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Book Review - Reseña // Lost in Translation by Ella Frances Sanders

Lost in Translation by Ella Frances Sanders {Goodreads}
Published by Square Peg in 2015
Hardcover edition; 112 pages {BookDepository}

I’ve always admired translators and even though sometimes a translation isn’t necessarily the greatest, the truth is that when done well, we can pretty much say that a translator behaves like an author in some way. Translating isn’t about going line by line, word by word from one language to another because there are many words or expressions from a language that don’t exist in the language you’re translating a book into. A here is when the tricky part of their job begins.

Lost in Translation gives us exactly that: words from all around the world that doesn’t have a counterpart word in English and some of them aren’t even translatable to my own language, Spanish. Ella Frances Sanders puts the word and where it comes from in one page, and the definition of said word in the other page along with very simplistic drawings and it works perfectly well.

The concept of the book is rather simple and yet, fascinating. It’s short, concise and almost perfect. Almost because I wish it had more words.

Do you find languages fascinating?

Siempre he admirado a los traductores, incluso cuando hay traducciones por ahí que digamos no son lo mejorcito la verdad es que cuando una traducción está bien hecha podemos decir que el propio traductor se convierte, en cierto modo, en autor. Traducir no es solo cambiar palabra a palabra de una lengua a otra, es adaptar un idioma a otro y ahí está el quid de la cuestión y la dificultad de su trabajo.

De eso va Lost in Translation: de palabras de distintos idiomas que no tienen una traducción literal al inglés e incluso hay algunas que ni siquiera se pueden traducir al español (¿o conocéis alguna palabra que indique lo que tarda una persona en comerse un plátano?). El diseño del libro es bastante simple, en una hoja tenemos la palabra y de donde proviene y en la otra lo que significa acompañada de dibujos.

El concepto del libro es bastante simple, pero al mismo tiempo, fascinante. Es un libro cortito, lo puedes leer del tirón, es conciso y casi, casi perfecto. Digo casi porque me hubiese encantado que incluyese más palabras.

¿Os gustan los idiomas?

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