This corking issue of the Paris Review features not only the Geoff Dyer excerpt of his next book on Tarkovsky’s Stalker, but also a brilliant essay by Lydia Davis, Some Notes on Translation and on Madame Bovary.
Essential reading for anyone with an interest in translation, Davis discusses, in a wide-ranging essay, the evolution of her translation of Madame Bovary between hardback and paperback, and in later editions. Digressing into other languages Davis comes to the pleasures of the German language:
The concreteness of their word for (our Latinate) multiplication: Einmaleins (=”one-times-one”).
The economy or condensation of their Wildbachbrücke (=’wild-brook’bridge”) = bridge over a mountain stream).
One of my favourites is a word I remember from a Peter Handke novel but cannot now find in it, search as I may. I find it elsewhere, though, in an article about a 5,300-year-old corpse preserved by a glacier and discovered in the Alps by a Bersteigerhepaar (=”mountain-climbing-married-couple”).
This is Google translated more concisely as “climber couple”; the corpse is described in English by the translation machine as “freeze-dried.”