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Revision Time!

“I have rewritten—often several times—every word I have ever written. My pencils outlast their erasers.”
Vladimir Nabokov

“This morning I took out a comma, and this afternoon I put it back again.”
Oscar Wilde

A few weeks ago I received a very courteous email from Al Daigen, a professional translator in Canada. He respectfully pointed out to me the dissonance between some of my translations, especially the earliest ones, and the philosophy of translation that I express on this page. Especially in the earliest posts from 2009, there are some songs I translated too literally, preserving quirky Spanish syntax in my English. The truth is, I hadn’t looked at those translations in a long time, and when I went back and did, I instantly saw what Al was talking about
I’ve been traveling (not all for tango—last week I went hiking at Arches National Park in Utah…breathaking!), dancing, and DJing almost nonstop for the past few weeks, so I haven’t yet sat down to do a huge revision and overhaul…but the time is here! Over the next few weeks check back here and take a look at some of your favorite translations. I will be tweaking them all, and hopefully, letting the intent and emotion of the original Argentine poets who wrote them shine through with greater clarity and beauty.
Un abrazo,
Derrick

About Derrick Del Pilar

Born and raised in Chicago, I came to the tango while studying at the Universidad de Belgrano in Buenos Aires in 2006. In 2008 I earned my B.A. with majors in Creative Writing and Spanish & Portuguese from the University of Arizona, and in 2009 I earned an M.A. in Latin American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. My specialty is the history & literature of early 20th century Argentina.

Discussion

One thought on “Revision Time!

  1. Keep up the good work Derrick, I’m a 32 years old porteño myself and I often come to your site to listen to a song or another. Pienso que es muy amable de tu parte que te tomes el trabajo no solamente de traducir estas increíbles canciones sino también de revisar humildemente esas traducciones tal como sugirió el amigo Al.

    ¡Abrazo!

    Posted by Lucero del Alba | 03.24.2011, 7:24 AM

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The sound files on this site are included for illustrative purposes only. Those wishing to obtain high quality versions for their personal collections should purchase commercially available copies. If you can't get to a record store in Buenos Aires, a great many tangos are available, song by song, from http://www.tangotunes.com/ and others can be found on iTunes (transfer quality varies widely). Many CDs are available through online retailers such as Michael Lavocah's superb http://milonga.co.uk/.

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