I’ve recently learned about La Rassegna del traduttore, a site that is a collection of blogs and other online texts about translation. You can see the list of feeds, which is quite extensive and happens to include Brave New Words. It’s a good resource!
If any readers of Brave New Words are located near Norfolk (England), feel free to come along to a reading I’ve organized. It will take place at the wonderful independent bookstore The Book Hive in Norwich on 23 June at 7 pm.
The MA students in literary translation at the University of East Anglia, where I teach, will be reading from their translations. This is a chance to hear books/authors that have not yet been translated to English. And there’ll be drinks as well, which always appeals to literary crowds.
Oh, it’s wonderful to be a linguaphile. For each new language you learn, you gain a whole new perspective on life, access to an entire culture, including the literature, and insight into a place and a people, among many other benefits.
I would imagine that a number of us linguaphiles long to learn as many languages as we can, even if we can’t or don’t learn them all fluently.
So what languages do you know and what’s on your languages-to-learn list? And why?
As for me, I started out with Latin (okay, technically I started with English, my native language), which I think is a great place to begin because it’s the basis of the Romance languages and has had a big influence on English as well. I moved on to Spanish and then Swedish. Swedish became my first love, linguistically speaking, and it’s still the language I work most with now, as a researcher and a translator. I’ve also worked a bit with Norwegian and Danish. In the past few years, I’ve taken classes or studied on my own Portuguese, Italian, and Finnish. And I’ve got Japanese, Polish, and German textbooks at home that I’ve scarcely touched yet. So I can’t claim to be all that good at most of those languages, though I’ve enjoyed my exposure to them. I often feel that I ought to try to learn some French and I’m fascinated by and drawn to Faroese and Icelandic. But I seem rather stuck in Europe for the most part, so at some point, I’d like to take a class that would move me to another continent in terms of my language skills. Any suggestions?
I recently learned about the London Review of Books’ World Literature Weekend. It sounds like a fantastic event, with sessions on and with writers from around the world, plus literary translation workshops. I wish I could go and I hope some of you can make it.
Originally from Chicago, I lived in southern Sweden for nearly 5.5 years, and moved to southern Wales in September 2006. I completed a Ph.D. translation studies in June 2009 at Swansea University, with a dissertation on the translation of children's literature.
Now I live in Norwich, England, where I am a lecturer at the University of East Anglia, and I also work as a translator, writer, and editor.
Contact me at bravenewwords (AT) gmail (DOT) com.