Much Ado About Translation

© Dmitri Kotjuh

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Estonian culture is unimaginable without translations into Estonian. Translation is one the most devoted ways of interpreting the world and often so because putting a text into another language involves several risks. Another language is always reluctant and devious, especially when the language is poetic, when it has been given unusual sounds and meanings. It must also be remembered that translation is never completely objective, even though the aim of objectivity should always accompany it. Nevertheless, the personality, experience as well as the choices, ideas and ideals of a translator can amplify some of the currents of the text and soften others. The translator is speaking the words of the author they are translating but in their own voice. How a translation speaks to the reader is, above all, related to its polyphonous nature. A good translation adds a layer to the original and increases the variety of species of the source and target language. This variety can be experienced where an impressive lineup of Estonian poet-translators take the stage. Eda Ahi, Doris Kareva, Igor Kotjuh, Kalju Kruusa, Aare Pilv and Paul-Eerik Rummo will read their translations.

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