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Thread: Multilingual booklets

  1. #1
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    Default Multilingual booklets

    As we all know, recordings of classical music are usually supplied with a booklet that has texts at least in English, German and French - and sometimes in a fourth language depending on what country the composer and the recording are from.

    I admit that although I regard it as a nice little custom, I usually only feel bad about that when I'm enthusiastic about a nice thick booklet and then realize that only a fraction of it is of any use. And let's face it: the translations are useful only for a few people - why use budget, time and paper for something so impractical. This does not have any nationalistic factors: I would sacrifice Finnish translations as well.

    How does it make you feel? Should I quit smoking? Do you think that the translations are a valuable tradition or a useless relic?

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    Hi Schnowotski - if it's not already in English then the translation of booklet notes would be useful for more than a few people in the UK - we are hardly the polyglot epicentre of the universe! If it's a vocal work that requires the inclusion of lyrics/libretto then it's nigh on essential unless it's a generic liturgical work where the words could presumably be found on a recording by another composer.

    Yes, you should quit smoking - as should I.

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    Senior Member itywltmt's Avatar
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    French is my first language, so I'm cool with it...

    Actually, now that I do most of my shopping online, I kind of miss having the booklets. I uaualy make due by googling foir the info - hit and miss.

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    Senior Member GoneBaroque's Avatar
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    I find it very useful to have the booklets issued in German, French, and English in addition to the issuing nation if it is different. It certainly increase the value of the recording. We are not all polygots.

    Yes, you and everyone should quit smoking. I did not have to as I never started.

    Rob

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    Quote Originally Posted by elgars ghost View Post
    Hi Schnowotski - if it's not already in English then the translation of booklet notes would be useful for more than a few people in the UK - we are hardly the polyglot epicentre of the universe! If it's a vocal work that requires the inclusion of lyrics/libretto then it's nigh on essential unless it's a generic liturgical work where the words could presumably be found on a recording by another composer.

    Yes, you should quit smoking - as should I.
    Actually I would go so far to say that the texts should be only in English - as is with a Schumann 2 CD set that I borrowed from the library today: the space that could have been used for other translations is used for extensive essays about the songs. Of course this is not always the case: I think most of the times - if the translations were to be dropped - the space wouldn't be used for essays but the booklet would just be thinner.

    And of course what it comes to actual lyrics or poems: I totally agree that those should be at least in their original language and in English. Any other translation is added value since poetic texts are easier to understand - or I should say "easier to relate to" - if they happen to be in your first language. This doesn't apply to essays, you just have to understand the point, and that is why I don't see any use to have them in many different languages.

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    Default booklets

    This is something I've been thinking about a lot lately as I co-produced a CD last year and I've got another nearly finished that I'm about to do the cover for.

    For the latest, I've decided to keep the text minimal because the more pages the heavier it is, and I don't want a CD that is going to weigh over 100 grams including the envelope! Yes, postage is expensive in France and last year's CD weighed in annoyingly at 108 grams which put it into the 100-250 gram posting category - something that we didn't really think about when planning the bilingual English-French 12 page booklet.

    I've also decided that since everyone has internet these days, expanded text that would've been on the CD will be on a webpage with the URL clearly visible on the CD.

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    Senior Member Ukko's Avatar
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    Exclamation Consistency

    There should be documentation - about the performers and the recording, not the composer or the work. The documentation should be in one language - one of the trade languages, Swahili or Farsi.

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    Senior Member regressivetransphobe's Avatar
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    If they cut out the translations I doubt they'd feel obligated to extend the liner notes, so it would just lead to a thinner booklet. It ain't nothin'.
    People who hide are afraid!

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    Quote Originally Posted by regressivetransphobe View Post
    If they cut out the translations I doubt they'd feel obligated to extend the liner notes, so it would just lead to a thinner booklet. It ain't nothin'.
    As I said, I think that too. This is more like a OCD style thing than anything based on a rational thought. Though I am still a little surprised that I'm the only one who thinks like this. The "waste of paper" makes me so depressed that I always think I can't be the only one thinking like this - surely this is so big deal!

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