Wednesday, January 11, 2017


The Sole Test of a Translation

Herbert Read, review of the Fowler brothers' translation of Lucian, New Age (November 3, 1921):
The translation is so perfect that one is never aware that it is a translation: it reads like the work of an original genius—which, assuming a sufficient accuracy, is the sole test of a translation.
I owe the quotation to Jenny McMorris, The Warden of English: The Life of H.W. Fowler (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001; rpt. 2002), p. 56, with note on p. 221.

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