Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Round-Up of Articles

As you read this, I am at a conference, attending stimulating sessions on the connection between authors and translators (and I’m giving a talk myself, on the Swedish author and translator Gösta Knutsson). Here’s some interesting reading to keep you occupied while I’m away.

The first article is about the use of French in France, and how this compares to the way many Americans complain about the role of Spanish in the U.S.

Next is a piece on linguistics, which includes the sentence: ‘Language diversity is the “crucial fact for understanding the place of language in human cognition”’.

The Swedish author Stieg Larsson has become a worldwide phenomenon and this article explores him and his work, including its translation. I don’t usually read thrillers myself, but I have read and enjoyed his first book in Swedish, and I plan to read the next two while I’m at home next month, recovering from surgery.

Here, Edith Grossman explores translating Quixote.

The next piece on all the languages in NYC and on preserving languages.

Finally, have a laugh with these funny signs from around the world.


Judy Jenner and Dagmar Jenner said...

Good roundup, thanks for sharing. We are completely with you about Stieg Larsson. We, err, don't usually, well, read that genre either. I know that sounds like we are literature snobs, which I suppose we are. However, we did give in and devoured all three volumes in one week last summer while sitting by the pool in Vegas. We wish we could read them in Swedish. NPR had a review late last year, and now Stieg Larsson is on the tip of everyone's tongue. We saw the movies, too, and while they are too violent for us, they were great (no Hollywood versions needed). However, some of the more edgy nuances (the triangle relationship, etc.) are completely left out in the movies. BTW, we thought the German translation was quite strong and natural-sounding, even though of course we can't read the source text. Might have to check out the English versions.

B.J. Epstein said...

I have been considering doing a research project where I analyse the Swedish originals and the English translations. Since mystery novels have such different styles in the two cultures (I've read this is the case; I'm not an expert on it), I'm curious to see how translators handle differences of style!

Best wishes,