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Insight to the field of translation
RUMFORD -- John Glaus of Rumford has experienced the field and art of translation somewhat differently than most. He was born in America and then happened to find himself in the quadri-lingual country of Switzerland for 14 years.
Glaus was there for his elementary education and part of his secondary education before completing it in England. With fluencies in French and English, he returned to Switzerland to obtain the equivalent of a Bachelor of Arts in hotel administration and culinary arts. He attended L'Ecole Hoteliere de la Societe Suisses des Hoteliers, which is the oldest and best hotel school in the world today.
Having completed most of his education in French, he was imbued with a sense of the historic. Voltaire, Diderot, and other seminal figures of the 18th century Enlightenment were a part of his vocabulary.
Glaus has been translating articles and writing essays for 30 years. After 25 years in the hotel industry, including ownership of the formerly named Linnell Motel on Rt. 2, he began to devote more of his time to working on translations.
“When I arrived in Rumford and began to experience the close affiliation between Quebec and Maine,” said Glaus,“such as the presence of two French Canadian television channels from Montreal and Sherbrooke, I had the opportunity to continue to hone my bi-lingualism.”
He explained that there is not a mysterious connection between owning a business and possessing a desire to translate. “What if anything that I have learned,” said Glaus, “is that to take on anything thing in one’s life requires rigorous honesty to the demand of the task. “
Through this process, Glaus has learned that there are certain things which delineate a translator from his counterpart the novelist. The novelist writes self-generated ideas by drawing upon, for instance, his mind, soul, and senses of observation. However, once the book has been published and is available for translation, the translator must follow a code of ethics. A translator must be as honest as possible to the words of the text and place them contextually on the mark as the author originally intended them. No more, no less.
“When one is bi-lingual, as in my case, French and English, one never feels the necessity to listen in one language and to translate it into the other,” Glaus explained. “It is similar to watching a sub-titled movie, although our comprehension is perfect the visuals invite corroboration. The perfect translation never alters the work of the original manuscript. He is the perfect sieve. The greatest good that a translator can render a text is that of impartiality and transparency.”
Recently, Glaus translated two books for publication. On Art and Artists was published on December 13, 2010. It is an anthology of Denis Diderot’s art criticism and aesthetic thought. Diderot was a great 18th century French philosopher who co-wrote and edited the first modern encyclopedia.
His other book is a biography of the great 18th century Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler, which was published in 2008. Both are available for purchase at Amazon.com.