Original vs Translated Literature | An Ideal Translation

Literature and language mean a lot to us. They are the way we communicate, a means of expressing our thoughts and feelings. What we cannot convey by words, we convey with our emotions. The most optimal way to experience a story in a different language would, of course, be to learn the language and read the original version. Unfortunately, there are way too many languages, and so little time, so we cannot master each one, bringing us back to the start—not being able to absorb and understand exactly what the author is trying to say.

Language plays a vital role in literature. We connect to the familiar words, the familiar language when we connect to the characters. Perhaps it’s just because we know it’s been altered, but somehow, translated works feel different and strange. They lose their natural vibe, in a way, as the words are shifted from tongue to tongue.

There is a lot to consider when we read a translated work: the prose has changed, the words might have lost their charm, the phrases might not mean the same thing as the original. In my opinion, these are some of the most important areas that translators need to focus on. If in one language, the phrase is “The sunlight danced off the window and the shadows created pools of darkness in the corner”, the translation should not be demoted  and reduced to “The sunlight glinted off the window and the shadows made spots in the corner”. There is something beautiful in imagery, and that should definitely be kept untouched.

When I’m reading a translated piece of literature, I always wonder if everything is accurate. The plot is the same, and so are the events in the story, but maybe there’s a feeling that the author wants to express, or a thought he/she wants to illustrate? What if I dislike the book because I can’t connect with the characters—maybe the original work had more depth to it, more feeling?

In short, to be an (almost) accurate piece, a translation should be able to retain the same vibe, properly convey the author’s message to the readers, and perfectly depict the beautiful imagery. I understand that all languages are not the same, and have very different vocabulary and ideas, but an ideal translation should be at its best, and as close to the true one as possible.

Smartling, a type of language translation website, offers this to the world. It’s a great option for those of us who don’t have the time to master a foreign language and wade in its rough waters. Easy access to different worlds and new ideas is possible.


My Dangerously Bad Reading Habits

I have mentioned before some of my bad habits as a reader. I realize now that I have many more of these. Do you have these habits too? We’ll see.

1. Judging a book by its cover. Very, very common reading mistake. I know in my heart that a book with a boring cover could be just as fun as a book with a pretty cover, but my brain thinks otherwise. It’s hard to defy your brain, you know.

2. Reading too many books at the same time. This is dangerous. As a result of this habit, Rebel by Amy Tintera and Matched by Ally Condie are on hold right now. I am in the middle of them both but can’t continue because I keep finding more books to read and start them as soon as I can get my hands on them. Which, if I try, is pretty fast.

3. Skimming over some sentences that I don’t understand. I tend to do this sometimes when I try a new author, which I do a lot. All authors have a different way of writing and it’s confusing when you can’t understand what they mean. I also tend to skim over parts that I don’t have interest in- politics, boring character talking, etc. I try not to, but it’s a habit.

4. Trying books in only tested-and-tried genres. I know, I know. I should go out and try it. But that’s the problem. I can’t get myself to pick up a book that is not contemporary, young adult or horror. And it took time for me to accept the horror books. I always like the visuals better.

5. Speaking in the voice of the character, to get a better understanding. Now, this isn’t really a bad habit but it’s one I’ve been trying to break. I feel that I can understand a character’s voice and way of speaking better if I try it out.

6. Skipping to the end of the book and/or chapter. Oh, this is a VERY bad one. I have spoiled so many books for myself this way. So many plot twists and sudden appearances have become useless.

If you read the title properly, you’re probably wondering how any of this is dangerous’. It is. All of these habits make me prone to insta-death. Yes, I die when I make stupid mistakes like turning the page and getting to know that William Herondale has a ***SPOILER***very nice heart. ***SPOILER*** It hurts to know that you missed it coming in the first place, and also destroyed the suspense. There are similar reasons for all them, but if I started discussing those too, we’d be here for a long time.

What are YOUR bad reading habits? Are they worse than mine? Tell me in the comments below.

– The Enchanted Book

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

My first review of a Sarah Dessen book. Stressful. How do I start? I have read her books before – What Happened to Goodbye and The Truth About Forever, but reviewing them seems like a daunting task. Why? Because so many people love them. And it’s hard to point out the cons when someone’s attached to it.

Annabel Greene is a model. Her life is perfect, she has everything. Or so it seems to people on the outside. Inside, she is devoid of everything. This story revolves mainly around her and her reactions to problems arising around her. Her family is a main part of the story, too, with her sisters and mom influencing her decisions to twist the truth.

I was looking forward to reading about Owen, Annabel’s friend and love interest, when I heard about the book, but his character didn’t get to me. Maybe it was the directness, or the way he was presented in the book, but I couldn’t understand him the way I get to understand other main characters.

