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Islands of Protest

  This book will make you angry, and sad, and want to act, at least it did me. Coming from a small country where people were made to wear a sign around their neck if they spoke their native language

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Posted in books, poetry, short stories, theatre, translation

waiting for Christmas, Japanese style

Sometimes reading a new book is like meeting a new friend. Chika Sagawa was born over a century ago, and this new volume of her writing is slim, but it was enough to seal the friendship for me. It may

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Posted in books, poetry, translation

Words to bridge the gap

From a capella to zeitgeist, English has always filched other people’s words and run with them. There are so many more waiting to be used. And Ella Frances Sanders has brought them to life. As she says in  Lost in Translation:

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Posted in books, Illustration, language, translation, words

Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai: 100 Japanese ghost stories

Tonight the old year ends; the day of the dead is coming. Halloween is not just All Hallows’ Eve, it’s also the eve of winter in the Celtic calendar; the gate of the darker half of the year. It’s time

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Posted in Edinburgh Festival, Folklore, international, short stories, translation

chocolate for everyone

Valentine’s Day both loses and gains something in translation. For the Japanese, today is the day when the women give chocolate (and only chocolate) to the men. This is because one chocolate company made a translation mistake, switching the genders, when

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Posted in translation, Valentine's Day

year of the horse: China in 10 words

Happy Chinese New Year – Xin Nian Kuai Le! Gong Hey Fat Choy! To celebrate the dawning of the Year of the Horse, it’s time to read about China. The London Review Bookshop recommends an introduction to Chinese poetry, including

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Posted in international, language, literature, poetry, translation, words, Year of the Horse
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