Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Principles of translation

It is now pretty generally agreed, that translating the writings of the ancients is, if not the sole, at least the plainest, the shortest, and the surest means of becoming well acquainted with them and their language. It is also agreed, that a translation ought exactly to express the original; that it should neither be too free nor to servile; that it should neither deviate into long circumlocutions, which weaken the ideas, nor adhere to strictly to the letter, which debases the sentiment.

(M. Batteux, Principles of Translation, Edimburgh, 1760 - Originally written in French)

This is from a small digitized book you can download for free from Google books.

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