Sunday, June 29, 2008


Translators to and from Swedish might be interested in this new website, which proclaims itself to be a meeting place for those who translate or work with language.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

BookTrust’s Translated Fiction Website

BookTrust here in the UK has recently started a new website dedicated to translated fiction. It is definitely worth a look, and I think that BookTrust is open to suggestions for how to improve the site.

Also, I noticed that translator Eric Dickens, who has previously provided this blog with
information about Yiddish, has an article on the new website.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Resource: The PEN Website

The PEN site has a lot of useful and interesting information on translation (and other topics, of course). There is a page for translation and this includes a translation handbook and a model contract. There is also a report called “To Be Translated or Not To Be”, with a foreword by novelist and translator Paul Auster.

Thanks to poet and translator Rika Lesser, who helped write the model contract and reminded me about what a good resource PEN is!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

He died writer Chingiz Aitmatov

It is, of course, cruel to use someone's death as an example. However, this article, translated by machine translation software and sent to me by translator Eric Dickens, is yet more proof of what a mistake it is to rely on translation software.

He died writer Chingiz Aitmatov

writer Chingiz Aitmatov died in a clinic in Germany on June 10, 2008. He had not lived to 80 - anniversary a few months. Classic Kyrgyz and Russian literature, he was one of the most famous and beloved writers for many millions of people, Bakililar.AZ passes with reference to the BBC.

His novels and novels, "Farewell, Gulsary "," White steamer "," Pegy dog, running the edge of the sea "," I lasted longer than a century day "," Plaha "made him well-deserved glory and entered the textbooks and hrestomatii.

In one interview, Chingiz Aitmatov said that love - this is the true home of vitality. And in his works seen a tremendous love for the author's rights is part of nature, which, in turn, inform, acquiring human traits.

According to Tatar Ravilya Buharaeva writer, "his home, his world, in which it was, is the world of mythology and folklore Kyrgyz mountains and space .... Because mythology - a reflection of mythology in everyday life. And in this sense he was a consummate craftsman ".

C stigma "enemy of the people " Torekulovich Chingiz Aitmatov was born in 1928, in Kyrgyzstan. When he was nine years old, in 1937, his father was arrested. After another year of his shot.

Chingiz son grew up with the stigma enemy of the people. That played a big role in shaping the identity of the writer. His Uzbek counterpart Hamid Ismailov believes that this probably was the "initial impetus to the fact that he was able to trust their feelings only white sheet of paper, where he was able, so to speak, vyplesnut himself ".

At the age of 20 years Aitmatov received by the Agricultural Institute in the city of Frunze (the current Bishkek). Even a student, Aitmatov was published in the periodical press their first stories in Kyrgyz language.

Joined the highest literary courses in Moscow, he was able only in 1956, after HH CPSU congress. That is, after being exposed Stalin's personality cult, a repressed, including his father Aytmatova, have begun to rehabilitate.

At the end of the year courses in 1958, Aitmatov published a story, "Jamil" That brought him worldwide fame.

"Jamil" - the thing is so great that even a genius for its communist leaders were unable to recognize the danger in which it lies - believed Hamid Ismailov. -- When rereads Aytmatova, amazes his literary genius ".

Novels and Aytmatova novels written over the next 20 years, read throughout the world.

" What would he nor wrote, either, "White steamer", where he makes this great image of mother-olenihi, or wild camel from "Burannogo polustanka ", or - this great thing, absolutely not afraid of the word - "Pegy dog, running edge of the sea ", which refers to the north, are all seen a single vision. This is - an attempt to find a common language of all humanity "- Ravil writer believes Buharaev.

Titulovanny Writer

Over the next quarter-century Aitmatov wrote a number of novels and novels, which are now classics of Russian and Kyrgyz literature.

This "Topolek in my red kosynke " "first teacher", "Farewell, Gyulsary! " "White steamer", "Pegy dog, running the edge of the sea", "I lasted longer than a century Day" (novel, which was renamed the "stop Burana"), "Plaha ".

