So, Let’s Talk About Translations

Any discussion related to Victor's Hugo's Les Misérables, in any language.
User avatar
YoungStudentMarius
Posts: 8158
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:43 am
Location: In the library

Re: So, Let’s Talk About Translations

Postby YoungStudentMarius » Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:42 am

My goodness...I...I'm finding it rather hard to give much respect to the Rose translation, anymore. :lol: There's a point where ridiculousness just can't be forgiven.
Our chimeras are the things which most resemble us. Each of us dreams of the unknown and the impossible in accordance with his nature.

User avatar
Acaila
Posts: 9986
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:44 am
Location: Scotland

Re: So, Let’s Talk About Translations

Postby Acaila » Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:57 pm

I think "Alright with you?" was the point where it reached "can't be forgiven" territory :mad:
Revolution: like Christmas come early only with more death
Abaisse Chief/Chef
"Les Amis Fun Package - The Awesome Traits of Each"
"She's basically Enjolras meets Amy Pond"
Sings Stars "way better than Russel Crowe"

Rachel
Posts: 2055
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:57 am

Re: So, Let’s Talk About Translations

Postby Rachel » Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:31 pm

Didn't Denny also change the "do you permit it?"
Image

Clearly, I have fantastic luck in the dating field.

Quotes to live by:
"This is highly illegal!" ~Inspector Javert (The Girl Nextdoor)

User avatar
Acaila
Posts: 9986
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:44 am
Location: Scotland

Re: So, Let’s Talk About Translations

Postby Acaila » Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:41 pm

In Denny it's "If you don't mind". Less ideal perhaps, but I still don't think it's as bad as the infinitely casual Rose.
Revolution: like Christmas come early only with more death
Abaisse Chief/Chef
"Les Amis Fun Package - The Awesome Traits of Each"
"She's basically Enjolras meets Amy Pond"
Sings Stars "way better than Russel Crowe"

humanracer
Posts: 322
Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:02 pm

Re: So, Let’s Talk About Translations

Postby humanracer » Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:15 am

Does anyone know anything about this edition?
http://www.etsy.com/listing/122679204/a ... hugo-cloth

Translator is Henry L Williams

User avatar
deHavilland
Posts: 4870
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:21 pm
Location: Toronto, ON
Contact:

Re: So, Let’s Talk About Translations

Postby deHavilland » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:03 am

Hm, that's actually very interesting. I've never seen him listed anywhere alongside other translators, which seems unusual given that his translation appears to be more accessible to the general public via eBay than, say, the Richmond.

He's Henry Llewellyn Williams, and he's noted for having translated a pretty sizable number of French volumes into English. Now that I've looked into him, I've seen his Les Mis translation cited as being "The Outcasts," which means that the new Donougher won't be the first commercially available English translation to also translate the title.

Apparently he translated for the Hurst & Company publishers, which may or may not be related to the Hurst & Blackett publishers responsible for the Wraxall translation. But given as one's out of New York and the other out of London, they could just as easily be completely separate entities. His version of Les Mis was published as part of a "Cosmos Series," whatever that means, haven't found anything else on it, in 1899 with the note: "Translated from the Author's Latest Revised Definitive Edition by Henry L. Williams." That would put it after the Hapgood and a little less than a century before the Denny in the chronology of translations.

The publishers list it as being "One Complete Volume," but Amazon says it only has 188 pages, which seems pretty suspect - though this is probably Amazon's mistake more than anything else.

Vol. 7, Issue 1 - Vol. 8, Issue 6, dated September 1, 1862 of the American Publishers' Circular and Literary Gazette includes a note in reference to Williams' translation of Notre Dame de Paris, but nothing in regards to his Les Misérables. Which, if the publishing date was actually 1899, makes sense. But there's very little to go off of in regards to this translation. Low circulation and a small number of prints made, maybe?
"Quand vous aurez besoin de Bahorel, capitaine, Bahorel est là! Je sais faire trébucher tous les chevaux du garde-corps avec une ficelle... Rien qu'une petite ficelle. Enfin, pensez à Bahorel du Café Musain!"

humanracer
Posts: 322
Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:02 pm

Re: So, Let’s Talk About Translations

Postby humanracer » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:58 pm

Thanks for the detailed research. Actually the translation seems rather odd going by the titles of the five volumes:

Fantine; or The fellon and the fallen.
Cosette; or The detective's pursuit.
Marius; or The son of the revolution.
Saint Denis; or Gavroche, the street boy Paris.
Jean Valiean; or The reformed convict.

Here is a comparision with Hapgood:
Hapgood:
"And now there's the other one! Will you hold your tongue, you hussy? It's a pretty sort of a place where convicts are magistrates, and where women of the town are cared for like countesses! Ah! But we are going to change all that; it is high time!"

"Now the other is barking sneered he. Will you hold your tongue, you hussy! a pretty part of the country this is, where the galleyslaves are the high officials and draggle-tails are coddled up like duchesses! Ah, but we are changing all that! It was high time!"

If anyone still wants to read this then there is a rather cheap copy on ebay, ending in a few hours!
www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ANTIQUE-Book-Victor- ... 58a3ecc1cf

humanracer
Posts: 322
Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:02 pm

Re: So, Let’s Talk About Translations

Postby humanracer » Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:05 pm

I finally bought an antique version of the novel, translated by Hapgood. It was published by the Walter Scott Publishing Co and features the iconic illustration of Cosette sweeping amongst others. The book also includes a letter from Hugo to the publisher of the Italian translation of the novel. The book is part of a series of "the worlds great novels". The series also consists of nine novels by Alexandre Dumas, NDDP by Hugo, Bronte's Jane Eyre, Tolstoy's Aanna Karenina and War & Peace, David Copperfield by Dickens, Scott's Ivanhoe, Adam Bede by George Elliot and a random book I have never heard of called John Halifax by Mrs Craik. Whether these are the worlds greatest novels is up for debate. It reads more like the best of Alexandre Dumas and a few other classics of the Romance genre.

