Lately I have been working on translating a play of mine from English into Catalan, which has meant working around phrases which are completely different in translation , and which through the difference perhaps give an insight into the two cultures. ‘As different as chalk and cheese’ in English, becomes ‘as different as a chestnut and an egg’ in Catalan. ‘We are all in the same bag ,’say Catalans, when speaking English. ‘Boat,’ I correct. Though Italians like English speakers are all in the same boat, Catalans prefer a bag.
The play translation has gone fairly smoothly, but the title poses a problem. My English title, ‘A game of two halves,’ is the kind of thing sports commentators say when they have run out of things to say. But to Catalans it simply means it is a game of two halves. ‘So what do Catalan sports commentators say when they are talking bollocks ? There are eleven players on either side?’ I ask. And they answer ‘Yes, they say there are eleven players on either side.’
I think I will keep the title as ‘Les dues parts del Joc’ anyway.Follow: