Szósz was inescapably struck in cheerfulness but went up a jubilation or two when he saw a young Fischer.

This is just one sentence from the novel by Tibor Fischer, Under the Frog. The official translation of this clause to my native language can be translated back to English, word by word, as follows:

Szósz was the embodimemnt of the warm-hearted man and every time he saw a young Fisher he exploded, even two times, with enthusiasm.

(I translated exactly word by word the official translation.)

Do you think that the translation of the sentence is in terms of the meaning OK?

  • It is really struck and not stuck? It could be a typo, IMHO. – CowperKettle Jul 28 '15 at 11:28
  • In my source it is struck. – bart-leby Jul 28 '15 at 11:33
  • I guess it's a typo. Look at this Ngram. This Szosz was "stuck" in (a?) "cheerful mode". The guy was always cheerful. – CowperKettle Jul 28 '15 at 11:36
  • I think struck refers to the "mold" from which Szósz was created. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jul 28 '15 at 16:38
  • 1
    "Jubilation" is wittily used as an incremental unit of measure. compare: *turned the volume up a notch or two". The translation misses the metaphorical language entirely. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jul 28 '15 at 16:43

I don't agree with this translation, assuming you've stated it correctly.

First of all, "cheerful" is different than "warm-hearted". Cheerful means outwardly, visibly happy and positive, while warm-hearted has more to do with the way you feel about and treat people. You can be one without the other.

Secondly, "went up a jubilation or two" simply means an increase in cheerfulness; I think "exploded" is far too strong a word here.

Finally, increasing "a jubilation or two" is like increasing or going up in cheerfulness by a couple of levels, not twice or "two times".

But the original sentence is certainly unusual -- it is literary or poetic, and not straightfoward, thus difficult to translate well.

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