Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0004896, Thu, 16 Mar 2000 17:03:26 -0800

Query: Spanish translation of _The Gift_
As I reread The Gift I am increasingly bothered by the awareness that it was
translated into Spanish as "La dádiva," which means "gift" only in the sense
of "present" (not in the sense of "talent"). I don't have a copy of the
Spanish translation, nor have I ever read it, but I would love to know what
made the translator choose it and how he dealt with it in the various
instances where it appears in reference to Fyodor, such as this one, on the
tramcar, three pages into chapter 2:
" ...but for some reason he got the impression that all these cold, slippery
eyes, looking at him as if he were carrying an illegal treasure (which his
gift was, essentially) belonged only to malicious hags and crooked
¡¿"su dádiva"???!

I can think of no other Spanish word but "don" as a translation of "gift" in
this sense. If anyone familiar with the Spanish translation has a plausible
explanation for this "dádiva", this impossible cadeau (is it closer to the
Russian "dar" perhaps?), I would love to hear it.