L'arte del tradurre

Huck and Montalbano: Translating Dialectical Variety, by Gregory Conti

What can we conclude from these examples taken from the Italian and English translations of these two masters of dialect, Twain and Camilleri? Rather than a definitive conclusion, I prefer to hazard the hypothesis that dialectical variety may indeed be one of those things that is inevitably lost in translation. Beyond that, it strikes me that this hypothesis, if true, may also be somewhat paradoxical. Our inability to translate dialectical variety may deny readers access to the very aspects of foreign cultures that are expressed by the peculiar and fascinating musicality of natural human speech.