As you may have read in the news, translators around the world are struggling translating and interpreting Donald Trump’s speeches.
The cause? Run on sentences, disjointed syntax, repetitions and well, let’s face it, limited vocabulary.
According to professional translator Bérengère Viennot, “For translators, Trump is an unprecendented and desolating struggle”.
And as the French say, Bérengère “n’y va pas par quatre chemins” (she does not beat around the bush – no pun intended) by adding bluntly: “When it comes to speaking of something other than his victory, he clings desperately to the words contained in the question put to him, without succeeding in completing his own thought.”
For many translators, including Ms Viennot, Mr Trump’s speeches put them in an ethical dilemma: meaning might be difficult to interpret.
On the one hand, his abrupt style and metaphors can be difficult to render in another culture; while on another hand, translating Mr Trump more smoothly might make him come across as an ordinary politician, which, clearly, he is not.
As Ms Viennot points out: “Most of the time, when he speaks, he seems not to know quite where he’s going”… Yes, we noticed…