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Cliches understanding and translation

Posted by Itzhar on February 12, 2004

In Reply to: Cliches understanding and translation posted by ESC on February 11, 2004

I also think it's not a "cliche" problem, but a general problem of translation. "Transmitting" texts from one language to another (from one culture to another, actually), is very problematic because of differences in reader knowledge.
In literary texts you have to fight the impulse to insert marginal notes, that interrupt the reading, but sometimes they are necessary. I, for example, translated Lehane's "A drink before the war" and had a lot of trouble with names like Charles Stuart and sayings like "you can take a girl out of the village..." (which continues: but first you have to shoot her).
The best "solution" is to find a parallel idiom/phrase/cliche in the target language, but sometimes there isn't any.