“You’re stepping on my shadow, please back off,” she said.

Sun Yisheng / Nicky Harman

Douglas Hofstadter on Machine Translation


Whenever I translate, I first read the original text carefully and internalize the ideas as clearly as I can, letting them slosh back and forth in my mind. It’s not that the words of the original are sloshing back and forth; it’s the ideas that are triggering all sorts of related ideas, creating a rich halo of related scenarios in my mind. Needless to say, most of this halo is unconscious. Only when the halo has been evoked sufficiently in my mind do I start to try to express it—to “press it out”—in the second language. I try to say in Language B what strikes me as a natural B-ish way to talk about the kinds of situations that constitute the halo of meaning in question.


# 1.   

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/11/the-man-who-would-teach-machines-to-think/309529/ -> the same dude!

How funny is THAT? Perhaps, "南书房行走" is all that Prof. Hofstadter is devising to replace, by his might? in order to protect scholars like 锺书 couple... one can only hope that was the case.

susan, February 6, 2018, 2:47p.m.


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