Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Round-Up of Articles

I’m off to a conference on story-telling now, so here is a list of interesting articles to keep you occupied until I return.

article on why you shouldn’t rely on Babel Fish – apparently it nearly caused a diplomatic incident.

Here’s a
piece on language enrollments increasing. Thank you to Erika Dreifus for sending me this article!

article is on the spread of English as a global language and how that might change the standard form of the language.

information on the influence of Irish on American slang.

article is on titles, but it includes a paragraph on translation that shows how some authors are not understanding when it comes to challenges involved in translation. Here is quote:
“He even described receiving a letter from a Finnish translator, which said (in Heller's paraphrase): ‘I am translating your novel Catch-22 into Finnish. Would you please explain me one thing: what means Catch-22? I didn't find it in any vocabulary. Even assistant air attaché of the USA here in Helsinki could not explain exactly.’ Heller added: ‘I suspect the book lost a great deal in its Finnish translation.’´

Not too surprising – Americans are reading less, as this
article discusses.

Unfortunately, the
last two speakers of a dying language won’t speak to one another.

Finally, this
article discusses translation in English-speaking countries. It says:
“In Germany 13% of books are translations. In France it's 27%, in Spain 28%, in Turkey 40% and in Slovenia 70%, but in Britain and America the best estimates suggest that the fraction of books on the shelves which started off in another language is somewhere around two per cent…Translation is considered by many universities to be insufficiently significant or original to add lustre to an academic CV, while publishers routinely sweep evidence of translation off the covers of books.”

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