Saturday, March 22, 2008

Lost in Translation

One book I love is Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's Le Petit Prince. The beginning and the end are sheer beauty. I think part of the attraction for me is that, being a child's book, I can manage the French. I don't enjoy reading it in English in quite the same way, although I have to admit it's easier for me. There are parts where the translation just doesn't cut it. Take:
On ne voit bien qu'avec le coeur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.
Wikiquote offers a number of English translation but they all come up short.
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

one sees well only with the heart. The essential is invisible to the eyes.

The essential things in life are seen not with the eyes, but with the heart.

My preferred translation would be rather a loose one:
You can only really see with the heart. What matters most is hidden from the eye.


Post a Comment

The comments are the best part of this blog, so please do join in.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...