Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Well, the semester has ended, and I feel exhausted by all the classes I’ve taught, essays I’ve read and marked, students I’ve met with, and articles and translations I’ve produced. So I’m going to take a short break. See you back here in a few weeks!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Reading at the Book Hive

If you’re in Norwich, come hear a reading of literary translations at the Book Hive bookstore on London Street on 3 June at 6.30 pm. The reading is free and will include work translated by UEA staff and students from German, Spanish, Italian, French, Swedish, Russian, Greek, and Latin. There’ll be free snacks and drinks too.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Phoneme Press

I’ve just learned about this new press, Phoneme, which is a non-profit publisher interested in translation. I hope to read at least one of their books in the near future, but for now, it’s worth looking at their website, which has some interesting media and information.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

A Round-Up of Articles

This is an interesting post about why some translators fail. You should check out the rest of the blog, too.

This article is about the mispronunciations that changed English.

This piece discusses linguistics.

Whether academic English should be quite so academic is a really fascinating debate. This article seems to argue for it remaining as it is. I, however, believe that accessibility is important. I think academics ought to try to write clearly and simply; sometimes people simply hide the fact that they have no or few ideas behind overly complex language.

This fun animation is on the history of English.

Finally, here’s a piece on English borrowing/loaning words.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Learning a New Language

Many of us who are translators are pretty obsessed with language. For some of us, this means we’re real linguaphiles, and we can’t stop ourselves from wanting to learn more tongues and take more language classes and buy more “teach yourself” language books.

I’ve been told by some people, however, that translators should just specialize and should focus on the one or two languages that they really know best. They say you can confuse yourself or spread your brain cells too thinly across the language zones. They say you no longer look like an expert but rather something of a dilettante.

I don’t agree. Yes, I think you need to continually improve your skills in your source and target languages (and this means reading, writing, speaking, and listening in them as often as possible, ideally every day). But I also think that the more you learn about other languages, the more knowledge you have about how language works generally, and how things sound in your source and target tongues in particular. You’re more open to the possibilities.

What do you think? How many languages do you know or have you studied? And out of those, how many do you work with regularly?