Famous Translators in History

I was reading the MotaWord blog a couple of days ago and I realized they have a famous translators category on their blog. Good job guys! I also wanted to praise some of the most famous translators in history, so here we are.

Let’s start with stating that this is one of the most difficult blog posts I have ever written. Selecting only 7 from many, who have done a significant job, famous translators in history is what makes this blog post difficult. Therefore I have to set some criteria. On this blog post, I will not mention those who have translated religious texts in my “famous translators in history” list. My main reason to exclude them from this list is this: They are very well known by most of the people and I, if I may, would like to give some credit to others who are not given the credit they deserved.

Valentin Berezhkov
World War II is one of the most tragic events in our history. Everything was extremely difficult and was hanging on by a thread. So Valentin Berezhkov was interpreting in those times but this is not what makes him so special. He was the leader of the Russian interpreters and took part in many diplomatic talks. He interpreted for Hitler, Churchill and Roosevelt. Took part in Tehran Conference and became a part of the talks which changed the destiny of the WWII.

Wilhelm von Humboldt
Humboldt was one of the guys with many talents. He had many skills which made it possible for him to become a philosopher, diplomat and a linguist. Even though he is not known by his contribution to translation studies he was one of those who started the field of comparative linguistics and also he redefined the function of language as a formative organ of thought which was a ground-breaking idea that many linguists worked on even long after Humboldt’s time. He also translated Greek poets Pindar and Aeschylus’ work into German.

Edward George Seidensticker
Seidensticker is one of the most famous Japanese-English translators. His translations of Japanese writers Yasunari Kawabata, Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, and Yukio Mishima has allowed Japanese literature to gain traction in western cultures.

Jorge Luis Borges
Jorge Luis Borges was also a great translator. He started his career when he was 9. His English-Spanish translation of The Happy Prince was a big success for a 9-year-old. In his career as a translator, he translated important writers such as Edgar Allan Poe, Franz Kafka, William Faulkner, Virginia Woolf into Spanish.

Constance Garnett
Constance Garnett was one of the first literary translators who worked in Russian-English translation. She translated the important works of Tolstoy, Gogol, Goncharov, Dostoyevsky, Turgenev, Ostrovsky, Herzen and Chekhov into English.

Claudine Picardet
I strongly believe that science can not and would not exist without translation. Claudine Picardet was a chemist and also translated scientific studies from Swedish, German, English, Italian and according to some sources Latin to French. And she did it in the 18th century. While most of the women were not even being educated.

Gregory Rabassa
For some people, I will feel indebted forever. Gregory Rabassa is among one of them. I can’t think of a world without Gabriel García Márquez’s “The Autumn of the Patriarch” book and Gregory Rabassa did an amazing job translating it. Even Gabriel García Márquez claimed, for his own book, that Gregory Rabassa’s English translation of the “One Hundred Years of Solitude” is better than the Spanish original.

These are my 7 famous translators in history and as Link Translations we are willing to become your favorite translators. Feel free to contact us and get a no obligation quote for your translation projects.