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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » The Grandmother of all Booktests by Edward Stein (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Decomposed
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Thanks fellows. Well Im a little bit more experienced then a "just starting out" mentalist. Or at least my audiences must believe so or did I put that in their minds:)

Sounds like a winner. My German is not real good although I did live there for two years. Looking forward to the release of the English version.
Sealegs
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Only a few more days to go for the release of this one. I've pre ordered mine. Will be interesting to see if it lends itself to my performing style.

Neal
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
LukeB
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Yeh same.Lets hope we don't wait 7-8 weeks for delivery.
You should be able to mould to your style...you know the basics ie detective story..you could go anywhere with that..
wonder how it will compare with the Shakespeare test..pretty soon moab number 2 ?
Pierre Emmanuel
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Quote:
On 2008-05-11 16:30, lamystique wrote:
Why is it brilliant?


it shines in the dark ?
Bill Palmer
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I really do hope that it is much less confusing than AstroStar. I know Ted Lesley really likes AstroStar, but Ted's mind works like a calculator, and he has the German version, so he can perform it quite well. However, I found the instructions to AstroStar confusing and unclear. Maybe I should have had the German instructions.

One of the risks that foreign producers of English-language books and props take is the use of non-native English-speaking translators. Cellini's book The Royal Touch was originally in English. Then it was translated into another language, presumably German, then retranslated into English. It became a mish-mash of errors.

Braco's infamous floating ball trick was marred by a translator whose knowlege of English was faulty. It was further marred by a high price. But that price wasn't set by Braco. I know the background on the whole thing. It should have never happened.

The videos of Bruno Copin are also flawed by similarly inept translations. It's not difficult to find people who can do the work. In fact, it's not even expensive in some cases.

So I hope Edward has at least had someone who is a native speaker of English read the text of both the book and the instructions. If he hasn't, this Hound of the Baskervilles will be a real dog.
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Decomposed
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Thanks Bill.
eSamuels
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But Bill, as you well know, often times translations are done (as an after-thought) by a "friend or associate who (supposedly) knows the language," and the results speak for themselves. This isn't just in the magic world, it happens everywhere including product marketing.

But then again, even some so-called 'professional' translators aren't quite as skilled as their title would suggest. You may recall a book called "English As She Is Spoke - The New Guide of The Conversation in Portuguese and English;" a phrase book that went through several translation minefields. The authors allegedly used a Portuguese to French and then a French to English dictionary to result in gems like: "To craunch A marmoset!" and, of course, the famous proverb - "The stone as roll not heap up not foam"
BlakeAdams
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Once this comes out I would love to see a review and find out if the translation is good
Bill Palmer
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It's really fairly easy to tell if a translation is good. Read the book. If you start laughing out of context, it's not a good translation.

I've been translating magic books and instructions for about 30 years. The first lesson I learned was that if it doesn't read well in the target language, it's not correct. This presumes that the original was correct, of course.

Once in a while you find a book that has interesting linguistic problems. For example, the Hanussen book that I finished earlier this year was written by a man who was not formally educated. His knowledge of writing came from reading psychology texts, 19th century literature and scandal sheets. He adopted some of the more annoying habits of the psychologists and the 19th century writers. He also had lots of Viennese slang and interesting idioms in his writing.

I learned a long time ago that when you have a problem, you ask someone who speaks the language you are working with and is familiar with the art form that is germane to the subject. Hanussen was the first author I had translated since I got out of college who was not still alive while I was doing the work. When I had trouble with Ted Lesley's material, I would just call him and ask him what he meant by a certain term. I did the same with Punx and Borodin.

I do understand the problems of cross-dictionary translating, though. I once had to translate a set of instructions from German to Portuguese for a Brazilian opthalmologist I knew. This was actually a lot of fun! But I didn't have to write a whole book about it.

It reminds me of the Monty Python skit that has the punch lines
"Please fondle my bum."
"Oh, yes, the train station is over two blocks and then you turn right."
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
The Burnaby Kid
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Quote:
On 2008-08-05 03:56, Bill Palmer wrote:
I've been translating magic books and instructions for about 30 years.


