Maugham in translation -- a fun game

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Maugham in translation -- a fun game

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Editat: maig 20, 2012, 3:48pm

See if you can guess any of the answers.

When Somerset Maugham’s works were published in foreign languages, they were often given new titles that bore no relationship to the original, but did relate to the text.

Which famous Maugham book was published under each of the following titles? At left is the foreign title, and at right, the literal English translation (compliments of Google translator). Feel free to make your own translation.

1. Der Bessessene (German) = “The Obsessive;” or “The Possessed”
2. En los mares del sur (Spanish) = ”In the South Seas”
3. La Ronde de l’Amour (French) = “The Round of Love”
4. Rosie (Fr.) = “Rosie” :-)
5. La Femme dans la Jungle (Fr.) = “The Woman in the Jungle”

maig 17, 2012, 8:59am

Now that's really, really tough. Except for no. 4 and "Cakes and Ale" I can't make any other reasonable guess.

I know about "The Possessed" but I admit that's a cheat; I met it somewhere in Klaus Jonas' books. Otherwise I would never have guessed it's "The Moon and Sixpence".

"The Woman in the Jungle" can refer to both "The Painted Veil" and "The Narrow Corner", and to about 80% of Maugham's exotic short stories - in all cases oversimplifying them. It may also be Henry James' "The Beast in the Jungle" with a considerable typo. :-)

"In the South Seas" = "The Trembling of a Leaf"?

"The Round of Love"? Absolutely no idea. But it reminds me of a "fine" Bulgarian translation of "Christmas Holiday" as "A Love in Paris". And on the cover a dreamy couple and the Eiffel Tower.

I often think that a book with the most absurd translations and especially covers would be a most entertaining thing.

Editat: maig 20, 2012, 3:47pm

Rosie is correct, as is In the South Seas

The Round of Love is (like Rosie) "Cakes and Ale." ah those French, so eager to sneak love in wherever possible. :-)

The Woman in the Jungle (as Waldstein points out) could have been a lot of things but was "Ah King".

as for "The Moon and Sixpence" (as The Obsessive;” or “The Possessed"), I like our title much better, although I've never decided quite how it applies to the story.