More than words

Published on 8 March 2023 at 11:30

A literal translation doesn't capture the whole meaning.
Yep, done and dusted. That's how I truly felt after my translation of My name is Wilma. My partner Wim would read through this brilliant translation, leave the odd remark, I'd correct what he'd picked up and Bob was your uncle.
Right? Nope.
A literal translation doesn't capture the whole meaning.


While going through my translated version, Wim remarked that I wrote differently in Dutch. A bit old-fashioned and stiff. Beg your pardon?!
"How so? What do you mean?" I enquired stupified and mystified. I did not get it - I mean I was an accredited journalist and had written Dutch articles for decades before we moved to New Zealand, and came back ten years later. But I thought no more of it until I went through the first two chapters... What had happened to my writing skills? The Dutch chapters seemed clumsy and unfitting. I saw what Wim had meant.
So, what wás the problem? It's just that even with the correct words in the correct sequence, it still didn't sound like fluent Dutch. I needed to transport myself into the sense of the language and take it from there. Frisian people will know exactly what I mean as most of them are bilingual. Frisian is an officially recognised language and seems more related to English and Swedish than Dutch.
I have taken this week off from my day-job to review the translation. It's going slowly. Even the title sounded wrong in Dutch. The literal translation would be Mijn Naam is Wilma but it doesn't sound right, and I couldn't even tell you why not.
In Dutch the title is now going to be: Wilma, een wereldkat, followed by: Van straatkitten tot globetrotter. This literally means Wilma, a cat of the world. From street kitten to globetrotter. Guess you got that.



The Dutch cover of My Name is Wilma.

Cathy Helms of Avalon Graphics has done the Dutch design as well. Hope you like it as much as I do!?

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