Blog Archives

Revenge of the Translator

If you, like me, translate for a living, you might, like me, have been waiting to get your hands on this for quite some time. I ordered it ages ago, and when it finally arrived, I was about to take

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Posted in books, language, translation

Twelve Days: Six Catalan Poets

In the middle of the twelve days of Christmas, the year is turning. It’s a time to remember the good and bad in the year that’s fading, and perhaps to hope for something better in the year to come. One

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Posted in books, Christmas, language, poetry, translation

Where do you really come from?

November 9 is a good date to mark German Literature Month; the day the monarchy ended, the day Hitler’s putsch failed, the night of the pogroms he instigated, the day the Berlin Wall came down… It wasn’t as easy as

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Posted in history, international, language, translation

Catalan Book Week: something new, something old

150 new books are being launched at over 200 events right now in Barcelona – it’s Catalan Book Week. There is much to celebrate, not least the 20th Trajectòria Award going to translator Anna Casassas. You don’t have to go to Barcelona

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Posted in books, Illustration, international, language, translation

the language is yours, cherish it

This week’s number one, slaying Justine Timberlake and Adele, is a song in te reo Māori. What a fantastic end to the 40th Maori Language Week in New Zealand. Here’s the karaoke version of Maimoatia/Cherish it by the team at Pūkana (a

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Posted in international, language, music, translation, words

Sing your heart out at the football: Calon lân

  Wales will be singing tonight as they play Portugal in the Euro 2016 football semi-final. And they will be singing this song: According to the BBC, it only takes half an hour to learn the words to calon lân, which means a

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Posted in international, language, music, translation

Jamala: Crimean Tatar in translation

Eurovision 2016, almost everyone is singing in English (even the French!!!) and a Crimean Tatar wins, singing the chorus in a language that isn’t even available on Google Translate. Because she sings with passion about her people, who were forcibly

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Posted in history, international, language, music

two hundred thousand lakes

Finland has 1 lake for every 26 or so people, 187 888 in total, and most have marvellous names which look unpronouncable or untranslatable to a non-Finnish speaker. The rather fabulous designers Aamu Song and Johan Olin of http://www.com-pa-ny.com have put some answers on postcard:

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Posted in Folklore, language, translation, words

Christ is risen! in 250 languages

Christ is Risen! By the time you read this, we will have probably only sung this Easter greeting in about ten languages, from Arabic to Swedish. But a Canadian Orthodox priest, Steven Bigham, has collected this Easter greeting in 250 tongues. They are all painstakingly

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Posted in faith, international, language, translation

Finnish – the fantasy language to rule them all

What if you want to create a whole new fantasy world, and you people it with beings who speak an utterly fantastic language that no mere earthling could understand? Where do you start? You start with Finnish, of course. And

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Posted in language, literature, poetry, translation
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