24 February 2012

Every act of communication is an act of translation

Gregory Rabassa, acclaimed Spanish-to-English translator of Gabriel García Márquez and other South American authors, is reported to have said, with considerable wisdom: "Every act of communication is, in some way, an act of translation".

TEDTalks has posted a talk by Chris Bliss entitled "Comedy is translation". The talk begins with a few words about Gregory Rabassa's insight before explaining how great comedy can translate deep truths for a mass audience."

Recommended viewing for translators and those who buy translation service alike.


  1. would you please provide us where did he say this? I am trying to find a reference. Thank you!

  2. Googling for "Every act of communication is an act of translation" certainly produces plenty of hits, with most attributing the quote to Gregory Rabassa. But, like you, I failed the find the precise source.
    I was hoping to find it in this interview
    An Interview with Gregory Rabassa - Center for Translation ...
    but it's not there.


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