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.
Autore: Gregory Conti
Gregory Conti, born and raised in Pittsburgh he has been living in Perugia since 1985. His translations include works by Rosetta Loy, Sebastiano Vassalli, Emilio Lussu, Paolo Rumiz and Elisa Biagini.