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Is it a bad idea to read two different version (translations) of a novel?

14 Answers

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  • Cousin
    Lv 6
    9 months ago

    No it is never a bad idea to expand your mind. An intellect is not such a delicate instrument that it shatters when challenged. Dare to know.

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  • chorle
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    No like reading different translations and versions of the Bible you might get more insight because they could have been translated at different times and/or on might be more poetic and the other more modern or one closer to word to word translation and the other thought to thought translation,

    One of my favorites is how Geoffrey Chaucer's work had to be translated into English well modern English.

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  • 9 months ago

    Personally I would not read two translations because they should be the same.

    • bluebellbkk
      Lv 7
      9 months agoReport

      It is most unlikely, in fact I'd say impossible, that any two translations of a novel would or even COULD be 'the same'.

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  • Tina
    Lv 7
    10 months ago

    Why on earth not?

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  • 10 months ago

    oh yes

    oh yes

    oh yes

    24/7

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  • 10 months ago

    On the contrary. The more translations you read, the closer your understanding is likely to be of the author's intention.

    Say one translator describes a character as 'meek' and another uses 'modest' and another uses 'unobtrusive' - after reading all three, you would have a clearer idea of what the character was like, than if you had read only ONE of these adjectives.

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  • 10 months ago

    No. Why would it be bad.

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  • Cogito
    Lv 7
    10 months ago

    No - why would it be bad?

    When I was at college I read a translated version of La Peste by Albert Camus, and it was awful! It was very literally translated, with no regard paid to the emotions, feelings, nuances, or imagery.

    I found another translation some time later which was excellent and translated with a real understanding of the original.

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  • Mark
    Lv 5
    10 months ago

    Both at the same time might be a bit odd.

    Sometimes, a new translation will 'get' the original author's intent, much better. Depending on the skill of the writer/journalist or whomever is doing the translation. For instance, playwright Michael Frayn's translations of Chekhov's work is astounding.

    Also, one might like reading a novel in English, then say, Spanish - and prefer the latter.

    • Lv 4
      10 months agoReport

      good point; also, depends on reason(s) for doing so: if the reading is for entertainment, then hopefully both versions are entertaining; if intention is to read as close as possible original, then maybe try the most accurate one, etc

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  • Anonymous
    10 months ago

    if your talking about the bible

    • Tina
      Lv 7
      10 months agoReport

      No. Caribou clearly said novel. The bible isn't a novel, you know.

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