Translating For Singing The Theory, Art and Craft of Translating Lyrics

by Ronnie (Professor Emeritus, Central Michigan University, USA) Apter, Mark Herman

Part of the Bloomsbury Advances in Translation Series

Translating For Singing The Theory, Art and Craft of Translating Lyrics Synopsis

Translating for Singing discusses the art and craft of translating singable lyrics, a topic of interest in a wide range of fields, including translation, music, creative writing, cultural studies, performance studies, and semiotics. Previously, such translation has most often been discussed by music critics, many of whom had neither training nor experience in this area. Written by two internationally-known translators, the book focusses mainly on practical techniques for creating translations meant to be sung to pre-existing music, with suggested solutions to such linguistic problems as those associated with rhythm, syllable count, vocal burden, rhyme, repetition and sound. Translation theory and translations of lyrics for other purposes, such as surtitles, are also covered. The book can serve as a primary text in courses on translating lyrics and as a reference and supplementary text for other courses and for professionals in the fields mentioned. Beyond academia, the book is of interest to professional translators and to librettists, singers, conductors, stage directors, and audience members.

Translating For Singing The Theory, Art and Craft of Translating Lyrics Press Reviews

This book is an invaluable guide to anyone who wishes to translate opera or musicals for performances. * JoSTrans: The Journal of Specialised Translation * No one else could have written this book - certainly not with [Ronnie Apter and Mark Herman's] depth and range of knowledge and practical experience ... [Their] admirable and ambitious aims are carried through with erudition, wit and humour ... This book is a towering achievement, setting out the theory, practice and pitfalls of the art and craft of singing translation in comprehensive detail ... Essential reading for anyone actively involved -- or merely interested - in the process of creating singable opera translations. * Perspectives * A welcome contribution, especially as the book is handsomely designed, [that] contains a wealth of music examples in neat notation, with original lyrics in Italian, German, French, Czech and Russian, all glossed into English and compared with numerous authentic translation examples (by Apter and Herman and others), and is filled with good advice for anyone interested in the practical business of translating texts to be sung. * The Translator * The authors' passion for their craft shines through every line of this book, and their authority is confirmed by the sheer number of commissions they've received from opera companies and the resultant published libretti, as well as the copious examples of their work provided in the book itself. They have undoubtedly provided prospective translators and students of translation with perhaps the definitive discussion of the subject, one that should endure as both a record of past practice and a guide for the future. * Translation Review * [An] excellent textbook ... [This] volume - with its careful and quirky examination of singability, foreignization versus domestication, issues of difference and characterization, the finer points of prosody - could serve as an aid to any translator of lyrics and poetry, no matter the genre. Brimming with personality and fabulous examples, Translating For Singing is a must-have for the serious translator. * The Monitor * A thorough and expert guide ... This is a book written with wit, expertise and enthusiasm, full of illuminating examples; a satisfying and informative read. * In Other Words * Reading this book will provide a great deal of pleasure in that it is well written, well referenced, rich in examples, and full of humor ... Translating for Singing is a fine work for anyone interested in the translation of song (translators, students mastering in translation, teachers, researchers...), but it also can be of interest to everyone who studies the translation of poetry or drama... * Meta [translated from French] * [Offers] practical advice about all aspects of translation. * Opera * Apter and Herman's step by step story of operatic translation studies the endless variety of the human emotions of the operatic genre to illustrate the technical fieldwork of English compensation (foreignization, domestication). The vocal translation of Translating for Singing opens the new field of the poetico-dramatic maelstrom of creativity and imagination. -- Dinda L. Gorlee, author of 'Song and Significance: Virtues and Vices of Vocal Translation' (2005) In this book, Ronnie Apter and Mark Herman, two highly experienced and talented opera translators, take us on a journey into the beautiful yet complex world of the translation of singable lyrics for performance. The book is rich with examples from Apter and Herman's own practice as well as the work of others, and their passion undeniably comes through. This is a must read for anybody who is interested in knowing how singable English versions of operas and song come to life. -- Charlotte Bosseaux, Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies, University of Edinburgh, UK This richly detailed volume by two of the most experienced and skilled translators working today offers a wealth of sound advice and excellent (at times, entertaining) examples. Even if you never intend to create or adapt a translated singing text, the insights you will glean about the art of translation and the nuances of text setting from Translating for Singing will inform your interpretations and understanding of operatic texts in important ways. -- Gabriele Dotto, co-general editor, 'The Operas of Gaetano Donizetti' Herman and Apter's labour of love should be roundly applauded; this is a valiant attempt to examine every aspect of the tricky and controversial art of opera translation. Their scrutiny of the challenges a translator has to face is exhaustively accompanied by examples both modern and ancient, these being further enlivened by erudite observations on the history of opera in translation as well as the relevant literature that inspired the librettos. A tricky subject is definitively and deftly handled. -- Amanda Holden, Editor, 'The Opera Guide'

Book Information

ISBN: 9781472571885
Publication date: 19th May 2016
Author: Ronnie (Professor Emeritus, Central Michigan University, USA) Apter, Mark Herman
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 312 pages
Categories: Musical scores, lyrics & libretti, Theory of music & musicology, Translation & interpretation,

About Ronnie (Professor Emeritus, Central Michigan University, USA) Apter, Mark Herman

Ronnie Apter is Professor Emerita of English at Central Michigan University, USA. She is the author of two books, Digging for the Treasure: Translation After Pound (Lang, 1984; reprint Paragon House 1987) and A Bilingual Edition of the Love Songs of Bernart de Ventadorn in Occitan and English: Sugar and Salt (Mellen, 1999). She is the author or co-author of numerous articles which have appeared in American journals such as Ars Lyrica and Translation Review and in the British journal In Other Words, and of poetry translations appearing in Two Lines, The Literary Review, The New Orleans Review, Metamorphoses, The Classical Outlook, and ...

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