Spanish Translation Blog: Spanish Translation US » Blog Archive Beautiful Versus Faithful Translations

Beautiful Versus Faithful Translations

is like a woman. If is beautiful, it is not faithful. If it is faithful, it is most certainly not beautiful.”

—- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

The above is from Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, author of Babi Yar and known critic of the Soviet government. While this quotation is undeniably misogynistic, it does present an interesting point of view and reality of translations.

While generally on producing a translation  that is faithful to the original, what does one do when poetry, when portraying a feeling, a , is more important than meaning? How much creative freedom is granted to the ?

Poetry is so nuanced, so particular, that it could be likened to recreating a piano sonata on a bass drum. The result may be interesting and may have a certain style to it, but it will never produce the same feeling as the original.