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Thread: Harry Potter translation

  1. #1
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    Harry Potter translation

    I sure am having trouble with this book translation; here's an example.

    The English sentence is:
    "Do you think we've got nothing better to do in Potions than listen to Snape?" muttered Ron.

    The Russian translation is:
    "Делать тебе нечего, кроме как Снегга слушать, -пробурчал Рон."

    Did the translator use artistic freedom in writing it this way, or did she just make a mistake?
    DO IT YOURSELF!

  2. #2
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    It's hard to tell without the context.
    I've got a TV, and I'm not afraid to use it

  3. #3
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    Hermione speaking:
    "All we'd need would be some Polyjuice Potion."
    "What's that?" said Ron and Harry together.
    "Snape mentioned it in class a few weeks ago--"
    "Do you think we've got nothing better to do in Potions than listen to Snape?" muttered Ron.
    DO IT YOURSELF!

  4. #4
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    I'd translate that somthing like that:
    Думаешь, нам на Зельях больше делать нечего, кроме как слушать Снэйпа?

  5. #5
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    "Делать тебе нечего, кроме как Снегга слушать, -пробурчал Рон."

    In my opinion, that translation is inaccurate. I don't understand why she had to change the sentence.

    "делать нам больше нечего" would be a defensive reaction of someone who didn't do his homework/didn't listen in class

    "Делать тебе нечего" questions the teacher's authority and, more importantly, the girl's judgement and knowledge.

    These two versions convey different meanings.
    I've got a TV, and I'm not afraid to use it

  6. #6
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    Re: Harry Potter translation

    Quote Originally Posted by Siriusly
    I sure am having trouble with this book translation; here's an example.

    The English sentence is:
    "Do you think we've got nothing better to do in Potions than listen to Snape?" muttered Ron.

    The Russian translation is:
    "Делать тебе нечего, кроме как Снегга слушать, -пробурчал Рон."

    Did the translator use artistic freedom in writing it this way, or did she just make a mistake?
    It's hard to distinguish between where an artistic freedom ends and a mistake begins.
    I think the translation is correct since you don't only translate the meaning of the text but also a style which in most cases is much more important than the meaning itself.
    So, the correct translation would be "Думаешь, нам больше нечем заняться, как слушать Снейпа?"
    It may be just laziness or it was done following some obscure purpose - it's hard to tell. I'd taken all discrepancies in the translation and seen whether they were too many. I think about 5% would be OK, but if there were more I'd questioned the translator's qualification.
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  7. #7
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    Ramil's right. It's all about textual discourse. It's not easy to say wether it's a mistake or not without proper studying of the whole text.
    «И всё, что сейчас происходит внутре — тоже является частью вселенной».

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