Poetry is what gets lost in translation.

Woe to the makers of literal translations, who by rendering every word weaken the meaning! It is indeed by so doing that we can say the letter kills and the spirit gives life.

All language is but a poor translation.

Humor is the first gift to perish in a foreign language.

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I do not hesitate to read all good books in translations.

What is really best in any book is translatable -- any real insight or broad human sentiment.

As far as modern writing is concerned, it is rarely rewarding to translate it, although it might be easy. Translation is very much like copying paintings.

Translation image quote by Rene Magritte

If the dream is a translation of waking life, waking life is also a translation of the dream.

Translation is the art of failure.

For what is liberty but the unhampered translation of will into act?

The link between ideas and action is rarely direct.

There is almost always an intermediate step in which the idea is overcome. De Tocqueville points out that it is at times when passions start to govern human affairs that ideas are most obviously translated into political action. The translation of ideas into action is usually in the hands of people least likely to follow rational motives. Hence, it is that action is often the nemesis of ideas, and sometimes of the men who formulate them. One of the marks of the truly vigorous society is the ability to dispense with passion as a midwife of action the ability to pass directly from thought to action.

The original is unfaithful to the translation.

Prayer is translation. A man translates himself into a child asking for all there is in a language he has barely mastered.

God employs several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice.

Translation image quote by Anthony Burgess

Translation is not a matter of words only: it is a matter of making intelligible a whole culture.

Il n'est pas certain que tout soit incertain.

(Translation: It is not certain that everything is uncertain.)

We live in a world ruled by fictions of every kind -- mass merchandising, advertising, politics conducted as a branch of advertising, the instant translation of science and technology into popular imagery, the increasing blurring and intermingling of identities within the realm of consumer goods, the preempting of any free or original imaginative response to experience by the television screen. We live inside an enormous novel. For the writer in particular it is less and less necessary for him to invent the fictional content of his novel. The fiction is already there. The writer's task is to invent the reality.

What makes literature interesting is that it does not survive its translation.

The characters in a novel are made out of the sentences. That's what their substance is.

Dancing is the loftiest, the most moving, the most beautiful of the arts, because it is no mere translation or abstraction from life; it is life itself.

It skims in through the eye, and by means of the utterly delicate retina hurls shadows like insect legs inward for translation. Then an immense space opens up in silence and an endlessly fecund sub-universe the writer descends, and asks the reader to descend after him, not merely to gain instructions but also to experience delight, the delight of mind freed from matter and exultant in the strength it has stolen from matter.

Wherever a story comes from, whether it is a familiar myth or a private memory, the retelling exemplifies the making of a connection from one pattern to another: a potential translation in which narrative becomes parable and the once upon a time comes to stand for some renascent truth. This approach applies to all the incidents of everyday life: the phrase in the newspaper, the endearing or infuriating game of a toddler, the misunderstanding at the office. Our species thinks in metaphors and learns through stories.

The birth of thought in the depths of the spirit, the shaping and ordering of it into periods, the translation into signs, and above all the transference of it from one spirit to another, the communication that is, if only for an instant, the meeting of two beings, with the unforeseeable consequences that such a meeting always causes, is in fact a miracle; except that the moment one stops to think about it one can't even write a letter.

Any translation which intends to perform a transmitting function cannot transmit anything but information -- hence, something inessential. This is the hallmark of bad translations.

Nor ought a genius less than his that writ attempt translation.

The test of a given phrase would be: Is it worthy to be immortal? To make a beeline for something. That's worthy of being immortal and is immortal in English idiom. I guess I'll split is not going to be immortal and is excludable, therefore excluded.

To translate, one must have a style of his own, for otherwise the translation will have no rhythm or nuance, which come from the process of artistically thinking through and molding the sentences; they cannot be reconstituted by piecemeal imitation. The problem of translation is to retreat to a simpler tenor of one's own style and creatively adjust this to one's author.

