Check out the nifty Translation section of the NEA Blog: http://artworks.arts.gov/?tag=nea-and-literary-translation
My Favorite Untranslatable Words
It’s my last day as an Archipelago Books intern and I had a sudden urge to post a long, unnecessary list of my favorite untranslatable words, from the hilariously specific to the heartwarmingly universal. These and more at Better Than English. I’ll miss you Archipelago! Mbuki-mvuki (Bantu) To shuck off one’s clothes in order to dance. Geborgenheit (German) To feel completely safe;...
Say what we may of the inadequacy of translation, yet the work is and will...– J. W. Goethe
Translation is an impossible necessity.– Martha J. Cutter
Translators live off the differences between languages, all the while working...– Edmond Cary
Translation is the paradigm, the exemplar of all writing. It is translation that...– Harry Mathews
Translation is that which transforms everything so that nothing changes.– Günter Grass
…[T]here is…a simplicity, an openness, and an innocence in his...– James Wood on Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle, for The New Yorker Read it HERE!
The translator is not a necessary evil that interposes himself between the text...– Dr. Alicia María Zorrilla
Prayer is translation. A man translates himself into a child asking for all...– Leonard Cohen
Woe to the makers of literal translations, who by rendering every word weaken...– Voltaire
How one translator proved Virginia Woolf wrong
“Humor is the first gift to perish in a foreign language.” -Virginia Woolf Anyone who has read David Frick’s translation of Jerzy Pilch’s My First Suicide (Open Letter) knows that with a good translator, translated texts don’t have to lose anything, least of all their ability to make us laugh. This book is straight up hilarious, y’all.
God grant me The serenity to accept The things I cannot translate, Courage...– Zoltán Pék
Tell us something we didn’t know before: how words mean things we didn’t know...– Wyn Cooper, from “Mars Poetica” (via proustitute)
Disappointed dreams our years pass in agony the newspapers forget but in our...– Miltos Sachtouris in Poems (1945-1971), translated from the Greek by Karen Emmerich
To be a successful translator you have to be either a saint or a fool....– Alastair Reid
The Millions reviews MY STRUGGLE →
Post-Undergraduate Literary Translation Studies...
We, the wide-eyed and over-eager interns at Archipelago, are about to enter our senior years of college, and inevitably the question arises: when you’re interested in translation, where do you go from here? We wanted to look at literary translation studies options, but couldn’t manage to find a single comprehensive list on the Internet. So we made one ourselves. US programs for literary...
Famous Last Lines, as Told by Online Translators
We all know that the robot takeover is imminent. As a test of our future job security under the cold rule of machine, we here at Archipelago Books decided to test the abilities of our robot counterpart: the online translator. Using the programs, we translated from language to language and eventually back to English. The results, we must say, look promising. HAL 9000, I want a corner office and...
A translator is a professional schizophrenic, continuously wandering on the...– Zoltán Pék
The relationship of the translator to the writer is an erotic relationship...– Richard Howard
Least Appropriate Summer Reads from Archipelago
For those who hate gossip and sex and crime and intrigue and dogs as central characters… For those who can’t stand page-turning plots and to-the-point sentences… For those who’d rather appreciate a well-bound hardcover than sop up tipsy spills of pre-noon drinks with their airport paperback-cum-cocktail napkin… We, the ARCH INTERNS, have compiled a list of...
50 Shades Of Put It Away: The Worst Book Sex... →
housingworksbookstore: This article taught me that there is a book called Bad Heir Day.
Our favorite untranslatable words
Mbuki-mvuki, a word in the Bantu language spoken in the Niger-Congo region of Africa, means “to shuck off one’s clothes in order to dance” or “to shed one’s clothing spontaneously and dance naked in joy.” Word.
Beautiful translations are like beautiful women, that is to say, they are not...– George Steiner
Dread of space and dread of the crowd. At the foundation of both is the fear of...– Marina Tsvetaeva, Earthly Signs: Moscow Diaries, 1917-22, trans. Jamey Gambrell (via proustitute)
Translating is an intense, profound and provocative activity, at times intimate...– George Steiner
Translation is the medium through which American readers gain greater access to...– Cliff Becker (Late NEA Literature Director), May 16, 2005
He says a lot, for a Norwegian
“If I had known what was coming, I would never have been able to do what I did, because it’s been like hell, really hell,” he said. “But I’m still very glad that I did it.” Knausgaard, in a fascinating article by Larry Rohter for the New York Times, describes his life after the six-part publication of My Struggle, and its connection with Hitler’s infamousMein Kampf. Read it here.
My hero: Yannis Ritsos by David Harsent
“The poet’s extraordinary productivity was achieved in the face of personal tragedy, persistent ill healthy and systematic persecution” David Harsent, forThe GuardianUK, writes a moving piece on the legacy of Yannis Ritsos. Read it here.
Great review of MY STRUGGLE on Barnes & Noble Review. Check out the book here.
Elias Khoury speaks about AS THOUGH SHE WERE SLEEPING on Write On! Radio, KFAI Minneapolis / St. Paul. We want to marry Milia too!
Joshua Cohen and Martha Cooley discussing Albert Cohen’s BOOK OF MY MOTHER at Community Bookstore, Brooklyn. Out in time for Mother’s Day!
What a weekend of events! Thank you to everyone who came out to the PEN World Voices events this weekend. Below are some pictures taken by Erling Maartmann-Moe, a Norwegian tourist who dropped by and snapped some photos. Karl Ove Knausgaard prepares for the reading at Invisible Dog. More after the jump: [[MORE]] Karl Ove Knausgaard at the PEN Literary Safari in the Westbeth Center for the...