Friday, February 15, 2008

The translation of Aesop's Fables

Aesop's fables have been so frequently published that it is widely assumed that in Europe only the Bible has more editions.

The Chronicle Review has a very interesting article (No Children's Tale: Aesop's translators have had varied agendas) on the varied history of the translation of Aesop's Fables, and of how they have changed with the times and with the different intentions of the various translators.

Today we assume that translators always work from the original text. It was not always so, hence (for example) the translations of Russian authors into Italian that were actually translations of the French translations. Even so, it is startling to read that

Caxton's translation is an English translation of a French translation of a Latin translation prepared by a German in 1476.

That German, at last, presumably translated from the Greek.

A very interesting article, well worth reading.


  1. Thanks for the link! An interesting read.

  2. There is a complete collection of Aesop Fables with text and narration on the same page at:


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