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We’re All Translators Now

Un texte d'Esther Allen
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 sexy lady” thrown in for nostalgia’s sake)...

Translation as Muse: Muse as Teacher

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 leather: black jacket, kid gloves, car seat, red belt with an alligator buckle...

What Is Translation For?

Un texte de Keith Gessen
In translation circles, a great deal of time and energy is spent in discussion of the rules and styles and theories of translation. They assume that another discussion has already been undertaken, and undertaken knowledgably, which I think in most cases it has not. What I would like to hear, as a complement to but also as a predecessor to "theories of translation," is theories about or at least a discussion of what ought to be translated. Why this and not that, why now and not later? Most of all: What will it bring to the host country or literature that it does not yet have?

In Praise of Babel

Un texte de Robyn Creswell
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 match the transparency of the original Ur-Sprache...
Mise à jour le 3 décembre 2013
Créé le 3 décembre 2013
ISSN 2107-7029
DGESCO Clé des Langues