Monday, February 25, 2008

A Round-Up of Articles

Here are a bunch of articles on language and translation; not all are recent, but that doesn’t make them less interesting or relevant.

First, here is an
obituary for Icelandic translator Bernard Scudder. I had contact with him because he was going to speak at the Nordic Translation Conference next month, and I was saddened to hear of his premature death.

Next, here is
an article on the evolution of language.

For those of you who can read Swedish and who have been following the situation with funding for translation in Sweden, you will want to read
this article for the latest news.

article by Chinese to English translator Howard Goldblatt is a few years old, but still worth a read. Interesting quotes include:
-“the unavoidable fact that a translation can only complement, not replicate, the original.”
-“And yet the relationship cannot help but be fragile, given an author's desire to have his work reach the broadest possible audience with the exact effect it had on its original readers. Too often, that desire is accompanied by absolute ignorance about the nature of translation, or a disdain for it, or a combination of the two.”
-“Translation is inadequate, but it’s all we have if good writing is to have its life extended, spatially and temporally.”

The next
article is by Israeli author Etgar Keret and is on two Hebrew words that “do have English equivalents, except that in Hebrew—or maybe it would be more accurate to say "in Israeli"—they carry completely different values.”

Sticking to the Middle East, here is an
article on learning Arabic.

For a completely different language, this
piece talks about Hawaiian making a comeback.

Finally, a bit of humor. Here is a
sketch entitled “The Impotence of Proofreading.”

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