3 Difficulties of Translating Literature

Why is translating literary works such a herculean task? One reason can be because there are few kinds of texts that are as culturally significant and historical in nature as a literary piece. Find out what are the three difficulties a translators faces in translating literature:

  1. When it comes to translating the unique vocabulary of names, events and things in literature, the translator can face the difficulty of maintaining the relevance, context and accuracy of the content. Names that have been carefully picked keeping in mind a particular culture and place will hardly make any sense in another culture.
  2. Wordplay is one of the most popular weapons of a writer and gives the maximum woes to the translator. It can get difficult for the translator to do justice to such wordplays and most often their relevance is lost in translation.
  3. A metaphor is particularly cultural in intent because it uses contexts and references from the local culture, practices and beliefs. Translating metaphors involves an understanding of the cultural references and without it the phrase will make no sense at all.

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