Verb Tense Agreement in Translation

posted Feb 18, 2013, 6:14 AM by Laura Meyerovich   [ updated Feb 19, 2013, 3:07 PM ]
I posted the following on the ProZ forum:
I have an interesting dilemma: the source language (Russian) is very tolerant in terms of verb tense agreement: you can break it not only within a paragraph, but also even within a sentence. The original, a literary work, uses this device all the time, mostly to bring the sense of "presence" into the description of past events.
The target language is English, which is very rigid in this regard, so literal translation will sound illiterate, no pun intended.
Should I edit it out completely, or leave it in at least within paragraphs?
Very informative discussion ensued, which clarified the matter for me - great thanks to all contributors!  As usual, the real knowledge is not  the rule, but when it is OK to break it.