Category Archive: General

  1. Pete Buttigieg’s Language Magic Is Textbook Polyglot Mythmaking

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    Pete Buttigieg’s Language Magic Is Textbook Polyglot Mythmaking

    “While speaking so many languages may be rare among the American public, Buttigieg’s ascent is a textbook polyglot path to fame. An aura tends to grow around multilinguists—and often beyond their control.”

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    THEATLANTIC.COM
    American culture is far from the first to glorify people who speak several languages.
  2. Interpreting the past to understand the present—English professor Rebecca Johnson traces cultural change through literary translation

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    Interpreting the past to understand the present—English professor Rebecca Johnson traces cultural change through literary translation

    “Through translation, Johnson says, we are able to see structures of power and geopolitical landscapes over time. We can see how art and politics braid together, and the ways in which our lives today are informed by, and built on, the lessons of previous pages.”

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    NEWS.NORTHWESTERN.EDU
    Rebecca Johnson of Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences uses Arabic translations of Les Misérables and The Count of Monte Cristo to show globalization and transformation in literary translation.
  3. Evolution: How the theory is inspiring a new way of understanding language

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    Evolution: How the theory is inspiring a new way of understanding language

    “Natural selection is based on constant random genetic mutations. The ones that turn out to make an individual organism better able to survive and reproduce then get more common over time. A similar thing happens with language over time, as I discovered when I started thinking about memes.”

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    PHYS.ORG
    Words are often seen as the building blocks of languages. But as children we don’t learn lists of words like we might in a school language class. We learn longer strings of sounds and break them up into words as we grow up. One of the problems with our current theory of how language works is that it…
  4. Call me by my name: Peru promotes use of indigenous names in public records

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    Call me by my name: Peru promotes use of indigenous names in public records

    “Indigenous Peruvians often have one name at home and another, usually Spanish, for official purposes. Now registrars are being urged to embrace native languages.”

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    THEGUARDIAN.COM
    Indigenous Peruvians often have one name at home and another, usually Spanish, for official purposes. Now registrars are being urged to embrace native languages
  5. Mental Health in Freelance Translation: Isolation

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    Mental Health in Freelance Translation: Isolation

    “Isolation can make the liberating world of freelance feel like a prison, but there is a way out of that cell…. [T]here are numerous articles on freelance isolation right under your googling fingertips, but I’d like to give you a translator’s perspective on the matter, be it from my own experience or the experiences of translators from my personal orbit. For your consideration, here are some tips on leaving your little lair of translation.”

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    BLOG.ZINGWORD.COM
    This is the first post in our series on mental health in the translation industry.
  6. Ms. Difficult: Translating Emily Dickinson

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    Ms. Difficult: Translating Emily Dickinson

    “Attempting to ‘transport’ Emily Dickinson’s poems into Portuguese is a still harder task, because Dickinson’s poetry is notable for its peculiar agrammaticality: unexpected plurals, inverted syntax, and an often complete disregard for gender, person, or agreement between nouns and verbs.”

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    THEPARISREVIEW.ORG
    Much of the difficulty in Emily Dickinson’s work can be attributed to her distinctive agrammaticality. This quality presents an even greater challenge for the translator.
  7. Top 10 bilingual books

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    Top 10 bilingual books

    “What does a bilingual book mean for its readers?….A bilingual text can hold an intimacy, a fluency, a wholeness which cannot be translated into either or any of its languages alone.”

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    THEGUARDIAN.COM
    From the ghostly remains of Sappho’s ancient Greek, to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s untranslated Igbo – a selection of the best tales told in multiple languages
  8. Linguists found the weirdest languages—and English is one of them

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    Linguists found the weirdest languages—and English is one of them

    “Is English ‘weird’? Many of us might feel this is true when we’re trying to explain the complex spelling rules of the language, or the meanings of idioms such as ‘it’s raining cats and dogs’ to someone who is learning English. Teaching or learning any language is, however, never an easy task. But what is a ‘weird’ language anyway?”

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    PHYS.ORG
    Is English “weird”? Many of us might feel this is true when we’re trying to explain the complex spelling rules of the language, or the meanings of idioms such as “it’s raining cats and dogs” to someone who is learning English. Teaching or learning any language is, however, never an easy task.
  9. Kids store 1.5 megabytes of information to master their native language

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    Kids store 1.5 megabytes of information to master their native language

    “Learning one’s native language may seem effortless. But new research suggests that language acquisition between birth and 18 is a remarkable feat of cognition, rather than something humans are just hardwired to do.”

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    SCIENCEDAILY.COM
    Learning one’s native language may seem effortless. But new research suggests that language acquisition between birth and 18 is a remarkable feat of cognition, rather than something humans are just hardwired to do.