At the Words without Borders weblog Arnon Grunberg describes his experiences at Dutch Translation Workshops in Italy — highlighting yet more translation issues:
In Naples the students pointed out a sentence in my second novel Silent Extras. In this sentence I use the word “rat” three times.
My Italian translator translated the first “rat” with “rat,” the second “rat” with “mouse” and the third “rat” with “small mouse.”
The students explained that word repetition in the Italian language is problematic; according to some students it is something that cannot be done in the written language.
On the one hand, I respect the choices my Italian translator made. On the other hand, it is puzzling how a rat can become a small mouse in the space of one sentence.
Mah, forse non ha tutti i torti…
(via the Literary Salon)