One of things I like about the book is that it is split into the usual five parts with each part beginning with page one rather than just being a continuation of the previous part. This is why I think many sites incorrectly list these "one volume editions" as only having two hundred and odd pages. The last part of the novel (Jean Valjean) is about this length so if the seller only looks as the last page number he will get an incorrect figure. Of course common sense should dictate that a book of that size would be way more than say 300 pages but oh well.

On another note, this has to be the worst introduction to an abridged version of the novel:
http://i.ebayimg.com/t/1932-Les-Miserab ... ~60_57.JPG

User avatar
singingstar1216
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:07 am

Re: So, Let’s Talk About Translations

Postby singingstar1216 » Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:19 am

I've been having problems reading the brick because I apparently "finished" it only to find out that there were parts that were cut since it was supposed to be 1,400 pages! I got my book at Barnes and Noble. It has a cover like the cover of the musical. If anybody knows the one I'm talking about, do you know which parts were cut from it? I'd like to be able to read the parts I missed.
Love is beautiful, but beauty is not love.

humanracer
Posts: 322
Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:02 pm

Re: So, Let’s Talk About Translations

Postby humanracer » Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:40 pm

If it is this one http://www.amazon.com/Les-Miserables-Vi ... 0451525264 then it is complete. The page number will vary depending upon page size and other factors. Why do you feel you have problems with the book?

User avatar
deHavilland
Posts: 4870
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:21 pm
Location: Toronto, ON
Contact:

Re: So, Let’s Talk About Translations

Postby deHavilland » Sun Sep 08, 2013 5:33 pm

Yeah, pretty well agreed with Humanracer on this one. Just because someone somewhere might have said Les Mis is 1,400 pages long, doesn't mean that you're missing any from your specific copy. (Though admittedly that Fahenstock/MacAfee version that HR linked is in the realm of 1,463.) I think the Modern Library edition is like 1,269.
"Quand vous aurez besoin de Bahorel, capitaine, Bahorel est là! Je sais faire trébucher tous les chevaux du garde-corps avec une ficelle... Rien qu'une petite ficelle. Enfin, pensez à Bahorel du Café Musain!"

User avatar
singingstar1216
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:07 am

Re: So, Let’s Talk About Translations

Postby singingstar1216 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:20 am

It wasn't that one, but the cover was similar. My Les Mis novel experience is a bit strange. I started reading one, which had entire books and chapters cut from it, so I got a new 908 page version in which I would read in detail and take notes. I also have a really old antique copy that I don't touch very often because it's age makes it so fragile. However, I did flip through it after finishing my note-taking copy and noticed some extra paragraphs. Not whole chapters like the other one, but definitely detailed paragraphs. And I know it wasn't just a translation thing because the content was brand new. Does anyone know how to post pictures in a response? That way I can show you a picture of my copy.
Love is beautiful, but beauty is not love.

User avatar
deHavilland
Posts: 4870
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:21 pm
Location: Toronto, ON
Contact:

Re: So, Let’s Talk About Translations

Postby deHavilland » Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:34 am

It's probably easier to host it on a different website, like photbucket or IMGUR and then post the link here, but on the post reply page underneath "submit" is a tab for options and upload attachment. You can post a picture by uploading it as an attachment.

Do you perchance know who the translator is? The main English translators listed on this thread are almost always sold in their full and complete forms (minus the Denny, which in itself is a bit of an abridgement.) The abridged editions usually say "abridged by.."
"Quand vous aurez besoin de Bahorel, capitaine, Bahorel est là! Je sais faire trébucher tous les chevaux du garde-corps avec une ficelle... Rien qu'une petite ficelle. Enfin, pensez à Bahorel du Café Musain!"

humanracer
Posts: 322
Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:02 pm

Re: So, Let’s Talk About Translations

Postby humanracer » Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:30 am

Another mystery translator!: "M Jules Gray"
http://www.ebay.com/itm/LES-MISERABLES- ... 4859e09180

If only I had a spare 500 dollars.

Edit:
In fact it seems all five volumes had a different translator!
1. Fantine / trans. by William Walton -- v. 2. Cosette / trans. by J. Carroll Beckwith -- v. 3. Marius / M. Jules Gray -- v. 4. The idyl of the Rue Plumet and The epic of the Rue Saint-Denis / trans. by M. Edouard Jolivet -- v. 5. Jean Valjean / trans. by M. Jules Gray.

The set was limited to 1000 copies.

humanracer
Posts: 322
Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:02 pm

Re: So, Let’s Talk About Translations

Postby humanracer » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:02 pm

Intereting tidbit about Wraxall, his translation really isn't unabridged. He said he made two omissions. Wraxall states "In the first case I left out two or three pages because the French language is bolder than the English and I could not find the proper equivalents in which to convey Cambronne's extraordinary reply and the conclusions Victor Hugo draws from it. In the second instance I was led by purely religious considerations to omit a few pages refering to the monatistic system which I believe might have led to the misapprehension of author's purpose in England". Wraxall's translation appears to be very well regarded at the time yet Hapgood was asked to do a new translation just 25 years later for the Walter Scott edition.


Return to “The Brick”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests