|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.
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 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
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.