Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Round-Up of Articles

As usual, several of the articles I’ve found interesting are from the NY Times. The first is on the publishing industry.

The next is on computer translation.

Another piece is about bailing out the writers.

I also enjoyed an article on teaching literature.

Finally, a piece about the Icelandic author Halldór Laxness. This article mentions an early novel by Laxness, which is now out in a “vigorous translation” to English, whatever that means.

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Site for Learning Indo-European Languages

This is a great resource: a website for learning Indo-European languages. I’ve already started looking at some of the courses offered there and I can imagine I’ll spend more time on the site in the future.

Monday, December 22, 2008

More Metaphors for Translation/Translators

In the last post, I mentioned Susan Bassnett’s Comparative Literature: A Critical Introduction. She includes some analysis of translation metaphors, which is a topic I am interested in. She writes that studying metaphors translators use about their work is an important part of translation studies today. Here are some of the ones Professor Bassnett mentions:

  • “[C]lusters of metaphors used by translators reflect their thinking about the role and status of translation in their own time. Predictable metaphors relating to rhetoric in general include following in footsteps, changing clothing, discovering treasure or alchemical transfer, and these metaphors also show a certain degree of ambiguity towards the source text, with the status of the text in its source system being significant in determining the attitude and strategies of the translator as well as the right of the target culture to possess it.” (146)

  • The translator as a servant was a popular metaphor through 19th century. (147)

  • Augusto de Campos uses the metaphor of the transfusion of blood. “Translation is for him a physical process, it is a devouring of the source text, a transmutation process, an act of vampirization.” (155)

  • “The images of translation as cannibalism, as vampirism, whereby the translator sucks out the blood of the source text to strengthen the target text, as transfusion of blood that endows the receiver with new life, can all be seen as radical metaphors that spring from post-modernist post-colonial translation theory.” (155)
  • Wednesday, December 17, 2008

    Comparative Literature Has Had its Day?

    I was reading Susan Bassnett’s Comparative Literature: A Critical Introduction and noticed that her chapter on translation studies is a good basic introduction to the field, though it focuses primarily on recent times and trends. She argues that “[c]omparative literature as a discipline has had its day…We should look upon translation studies as the principal discipline from now on, with comparative literature as a valued but subsidiary subject area.” (161) What do you think about that?

    Wednesday, December 10, 2008

    Nobel Lecture by Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio

    You can read or watch the Nobel lecture by Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, this year’s Nobel Prize winner in literature, online. There is also a lot of other interesting material on the Nobel Prize website.

    Saturday, December 06, 2008

    Favorite Translation/Language Blogs

    I've long kept a list of blogs on this site, but I thought I'd call your attention to it now, as the days are getting darker and people just want to stay inside with a warm drink and some good reading material. This is not a complete list, of course, just a few of my favorite, frequently updated blogs on translation and language.

  • Three Percent

  • Beyond Words

  • Language Log

  • David Crystal's Blog

  • Language Hat

  • Omniglot

  • From Our Lips

  • Web Translations

  • Life In Translation

  • Translating is an Art

  • Masked Translator

  • About Translation

  • Separated by a Common Language
  • Ur språkens tunnlar (in Swedish)
  • Tuesday, December 02, 2008

    Another Round-Up

    A short NPR news segment looks at translation and interviews three translators.

    article is on the future of books and publishing.

    Here is an essay on bilingualism.

    And just for fun, from the same site, an
    essay on procrastination. Warning: this might keep you from your work!