Books and Movies Reviews

Candide

Analysis of Two Translations of Candide
Candide, a book of satire of which the author, Voltaire, criticizes the thoughts of people and the ways of life in the world during the early 1700's, has been translated by different people. Since the original book was written in French, this work of art needed to be translated so the people of other languages could understand the composition. Translators Lowell Bair and Donald M. Frame put a significant amount of effort in interpreting the humorous woven tapestry of Candide. But, because translations can never be exactly the same depending on how the interpreter wants to rewrite the piece, translations seem to have slightly different meanings. Through differences in diction, syntax, and position of emphasis, the use of Irony is more effective in Frame's translation than Bair's translation causing Frame's translation to be more humorous.
The two translations of a quote in Candide are as written:
Candide, having served in a Bulgar regiment, went through the Bulgar drills in front of the general of the little army with such grace, speed, skill, pride and agility that he was placed in command of a company of infantry. (Bair 40)
Candide, having served with the Bulgarians, performed the Bulgarian drill before the general of the little army with so much grace, celerity, skill, pride, and agility, that they gave him and infantry company to command. (Frame 34)
First of all, the trope of irony is present in both translations. Both translations describe how Candide is given a company of infantry to command because Candide is able to perform the Bulgarian drills in front of the general exceptionally well. From the previous chapters, however, one would know that Candide's experience with the Bulgarian army was not pleasant, for Candide was whipped around 2000 times running the Bulgarian gauntlet. Therefore, irony is present in both translations because one would not expect…

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