Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Lost in Translation

So I saw the revival of Fiddler on the Roof. (The seats were great. I sat meters away from Doctor Octopus.) I can understand why one might translate "shabbat shalom" into "good sabbath" along with myriad other Yiddish or Hebrew sayings for a non-Jewish audience. (Even though the performance was in Manhattan, Broadway audiences are filled with out-of-towners and tourists.) However, the translation of "mensch" into "person" as in "That Mottel's a real person" was a step too far even for this goyischer emphatic non-monotheist.