The difficulties of a translation vary with the character of the text, the nature of the languages involved and the intended audience. Working in two languages that boast long recorded histories yet lack the status of 'passport' tongues, the contributors to this volume wrestle with the full range of problems encountered by translators everywhere.
The sixteen pieces in the book draw on experience in diverse fields but may be roughly divided into four sections. The first focuses on translations from ancient Greek to Danish, with essays that describe specific textual challenges - the Iliad, the New Testament, the Greek tragedies translated for the stage - and take up the question of the reception of classical civilisation in Denmark. The second group covers renderings of modern literature in both directions, featuring general reflections as well as a contribution on translating Kierkegaard's Philosophical Fragments and a study of Achilleus Paraschos and Danish folk songs. The next section ventures into less literary territory with several appraisals of how Danish and Greek fare in the multilingual legal and administrative environment of EU institutions. The final articles leave books behind altogether to concentrate on subtitling of film in theory and in practice.
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