In these works Aitmatov raises the eternal questions: about a man, his soul, feelings, conscience. That's what Chingiz Aitmatov told himself: "Conscience - is a great heritage, the great legacy of the human race, human consciousness, the human spirit. Thanks to a person becomes a man of conscience ".

Chingiz Aitmatov was one of the most Soviet writers to style: Hero of Socialist Labor, the winner of many awards, deputy leader or member of many groups and committees ...

In 1990, Aitmatov is becoming a diplomat. First, he was Ambassador USSR, and later the Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan in the Benelux countries.

Biograf Abdyldazhan Akmataliev writer believes that the diplomatic service Aytmatova gave Kyrgyz much: " Since Soviet times world to know about Aytmatove more than about Kyrgyzstan. He embodies our spiritual passport, our calling card ".

However, in March 2008, Aitmatov was dismissed without explanation from the post of Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan in Europe.

In the middle May writer, while in Kazan on film shooting in the novel "I lasted longer day century", was hospitalized with a diagnosis of "kidney failure ".

Then he was sent to continue treatment City of Nuremberg (Germany). I

n one interview, Chingiz Aitmatov said: "I do feel life as a tragedy. Since zhizneutverzhdayuschim finale ".

" Upasi you about people from the ills nelyudskih - Upasi fire neugasimyh, From the bloody Battle irresistible, Forbid you from irreparable Affairs, Upasi you about people from the ills nelyudskih ... "Aytmatova end of the book" Cry of migratory birds

Friday, June 13, 2008

So You Think You Can Translate

The popularity of reality TV shows has sometimes made me wonder what a reality show about translation would involve. Note that I don’t have a television, so I may be a bit off on what the average reality show is all about, but from what I understand, it involves challenges and each week someone is kicked off the show.

So we have a group of eager wannabe-translators. What would they face on So You Think You Can Translate?

Every week, our eager contestants would pick a new style of text out of a box (financial report, poem, academic article, medical records, play, essay, speech, contract, short story, etc.) and they would have to translate that on their own. To make this even more difficult, they could also pick references from a box, so they would be limited to using one or some combination of the following: computer tools, dictionaries, Internet references, encyclopedias, or libraries. Contestants might get a total of two special links for the entire season, and that would mean that if they were really stuck on a translation, they could decide to call a professional translator or some other expert (a professor, language teacher, botanist, lawyer, novelist, editor, architect, etc.) for help.

In addition, there would be group, pair, and individual challenges. Challenges might include learning a new language, performing a sight translation, working on a relay translation, subtitling, interpreting, giving a presentation on some aspect of translation, learning how to use a new computer tool, reviewing a book on language or translation, negotiating with a customer, handling an angry client, advertising their services, and putting together a literary magazine of new translations.

The contestants’ translations would be critiqued by a panel of experienced judges, but the viewers would vote on who the winners of the other challenges should be. Each week, the contestant with the least votes would have to leave the show.

As the season draws to a close, the ultimate winner would be pronounced the nation’s Best Translator and she or he would get help starting her or his own freelance business. This would include an office with the works (computer, big desk, ergonomic chair, coffee machine, full sets of dictionaries and encyclopedias, etc.) plus a year’s worth of advice from an accountant, a mentor, and membership in any appropriate translators’ association.

I know I’d watch this show! Anyone else? What else should be on it?

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Summer Break

Now that it's summer, I'm going to be posting a little less frequently. I'll be travelling for part of the time (seven different countries in a matter of months!) and I'll be attending various conferences, including two translation-focused ones (WALTIC in Stockholm later this month and FIT in Shanghai in August -- let me know if you're going to be there!). But I will keep posting, so check back.

And stay tuned for my version of Translation: The Reality TV Show!

Have a great summer!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

More Humor

I am a fan of bad translations – not in a professional sense, of course, but just because I find them amusing. This funny website is primarily for those who know Swedish, but there is a section that can be read by everyone (at least the bad translations can; the commentary can not be). Click “äldre inlägg” at the end of each page to get to the next one.