Greetings and felicitations, all ye inklings, I am new here and finally have some spare time to type up something (hopefully) worth posting here.
So, I'm a big fan of Tolkien etc most of the things it seems people like around here. With the exception of Harry Potter, though please note it's not because I assume the fans of that series are devil worshippers or any such insanity. It's just not quite my thing.
Well, to teach myself Spanish I've taken to reading novels I like in English and Spanish at the same time. At the moment I'm doing The Fellowship of the Ring, or La Communidad del Anillo.
As grateful as I am to Luis Domenech, who tackled the enormous task of translating this lengthy and complex work, I think in some respects he's got a lot to answer for.
"Tesoro" for Precious rather than preciosa is pretty unforgivable. Preciosa is pretty obviously the better equivilent, and lends itself so much more to that wonderful sibilance.
"Sotomonte" for Underhill is ok but still...so far as I know soto means grove or thicket, which is a long way from anything to do with living underground. Then again phrases like soto vocce (sp? Sorry, I really should know that) would make it seem it might have some relation with lowness, which would make it a decent translation esp. taking into account that for names in particular to use things that don't necessarily mean what they do at first glance is a great deal more acceptable than anywhere else.
And here's a real bad one: "Barliman Butterbur is the worthy keeper," to quote Tom Bombadil, but the Spanish reads "afortunado," and I'm sorry, or rather I'm not, but being fortunate has nothing to do with being worthy.
Also there's an egregious typo in the Prologue where it touches on the three breeds of Hobbit and explains how the Stoors were less shy of Men and the Harfoots had dealings with Dwarves, but for the Fallohides where it should by rights have mentioned the "Elfos" it said "Enanos," Dwarves. The confusion this would cause for someone who didn't already know the story...*sigh*
Besides these things it's usually decent enough. Not great but decent. I felt that Frodo's song about the Man in the Moon was translated very well, but besides that most things in verse were mediocre. I'd prefer just having a literal translation with no rhythm or rhyme to something that took too much poetic lisence and twisted the meaning of something; and that's basically what I got with this, but sometimes the translation seemed slightly doubtful anyway, which makes me wonder what the point was.
I'd say probably the best stuff tended to be in An Unexpected Party, At the Sign of the Prancing Pony, and as much as I've read so far of Strider (that's as far in as I've gotten now). Also perhaps some in Fog on the Barrow Downs.
At any rate, now that I've exhuasted that ranting, I'd just like to hear what other people think about this and the sorts of issues that are bound to come up generally when translating great literary works.
You can count on seeing me about trying to breathe some life back into this community whenever I have spare time, but that likely won't be often.