Thursday, December 24, 2015

Don't Spare the Rod on the Translator! -- More on Dialect Translation

Today is Christmas Eve, so I thought it would be fitting to share one of the comments that appeared on this blog with the readers who don't speak Polish.

In the previous post, I described my dilemma about how to translate Kitaru's Kansai dialect into Polish and explained my decision to use the Poznan dialect. I was hesitant, since I knew that while this experiment would be acceptable to some readers, it was also bound to cause objections.

A reader (anksu) posted a comment a couple of days ago criticizing my decision. I am going to translate it here for the sake of fairness (I quoted a positive reader comment in the last post) and also for its humor and Christmas-related element. Readers not familiar with Polish culture need to know that, in Poland, instead of a lump of coal, naughty children get a rod (or switch) from Santa to be beaten with.  Looks like I deserve a beating!

"I had to stop reading in the middle because I am too angry to continue. Your decision to make Kitaru speak Poznan dialect was the worst you could have possibly made! It is unreadable. You didn't even bother to make footnotes! You are not translating books only for people from the Poznan area. Providing information that Kitaru speaks in a dialect or introducing SEVERAL phrases would have been more than enough. I hope that next time you won't get such ideas, because otherwise I will send you a Christmas rod next year!!!"

As you can imagine, I feel duly chastised.