There are few efforts more conducive to humility than that of the translator trying to communicate an incommunicable beauty. Yet, unless we do try, something unique and never surpassed will cease to exist except in the libraries of a few inquisitive book lovers.

Translation is entirely mysterious. Increasingly I have felt that the art of writing is itself translating, or more like translating than it is like anything else. What is the other text, the original? I have no answer. I suppose it is the source, the deep sea where ideas swim, and one catches them in nets of words and swings them shining into the boat... where in this metaphor they die and get canned and eaten in sandwiches.

Translation is the paradigm, the exemplar of all writing.

It is translation that demonstrates most vividly the yearning for transformation that underlies every act involving speech, that supremely human gift.

The best thing on translation was said by Cervantes: translation is the other side of a tapestry.

It were as wise to cast a violet into a crucible that you might discover the formal principle of its color and odor, as seek to transfuse from one language into another the creations of a poet. The plant must spring again from its seed, or it will bear no flower -- and this is the burthen of the curse of Babel.

I love the song 'El Rey.' And for years, I never knew what the song was totally about. It was something new for me. I'd never sung a song in Spanish before. Then I got the translation and saw what a really cool song it was.

Adventure comes with no guarantees or promises.

Risk and reward are conjoined twins—and that’s why my favorite piece of advice needs translation but no disclaimers: Fortes fortuna juvat. ‘Fortune favors the brave,’ the ancient Roman dramatist Terrence declared. In other words, there are many good reasons not to toss your life up in the air and see how it lands. Just don’t let fear be one of them.

I was always interested in French poetry sort of as a sideline to my own work, I was translating contemporary French poets. That kind of spilled out into translation as a way to earn money, pay for food and put bread on the table.

And after I started working for the Bureau, most of my translation duties included translations of documents and investigations that actually started way before 9/11.

And I always read the English translation and always have conversations with my translator, for example about the names. I always have to approve it.

The other thing that I started doing for myself was, I went through my diary of ideas that I keep and made sure that the translation of the comic to the movie was good.

For the version of this CD released in Japan, a translation of the English lyrics is included, but there are lots of places where meanings are lost in the process of translation.

The Japanese version comes with a translation, but that's different from the lyrics, so people could look things up and find a translation of their own if they're interested.

When you're looking that far out, you're giving people their place in the universe, it touches people. Science is often visual, so it doesn't need translation. It's like poetry, it touches you.

Translation is an interestingly different way to be involved both with poetry and with the language that I've found myself living in much of the time. I think the two feed each other.

Translation makes me look at how a poem is put together in a different way, without the personal investment of the poem I'm writing myself, but equally closely technically.

By reason of weird translation, many such sets of instructions read like poems anyhow.

I would love mainland Chinese to read my book.

There is a Chinese translation which I worked on myself, published in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Many copies have gone into China but it is still banned.

Fantastic writing in English is kind of disreputable, but fantastic writing in translation is the summit.

I did not have a very literary background.

I came to poetry from the sciences and mathematics, and also through an interest in Japanese and Chinese poetry in translation.

Pound's translation of Chinese poetry was maybe the most important thing I read.

Eliot a little bit later.

A real translation is transparent.

I read the Bible to myself; I'll take any translation, any edition, and read it aloud, just to hear the language, hear the rhythm, and remind myself how beautiful English is.

The language of all the interpretations, the translations, of the Judaic Bible and the Christian Bible, is musical, just wonderful. I read the Bible to myself; I'll take any translation, any edition, and read it aloud, just to hear the language, hear the rhythm, and remind myself how beautiful English is.

In the language of politics, there is only one translation for the phrase 'hope and change,' to wit: 'big, fat government.'

I write my novels in English first; then they are translated into Turkish by professional translators. Then I take their translation and rewrite. So basically, I write the same novel twice.

The US and the European Union needs to help in the translation of the demand for democracy into a political will.