You might know what I think of as the archetypal story of translation telephone. I’ll tell you anyway. Someone asks to have the following phrase translated into Russian: “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Then it gets translated back. (Don’t ask me why, that’s not important. Also: don’t question me.) It comes back as: “The vodka is great, but the meat is rotten.”
See, translation is always an act of interpretation. Ironically, the quotation I remember regarding that comes from the French, I think, so I have to translate it. “Translations are like women. When they are beautiful, they are not faithful, and when they are faithful, they are not beautiful.”
All this is to say that we thought it might be fun to take a romance novel that has been translated into a foreign language and retranslated. Hopefully, mirth and mayhem ensues. I’ll try to stick to the German syntax to make it nice and awkward.