Last year I convinced Monsieur Big Bang that we should be listening to Great Courses on the way into work. He wasn't keen on this nerdy idea but we got wrapped up in etymology classes, one of which lead us to the entertaining and informative Slate podcast called Lexicon Valley and we've been working through something like 99 podcast episodes that have been airing since 2012.
Last week, we came upon the 2015 "The Many Lives of Anna Karenina with Masha Gessen" episode which is a great, succinct outlining of the issues surrounding creating translations using Anna Karenina as an example, how different translators are making different word choices based on meaning and tone.
The official show blurb:
Last November saw the publication of two new translations—by Marian Schwartz with Yale University Press and Rosamund Bartlett with Oxford University Press—of Leo Tolstoy’s epic love story Anna Karenina. But why does a novel that already has at least six or seven English-language editions need yet another update? Journalist and author Masha Gessen discusses the difficulty of translating a literary masterpiece and argues the more the better.