Monday, April 26, 2010

Free Language Classes Online

I’ve posted a number of links and other information before about learning languages, so here is another such reference. It has 100 links for learning languages for free online.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Twitterature by Alexander Aciman & Emmett Rensin

A friend of mine gave me Twitterature by Alexander Aciman & Emmett Rensin and I read the entire book in one setting. Yes, it’s shticky and self-consciously so. But it’s also a lot of fun.

Aciman and Rensin play with the classics, retelling them through the medium of Twitter. Is it essential that you have read the original tales before you read the Twitter versions? No, but you’d probably get more out of the book if you have, because otherwise some of the jokes might be a bit difficult to get. Aciman and Rensin helpfully include a glossary (bromance, LOL, MILF, nose candy, and STFU are just a few of the terms that get defined) and an introduction to Twitter format, but they do not summarize the books they satirize, nor should they, since having a joke explained takes the humor out of it.

In one of my classes this semester, we used this book to look what it means to “translate” texts from one form to another (in this case, from a classic novel to Twitter) and then the students attempted to parrot Aciman and Rensin. It was enjoyable to read what they came up with too and to discuss what it means to update classics.

If you like, for example, Mel Brooks’ films, you’ll probably like Twitterature by Alexander Aciman & Emmett Rensin, but you’re also likely to find the joke wearying halfway through.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sloppy, Inconsistent Translation Between Englishes

As I’ve mentioned before, I research children’s books. In reading a few books that were published in both the UK and the US, I’ve noticed that the English is not always consistent. The English in children’s books is often adjusted so UK children study “maths” while US children study “math,” for example, or wear “trousers” versus “pants,” or spell “favourite” with the “u.” But in a number of books, I’ve come across very sloppy translation (because translating between Englishes is indeed translation). I wonder if publishers are particularly careless about children’s books or if this is a problem in literature for adults, too.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

A Site for Freelancers

I recently received information on Caterpi, a new website where freelance translators can find jobs. I haven’t tried it out, but Caterpi offered a special link for readers of Brave New Words, so you can get one month free on the site. I’d be interested to hear from anyone who tries it out.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Some Reading

Here is some more reading for you:

The first article is on machine translation.

The next piece is on the translation of poetry.

Here is a blog on Spanish-English translation.

A colleague of mine at the University of East Anglia, the poet George Szirtes, also has an interesting blog.