However, I loved how Owen and his music influenced Annabel. He was a great character but not what he was supposed to be, according to the text. He does not come off as an angry boy. In fact, I thought he was pretty nice to everyone, only punching them in the face when they hit his breaking point. That’s pretty fair, I think.

Like most other readers, I didn’t like Annabel in the start. She wasn’t mean to anyone, but she was a bystander, making her equal to the person doing the mean thing. But don’t worry about disliking her the whole way through the book- her character is very dynamic. She goes through a lot of changes, including minor barely-noticeable ones.

This was a book, not about finding yourself, but hearing yourself, and believing in yourself. I found the overall plot very interesting and touching. Definitely a must-read, but take your time getting to this, it’s not a hurry.

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10 Reasons Why You Should Read

This is one question that flashes in red in people’s minds, especially when they are reading book blogs or something concerning reading. “Why should I Read?” Yeah. I could be doing anything in my time but why is reading a strong option? Well, here is your answer.

Listed below are 10 reasons why you should read. If you don’t immediately start picking out a book after this, I don’t know how you will do it.

10. Academics– Studies show that reading really improves your academic skill. It charges your mind and activates those brain cells so you can do better at studies.

9. Inner Peace– Like yoga and meditation, reading is a great way to relax your soul and body and release any bound stress. It allows you to think of other problems and other world rather than worry about your own life. Better than taking tablets, isn’t it?

8. Strengthen your vocabulary– Now you can know what all those hard-sounding and long words like blandish and imperious mean. You’ve always wanted to be the one to know more words and comebacks(not recommended) than the other, right?

7. Creative juices– Expand your creativity to a level where not even the sky is the limit. Your creativity can be limitless, without boundaries. Let it flow to extents. Let it fly freely.

6. Know what to expect– When you read different types of books with different scenarios, you know what to expect when you encounter one. For example, if you have read novels about heartbreak, you will know what to expect and what you will be going through. Hopefully, you will also find the cure.

5. Chat away! As you read new books, you learn many different answers to different types of conversations. You can use this to interact with people.

4. Bonding– We get bonded to a good book so much when we read it that we forget all other things happening around us in the real world. This is one of the best things, but don’t read while doing the laundry or it might overflow!

3. Knowledge– By reading, we learn many many more things than we could possibly know in a short amount of time while enjoying the entertainment. Trust me, a reader would know 70% more than a non-reader.

2. Love the world– This world has so many differences yet it is the same one we will all live in together. Get to know this world and love it by reading about it and stories about lands far way from here. Lands far and near call to you.

1. For fun and enjoyment– Yes! You have to read for your fun! One of the best pastimes is reading and after knowing all these reasons, why wouldn’t you?

10 Quotes on Reading

Quotes are one of the forms of explaining your thoughts in elegant words. They touch your heart. But some of the best quotes touch you. I felt these quotes reach in for me. Opinions are different for each individual but readers, they depend on their books for advice.

“Quotes are actually the shorter version of books. Wise and precise.” I wrote this quote now, for the quotes below arose a new feeling in me.

1. “Books are a uniquely portable magic.”
– Stephen King

2. “We read to know that we are not alone.”
– William Nicholson

3. “A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.”
– William Styron

4. “Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.”
– Sir Francis Bacon

5. “In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.”
– Mortimer J. Adler

6. “Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.”
– Oscar Wilde

7. “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
– Dr. Seuss

8. “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”
– George R.R. Martin

9. “Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.”
– Joyce Carol Oates

10. “The world is a terrible place, cruel, pitiless, dark as a bad dream. Not a good place to live. Only in books can you find pity, comfort, happiness – and love. Books love anyone who open them, they give you security and friendship and don’t ask anything in return; they never go away, never, not even when you treat them badly.”
– Cornelia Funke,
(I slightly modified this quote to present tense for better insight.)

These quotes are not in order from the best to the average. As I quoted, quotes are similar to books. And no book has a fixed value. They are priceless treasures.


Good Books by Edgar Guest

I have always loved poems and I thought that maybe this blog needs a few emotional and sentimental feelings. It needs a beautiful poem. Whether it be about book, beauty or the nature. Each poem has a special place in the heart of TheEnchantedBook.

Good books are friendly things to own.
If you are busy they will wait.
They will not call you on the phone
Or wake you if the hour is late.
They stand together row by row,
Upon the low shelf or the high.
But if you’re lonesome this you know:
You have a friend or two nearby.

The fellowship of books is real.
They’re never noisy when you’re still.
They won’t disturb you at your meal.
They’ll comfort you when you are ill.
The lonesome hours they’ll always share.
When slighted they will not complain.
And though for them you’ve ceased to care
Your constant friends they’ll still remain.

Good books your faults will never see
Or tell about them round the town.
If you would have their company
You merely have to take them down.
They’ll help you pass the time away,
They’ll counsel give if that you need.
He has true friends for night and day
Who has a few good books to read.