Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars A Review of the Castilian Translation of the Hobbit, 16 April 2009
This review is from: EL HOBBIT (Paperback)
The Hobbit is not the easiest work to translate, and Manuel Figueroa has, for the most part, succeeded admirably. Both prose and verse have been translated in a clear, easy-to-read way, and the text is true to the original. A welcome attempt has been made to put across Tolkien's at-times-somewhat-old-fashioned style of writing by using antique Castilian words and phrases, such as the old pronoun "vos" to show formal speech, as in Bilbo's initial conversation with Gandalf, and the phrase "vuestra merced" instead of "usted". I particularly liked the old-fashioned use of an accent over "fue" on the map at the start of the book. (I cannot seem to type accents on Amazon).

Figueroa's attempt to translate proper nouns by looking at their literal meanings or etymologies is less successful. For example, Thorin Oakenshield becomes Thorin "Escudo de Roble", which is cumbersome; Mirkwood becomes "El Bosque Negro", which is simplistic; and Took becomes "Tuk" - presumably to aid pronunciation. This serves to detract from the character of the original in a way that Tolkien intensely disliked; he took issue with a Dutch translation for just this sort of thing (The Letters of JRR Tolkien p. 249-51), and it would have been better to leave the place names and names of people intact.

Moreover, the translator mistakenly translates Baggins as "Bolson", treating it as a diminutive of the English word "bag", which it is not. In fact it was derived from the Old English word "baeg" meaning ring - a reference to the ring in the story. This argues for a lack of familiarity with the cultural background of the work on the part of the translator.

Nonetheless, Manuel Figueroa's translation is serviceable and generally well executed. It should prove useful to a Castilian speaker interested in reading the story, or an English-speaking student who wants to practise their language skills by reading a familiar book in another language.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

4.2 out of 5 stars (4 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (1)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
Used & New from: £43.31
Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,173,860