has lots of poetry translations into English online, concentrating on French
, though more than 40 other languages
are represented as well. A boatload of translators
is represented, from those toiling in obscurity to big literary names (e.g. there are translations of Catullus poems by Ben Jonson
, Jonathan Swift
, Louis Zukofsky
, Aubrey Beardsley
and Thomas Hardy
). There is also a section of quirky poems
. Finally, here's a rendition of Goethe's Der Erlkönig that substitutes the elfish king with a dalek
Google Translate Toolkit
is a new webapp from Google to help translate webpages. Video demonstration
(1:30s). It has built-in support for Wikipedia and Jay Walsh thinks it "may change the way Wikipedia grows in other languages".1
Published speculation first appeared in 1911
, although others point to 1945
for its first modern phrasing. It originally looked like a flashlight on Star Trek
. In Star Wars
, it walked, talked, and was fluent "in over six million forms of communication."
Many narratives have just abandoned the idea entirely
have been quite limited in scope, but now it appears that the first learning, dynamic universal translator
has finally arrived
. And its futuristic aesthetic has been relegated to fiction in favor of a much more familiar object
[Ezra Pound] worked on and for poetry as others might work on a major scientific discovery or a drawn-out military mission. Thus, as Sieburth reminds us in his introduction to The Pisan Cantos, when, on May 3, 1945, Pound was arrested at his home in the hills above Rapallo, he immediately put a small Chinese dictionary and a copy of the Confucian classics in his pocket. Working as he then was on his Confucian translations, he knew that, wherever the military police were taking him, he would need these books.
From Pound Ascendant
by Marjorie Perloff. Ezra Pound's ability as a translator of Chinese poetry has long been disparaged by sinologists, such as George A. Kennedy in Fenollosa, Pound and the Chinese Character
. Other academics have sought to defend him. Two examples are Zhaoming Qian's Ezra Pound's encounter with Wang Wei: toward the "ideogrammic method" of the Cantos
and Stephen Tapscott's In Praise of Bad Translations: Ezra Pound and the Cultural Work of Translation (pdf)
. Eric Hayot draws the contours of this long-running debate and explores its significance in Critical Dreams: Orientalism, Modernism, and the Meaning of Pound's China
. Pound's Cathay
in full and a public domain audiobook version (iTunes link)
is an AJAXy online Japanese-English dictionary. The list of matches auto-updates as you type. You can enter (or paste in) romaji, Kanji or kana, and use character maps for hiragana and katakana. Results can be bookmarked
. [more inside]
Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl
is an Icelandic poet. He translates
Icelandic poetry into English (I particularly like his versions of Sigfús Daðason), and he has an interesting interview
on Icelandic poetry ("Curiously enough, back in the days the nationalists would sometimes write in danish. And writing in a foreign language was more or less seen as the only alternative to literature being a mere hobby until Halldór Laxness came along"). But really this is an elaborate excuse to post a link to Höpöhöpö Böks
: Köld öld Böks mjög örg, Ölböl örlög Böks! (Warning: My wife thought the linked video sounded like vomiting.) Via wood s lot
. This one goes out to my man Kattullus; hope you can stick around! [more inside]
The Gawain Project
is an ongoing translation of the late 14th century anonymous poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
(originally written in Middle English) into Modern English, for the amusement of Arthurians and anyone who likes a good story. [via mefi projects]
Have you ever wondered how Samus got all her powers?
I mean, really, how does a simple back-planet girl learn to use this mysterious Chozo technology?
Twenty-nine Tao te Chings, a line at a time.
For Sunday evening, a spare, meditative post. The Tao-te-Ching
in 29 translations, line by line and side by side. I'll leave you to investigate the writings on your own; here alone are just the words to consider. Suggested: Mitchell. [more inside]
Norman Thomas di Giovanni,
translator for the 20th century Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges
's has recently posted on his web-site, his translation of Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius
, one of his most well known and greatest short stories.
A new 'prose translation'
of Milton's classic poem has been written by Prof Dennis Danielson
in an effort to help make it available to a wider audience, if they find the original language too difficult. Apparently he wasn't
the first to think of it
, but considers his a translation
rather than a retelling, and it is printed as a dual edition / parallel text. [more inside]
You know, I want you to pick up on this. You know, these lyrics are something else. Just dig this
. [more inside]
The Tale of the Heike (Heike Monogatari) is a medieval Japanese account of the rise and fall of the Taira clan and has inspired many other works of art. Click on the chapters and scroll down to see Heike illustrations
(or start here
), see more art
inspired by the Heike. Would you rather read? [more inside]
Mother 3 fan translation completed. Earthbound
(known as Mother 2 in Japan) is one of the most highly regarded RPGs for the Super Nintendo. The game suffered disappointing sales in America, but has since gained the status of a cult classic. A sequel, Mother 3, was released for the Game Boy Advance, but it has never been officially translated into English. After a long development
, a fan translation patch has just been released
. Trailer. [more inside]
“I have seen many Anne Franks in Cambodia.
...Under Pol Pot, many children were separated from their families. They faced starvation and were sent to the front to fight and die,” she explains. “Like Anna, they never knew peace and the warmth of a home.”
by Sayana Ser
with help from the Dutch embassy in Cambodia (Kampuchea, Khmer), The Diary of Anne Frank has now become one of the most popular and discussed books in this war-torn country.
with translator (and critic and literary historian) Gilbert Alter-Gilbert.
