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Robyn Creswell - publié le 22/11/2013

Like Jewish and Christian commentators, Muslim exegetes understood the Babel story to be a parable of how mankind’s hubris, in the form of a desire for knowledge or an attempt to reach the heavens, leads to divine punishment. The subsequent confusion of human idioms and scattering of peoples is a second fall from grace, an expulsion from the paradise of monolingualism. Henceforth, translation becomes at once necessary and impossible—impossible in the sense that no translation could ever ...

Keith Gessen - publié le 19/11/2013

What is the place of the writer in the literary field of the home country? What contribution can this writer make to the literary field of the target or host country? It's important to understand that the answers to these questions will often be different: a writer can be a marginal figure in his home country and become a vital figure in another country. More often, of course, the reverse is true.

Esther Allen - publié le 15/11/2013

As our language ceases to dominate cyberspace (our share of the Web has fallen to about 27%), we English speakers are hesitantly stepping out of our monolingual sphere and evincing renewed interest in foreign tongues. Language learning websites like Livemocha and Matador Network seem to crop up like mushrooms, Rosetta Stone is a publicly traded company whose stock is up 41% year to date, and last year’s top-rated YouTube video — remember? —was in Korean (with a few repetitions of “hey ...

Mary Jo Bang - publié le 15/11/2013

how can reading not add to one’s experience, and in turn influence a person’s writing? And wouldn’t translation especially affect the brain, since translation involves the closest sort of reading, one where the mind simultaneously reads for meaning and tries to access the equivalent word or expression in another language. Wouldn’t reading the word “pelle” in Italian similarly send a message to the brain to access the synaptic record of all past sensory experience having to do with ...