Came across Dr. Refaat Alareer's poem "If I must die" just a few days ago, I cried and couldn't help but translated it to Chinese without his permission. Now that he's gone.
Dec 8, 2023, 2:44:40 AM
“The final product of all this work has very remarkable literary qualities; once it is published, I think there will be no more wonderment why Wittgenstein –who spoke English well –wrote in German. It was horribly difficult to translate. I doubt whether much of a reflection of its style would be possible in English at all; at any rate it was not possible for me to achieve it. In general, German has possibilities of a homeliness –the very epithet sounds horrid in connexion with English –that is not in the [slightest] in conflict with the highest literary style. For an example, you only need to look at Gretchen’s lines in Faust when she comes in after Faust and the Devil have been in her room. Wittgenstein’s German is at once highly literary and highly colloquial. Good English, in modern times, goes in good clothes; to introduce colloquialism, or slang, is deliberately to adopt a low style. Any English style that I can imagine would be a misrepresentation of this German. All I could do, therefore, was to produce as careful a crib as possible. I bent over backwards to write in a spare and compressed English, since the German is spare and compressed; and in part I the translation turned out several lines a page shorter than the original. (This was right, because English is a shorter language than German”
— Elizabeth Anscombe, in a BBC Radio Talk discussing her English translation of Wittgenstein’s posthumously published Philosophical Investigations