Sunday, November 28, 2010

Winner of Give-Away

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about translating cookbooks. I included a give-away. The winner is Louisa, who wrote:

My favorite resource is Wikipedia -- I look up whatever term I need to translate in that language and then switch to the English Wikipedia version using the sidebar on the left. There are usually pictures on each language's site so I can be sure they refer to the same thing. Wikipedia has almost everything -- it's great for more than just food!

Louisa, please email me to get your voucher!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Quote from Proust

Translators unfortunately get used to people looking down on us and thinking that what we do is less important or creative than what writers do. So that’s one reason why I like this quote from Proust, because it equates writing with translating. And of course I always say that translators have to be great writers themselves, which many people seem to forget.

To write that essential book, a great writer does not need to invent it but merely to translate it, since it already exists in each one of us. The duty and task of a writer are those of translator. -Marcel Proust

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Cultural Heritage Dictionary

I’m always interested in new and useful reference materials, so I thought I’d point out TermDoc, which focuses on terminology related to cultural heritage. So far, the languages on the site are pretty limited (Spanish, Italian, Catalan, French, German, and Dutch), but if the site expands, it could be quite helpful one day.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Cookbooks and a Give-Away

CSN Stores is offering a £50 gift voucher give-away to one lucky reader of Brave New Words. At CSN, you can find everything from cookware items to chest of drawers to lighting.

How does this relate to translation? Well, readers of Brave New Words might remember a post from over a year ago, where I wrote about translating cookbooks. One of the challenges I mentioned in that post was knowing what tools and implements are available in various countries and what the names of said items might be.

For a cookbook I was translating recently, I struggled with a couple of very specific cookware items. I knew what the items were in Swedish but I wasn’t sure if they necessarily existed in English. One way of approaching this, especially if you don’t even know what the original item looks like, is by using Google images, and then studying sites that sell cookware, such as CSN. These sites are also a great resource for reminding yourself what different items might be called (that’s particularly handy for those of us who work with both US and UK English, because the UK and the US don’t always use the same terminology), or they can give you inspiration for products you could use in recipes should the original product not be available.

In order to win this generous gift voucher, leave a comment on this post. Mention your favorite tip for translating cookbooks/recipes or your favorite food-related resource. Do this by 15 November and then a winner will be chosen randomly to receive the gift voucher.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

A Round-Up of Articles

It’s been so long since I’ve done a round-up of articles and links that I have a lot of them to share with you now.

At the university where I teach, there is a regular literary festival, and local readers might be interested in the program.

Speaking of programs, this sounds like a great new MFA.

I saw this article about translator and writer Lydia Davis first mentioned on my friend Erika Dreifus’ excellent blog.

Here is a melodramatic but hopefully tongue-in-cheek piece on the death of English.

This article discusses how publishers choose translators.

Next up is a piece about how languages influences our thinking.

Another New York Times article looks at learning languages online.

If you’re looking for a short story to read (or listen to!), you can try this one by yours truly.

If you can read Swedish, you might find this article interesting.

Here are some facts about English.

This article is on the best languages to learn.