aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Sometimes you are just at the mercy of the translator

I've had books translated into French, Japanese, Dutch, and German. The only one I speak is German, and not with the degree of fluency that I could catch mistakes.

So I was trying to read <href="http://www.amazon.com/redbreast-jo-nesbo/dp/006113399x/">The Redbreast</a>, which got a starred review in Publishers Weekly. The first few pages were kind of odd, like trying to put together jigsaw puzzle pieces from several different puzzles that were all pictures of castles. The words just didn't quite fit. The phrasing was awkward. Maybe it was meant to make you feel like you really were Norway. [Full disclosure: and you had to get past the main character being called Harry Hole, which probably works in Norway, but would get you laughed out of any grade school in the United States.]

And then I ran across this line "But there was something else about the whole procedure that rankled with him. He just couldn't put his finger on what."

"Rankled with?" "Rankled with?" To my mental ear, that just clunks.

Or am I wrong? Any wordies out there want to weigh in? Weigh with?

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