Translation Practice

One of the better parts of my job* is that it brings me into contact with a lot of random old books.  The other day, while going though an aging periodical, I found a Mark Twain quip, and decided to translate it and post it for the edification of my readers.  I don’t speak Spanish, but I’m pretty good in French, so I could fake my way through with a dictionary.  I’m not going to call it my “weekly” translation practice, because who knows how often opportunities like this will come up, but whenever I find interesting quotes that need translation I’ll throw them up here.

The really interesting thing about the journal I pulled this story from, by the way, is that it was a literary journal published out of Havana, Cuba, in the early 1930s (I saw issues from 1932 and 1933).  I also saw an ad for the Parker Duofold fountain pen.  Pretty cool stuff.

Uno del pescado

Un escritor, más vacío de mollera que discreto, le preguntaba al gran humorist Mark Twain, entra otras cosas, si era eficaz, para el desarrollo de la inteligencia, comer mucho pescado.

Mark Twain le repondió:

-Sí, mi querido señor; el consumo del pescado, por efeto del fósforo que contiene, es excelente para el cerebro.  En el caso de usted, calcule que con dos o tres tiburones, aunque no sean de los grandes, bastarán por el momento.

(Cervantes: Revista Mensual Ilustrada, Abril, 1933, Núm. 4, p. 20)

One of the fish

A writer, more vacuous of head than discreet, asked the great humorist Mark Twain, among other things, if it was effective, for developing intelligence, to eat a lot of fish.

Mark Twain responded,

-Yes, my dear sir; the consumption of fish, for the effect of the phosphorus it contains, is excellent for the brain.  In your case, I calculate that two or three sharks, even if they are not the biggest ones, will be enough for the moment.

Cervantes: Illustrated Monthly Journal, April, 1933, Number 4, page 20

*One of my jobs, I guess.