(Translator, You're A Traitor!)
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|Oh, Babel, Babel...
by Carlos, Terylene and Pablo Alonso
Since those mythical times where the human race was condemned to split up its language just because a certain tower was built, no doubt the translators have been among the most hated people in the world.
There is no author who has not sensed the edge of their scythe or shaken with fear at the very idea that a translator took over their work. And there is no one who has said it more clearly than that old Italian ancestor who, enraged and full of apprehension coined a phrase that has been yelled vividly for centuries: traduttore, traditore! ("translator, you're a traitor!").
A necessary evil, though, translation is much more than a task. It's an art of the interpretation; a poetry of the semantic values; a sensible way to approach the content as well as the form, where a greater knowledge of the subject material is often more important than the command of the language.
In Argentina, poor translations boast a record that is hard to break. In their long, pathetic history, translations have torn many foreign film, book, album and song titles to pieces. Senseless, incomprehensible methods used in their choice of prose made of these titles a ridiculous piece lacking of any meaning that often generates confusion and embarrassment.
The Spanish translation of The Avengers episode titles made by the local cable channel Uniseries on occasion of the re-opening of the show in Argentina, did suffer the same fate. Literal translations, bad use of the language and an absolute ignorance of the storylines are some of the factors that caused problems.
We toyed with the idea of creating this section while preparing the episode lists. In our opinion, the exchange of views regarding the "official" Spanish Avengers titles sounded quite juicy as to be lost verbally. Then, we decided to write them down and share a new section with you all. That's how "Traduttore, Traditore!" was born. Obviously, we don't mean our suggestions are perfectthey only look for an open-minded approach to all what is hidden behind the words, trying to find the most suitable translation of the original title.
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