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Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Star Trek Green Girl Fiasco

Yes, I seem to be in this type of fiasco, what with my Hungarian translations...
...no one seems to understand me (as Eponymous Rox says). It's like the 'Green Girl Fiasco' in the Star Trek's pilot, 'The Cage', as mentioned in William Shater's 'Star Trek Memories' (page 66-69) (This book is a 'MUST READ'!).
The story: no one had seen a green girl on TV before, and no one had tried to make skin green. Every time they got the rushes back from the lab, the girl's skin was pink. So, they kept trying and trying, spending more money and time, and still the rushes came back pink. Roddenberry called the lab and thec technician said "I've been working overtime the last three nights trying to correct your actresses' lousy green skin tones".
So, I'm in the same boat with translation, I put certain words together, sometimes they've never been put together, I try to stretch the language a little in my own tiny way. Unfortunately, it looks like only my wife and can translate my books correctly...but she doesn't have the time.
A guy I know wanted to translate 'Man by a tree', as he thought it was fantastic. Now, this guy is a great translator, so I was very pleased. Then I got the first few pages and noticed he'd changed words, taken some out and added some too. So, not so great. My wife has done about 25 pages so far...
I'm still waiting on 'Bethlehem Fiasco'...
Now, 'Rage', I asked someone else to have a go at the 1st 3 parts. I was surprised. Without checking it, I immediately saw something. In Part 3, the first line is actually the first line I wrote in the whole book. It was going to be the 1st sentence but the structure changed. This is it...


“Phew! I’m so tired I could watch a dog grow.” 

It was translated to ...
- Fű! Olyan fáradt vagyok, hogy mindjárt összesek. 
...which if you re-translate (Google Translate + me changing it back to correct grammar)...
Phew! I'm so tired that I could collapse. (actually, Google Translate said "Grass" and not "Phew")

This is nothing like the original. Even Google Translate can do something with it...
- Pfuj! Olyan fáradt vagyok tudtam nézni egy kutyát nő.
...oh what to do...as a writer it is my responsibility to get the reader to understand. But how far do I have to reach? And how far does the reader try?




 

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