My article this week at Return of Kings deals with Sun Tzu’s Art of War.
Sun Tzu’s The Art of War is one of the most widely read of the military classics. A very large number of translations exist, of decidedly uneven quality. Some of these “translations” omit large portions of the original text’s commentary; and some of them are glossy, slicked-up books that bear little relation to the original.
As it turns out, The Art of War has much to tell us about the art of translation. The translator must know the language, of course; but he must also know his subject, and have a sensitivity to the nuances of a work’s historical context. The quality of a translation can make or break a work. A good translation can communicate the spirit of the original, while a bad one can alienate a reader permanently.
[To read the rest of my article, click here.]