Dansk til engelsk/Danish to English




Dan A. Marmorstein
Ved Volden 1, 4 tv.
1425 København K

e-mail: danmarmo@hotmail.com

telephone: +45 2857 7161 (mobil)
or, every now and then: +1 (914) 473-2118

STATEMENT - My background


As a translator, my aspiration is to perform a kind of mid-wife’s process, trying as best as I possibly can to zoom in and also encircle the vision, the sound, the intent and the feeling that the writer of the Danish text is hoping – and ever so gallantly trying – to convey.


The eye – as a seer of the world, as a reader of other’s messages and thoughts and impressions.
The ear – as a listener - to life as it goes on around me and as a listener to the music that people play.
The mind and the mouth that have something to offer, something to contribute.
The heart that dwells in the delicately nuanced zones and absorbs life’s joy and intermittent sadnesses – magic and loss.


I do not wish to drop – to “leave on the cutting room floor" – any of the content or any of the passion in the Danish ”urtext” and I work diligently to re-duplicate what the writer has to say in another language: English, which is certainly closely related to Danish, albeit with certain incongruities.


Some writers expressly ask me to “poeticize” and approach the translation of the text in question with a great deal of freedom; these writers think that what’s paramount is that

the text sound good and easily understandable in English, even if some aspects of the original text might be inflected or set aside.

Other writers/clients ask me quite specifically to adhere very closely to the letter of the text

to be translated; they do not want me to aim toward enhancing or ”improving” the text

in any way.


Of course, the “art” is to be able, somehow, to satisfy both these aims at once while producing an English text that sounds good and has a pleasing flow and is more or less accessible to the inquiring reader: something that co-exists closely, like a twin, to the parent text but also has

its own colors and strong shadings.


It is my sincere hope that what the writers have to say when they write in Danish will be read and understood and enjoyed by people who might not be able to understand Danish but can understand English, whether they be native speakers or not.



Ideas behind the work – transposing from (the key of) Danish into (the key of) English


When I am given a text to translate, I feel like I’m being given a score and that it’s my task

to play the score, as it has been written, but simply in a different key.
Translating, then, is something akin to transposing.
I do not wish to alter the logic behind the text’s construction; I want to preserve it intact.

Nor do I want to contort the attitude behind the expression; I want to celebrate its tone and bring out the nuances, so that the writer of the Danish text, when she/he reads through the English text, might say that she/he recognizes the result as being a faithful reproduction of the original and maybe even finds that the article has actually been improved in some way in the English version: that’s what I’m aiming at.


(like a musician playing the score)