag

“What is lost in the good or excellent translation is precisely the best.”
– Karl Wilhelm

“The translation called good has original value as a work of art.”
– B. Croce

“The two dangers are over translation and under translation.”
– J. Thomson

“Translation is a mode of self-expression; it springs from a desire to instruct and to enrich literature.”
– B. Anderton

“Translation does not usually create great works; but it often helps great works to be created.”
– G. Highet

“The literature of the world has exerted its power by being translated.”
– Mark Van Doren

“I want my words to survive translation.”
– Kazuo Ishiguro

Do you have any other translation quotes that are inspiring? If yes, then please share them in the comments below!

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