Bill, for that alone you have my undying respect. I'm dead serious. I remember once when I was teaching over in Korea, I was having a bad day. Wanting to communicate this to my co-worker, I asked her how to say "I'm bitter." in Korean. She and her friend deliberated for a good five minutes before rattling off some complicated saying that they thought adequately explained it. I asked them to translate what they'd said directly into English. "I'm bitter." magically transformed into "I am a man for whom the rice is not delicious."
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Bill Palmer
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Thanks for your understanding. Translating is like solving a puzzle, sometimes. It's one thing to ask where the bathroom is, and an entirely different matter following the directions to get there.

When I translate a large work, I usually read at least half of it, perhaps more, depending on the author, before I even start the translation. This gives me an idea of the style of the original author. Then I try to capture the style in an English equivalent. Ted Lesley is fairly easy to translate. He writes like Ken Brooke. I once mentioned this to him, and he took it as the compliment I had intended it to be. Then he admitted that he got the idea for his style from reading Ken Brooke's instruction sheets.

Punx was difficult sometimes, but I liked stories when I was a kid, so I didn't have too much trouble capturing some of that feeling. Borodin writes in a very unusual manner. He often writes poetry. Some of it is fairly easy to translate. Some isn't. However Borodin and I have a friend who lives near him, and she is a poetess. So she translates his poems for me. I am incredibly grateful to her for the work she helped me with in his books.

Borodin also likes to have one style for his lighter stories and another for his really spooky stuff. That's no problem at all.

At one point, he wanted to use American spelling in the lighter story section and British spelling in the other, but I convinced him that it would confuse the reviewers. He understood what I meant, and I went ahead to provide him with the atmosphere he wanted in the books.

I still have the occasional near miss. When I was working on the Cezanne Code, I mistranslated the word Fotograf as photograph. It actually means photographer. I caught it when I was reading the text right before I printed the book. The sentence just didn't make sense, no matter what I did to it. So I looked up the word and realized I had just fallen into a false cognate trap. But I did catch it in time, so that was good.

The main thing that a translator must be able to do is to write well in his own language. I had an English teacher in college who worked with me very patiently until I got the hang of it.

Sometimes I really enjoy translating, especially if it's material that I feel is really artistic or historically significant. Other times, it's like translating laundry lists.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
LukeB
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Ok guys I have this on pre-order but the instructions arrived in my inbox with a note saying the item has shipped.
The instructions are kind of translated word for word so its a bit messy but you seem to be able to make perfect sense out of it.
I'll post a review when I receive the book but so far, and after reading the instructions- I'm happy I bought this.
Sealegs
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Arrived back home from my latest gig yesterday to find my pre ordered "Grandmother of all booktests" waiting for me. Smile The instructions had been emailed to me a few days before.

I'm happy to give an opinion and 1st impressions on this purchase but would rather do so in the 'Inner Thoughts' area of the Café.

Neal
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
Sealegs
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Arrived back home from my latest gig yesterday to find my pre ordered "Grandmother of all booktests" waiting for me. Smile The instructions had been emailed to me a few days before.

I'm happy to give an opinion and 1st impressions on this purchase but would rather do so in the 'Inner Thoughts' area of the Café.

Neal
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
Sealegs
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My review can be found here

Neal
Neal Austin

"The golden rule is that there are no golden rules." G.B. Shaw
Dick Christian
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Enjoyed the comments on the perils of translation. Reminds me of the story of the folks who worked on an early design of computer-based translation software. To test it they linked a computer using the English to Russian translation software to one using the Russian to English version. To test it they entered "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" into the English to Russian computer. The output was then automatically fed into the Russian to English machine and out came "The Vodka's okay, but the meat's gone bad."
Dick Christian
o.
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Although this thread seems dead, it‘s a long shot..

Does somebody still use Empathy today?
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