Adventures in European subtitling
. "With films like these I often feel like I am some sort of firefighter trying to salvage as much as I can from an immense burning mansion. You take out the expensive furniture and artwork and all the people and you leave behind the wallpaper, the rugs, the goldfish tank and the occasional poodle. Sorry, folks, no time." via
An Interpreter Speaking Up for Migrants:
Erik Camayd-Freixas is a professor and a legal translator who assisted in the fast-track trial and sentencing of the over 400 illegal immigrant workers in Postville, Iowa, who were arrested on criminal charges involving identity theft rather than the usual deportation proceedings. Unusually for a court interpreter, who maintain a strict code of impartiality and neutrality, Camayd-Freixas spoke out, writing "that the immigrant defendants whose words he translated, most of them villagers from Guatemala, did not fully understand the criminal charges they were facing or the rights most of them had waived." [more inside]
lets you view foreign-language web pages with definitions in your language as mouseovers (registration-only). [more inside]
A Mid-summer Night's Story
- one of hundreds of novels, poems, and tales in English translation at Suat Karantay's Contemporary Turkish Literature
pages. Also: Turkish Poetry in Translation
(the side-by-side translations
are particularly well-done), and selected stories of childhood & youth
from Turkish authors in the mid 20th century.
YouTube user lightning49
has 160 of videos of French singers
which she has subtitled with her translations. Her biggest collection is of Jacques Brel videos
but there are also songs performed by George Brassens
, Charles Aznavour
, Edith Piaf
as well as a smattering of other stuff. To start you off with a few songs here are three of my favorite songs by Brel, Je suis un soir d'éte
, Le moribond
and La valse à mille temp
along with Charles Aznavour's La boheme
, Edith Piaf's Milord
and Georges Brassens' Les passantes
” Charlotte (Johansson): “Okay.” Lost in Translation
's mysterious whisper finale revealed by audio processing. (via kottke
Enter a website in the box to make all words on the page clickable. Available for English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Polish.
was one of France's most successful popstars, a complete song-and-dance act who remained at the top of the charts for almost ten years before his career was tragically cut short when he tried to change a lightbulb while in the bath (youtube ahead). [more inside]
A Wicked Deception (youtube).
A fun look at (multi) round-trip machine translation. Sadly, it is a simple fattening of Verbindungsyoutube. Of course, humans, as Jules Verne might tell you, can have problems with translations too
. [more inside]
is the first language for which we have written evidence and its literature the earliest known. The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature
, a project of the University of Oxford, comprises a selection of nearly 400 translated literary compositions recorded on sources which come from ancient Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) and date to the late third and early second millennia BCE. Not enough for you? Why not impress your friends (and confuse your enemies) by translating some english words into Sumerian
Sean Bonney's translations of Baudelaire
are unconventional. Instead of following the form of the French originals they are semi-concrete typewriter poetry. In a review of the book
, everyone's cup of tea
, onedit magazine says that they are "certainly the best translations of Baudelaire in English ever written." Which might explain why they published 35 of them in their latest issue. You can listen to Bonney read his translations here [mp3]
s a resource and gathering place for subtitling films from one language into many languages using our unique subtitling tools. These tools expand the power and reach of films by making it possible for people to view and enjoy films in their native languages. It is very easy to use and has many languages.
You whisper "Je t'aime", the machine says "I love you".
Carnegie Mellon offer the prospect of a real-time automatic face-mounted translation device.
The Tao Te Ching
in dozens of languages and translations, with a lovely side-by-side comparison
The Nicholas Roerich Museum
in New York City, houses paintings by Nicholas Roerich
, a Russian artist
, who spent most of his life on the Indian-Tibetan
border, creating evocative images of night
in the Himalayan Mountains
. (more inside)
Lost in translation.
British Comedian Stewart Lee explores comedy in Germany and finds it stymied by the peculiarities of language and sentence construction. Mark Liberman at Language Log disagrees
. And an extended essay by Josh Schonwald explores in greater depth how the German comedy scene is transitioning
(PDF) from the more traditional kabernett to a burgeoning stand-up comedy scene, which is characterized by one observer as being in "the Bob Hope phase of comedy."
What's the Korean for thanatophany or the Icelandic for snoek?
J M Coetzee writes about the problems and delights of translation. [via languagehat]
Love that can't be withstood,
Love that scatters fortunes,
Love like a green fern shading
The cheek of a sleeping girl.
Seamus Heaney's search
for the soul of Antigone
(more inside, with Christopher Logue)
, published in English, German and French, is a review of European literature and books. (Their double issue on Welsh literature
is particularly nice.) Archipelago
is another online journal dedicated to literature in translation. And despite persistent troubles with getting World literature translated into English (The Complete Review
covers this issue well.), there are many sites with translated literature on the web: Albanian
, Arabic Malay and Urdu
, more Armenian
, Czech and Slovak
The Aesthetics of Resistance.
The first part of Peter Weiss
's 3-volume novel Die Ästhetik des Widerstands
(1975-81) has, after many delays, finally been published
in a Joachim Neugroschel’s English translation: a major, though largely-unheralded literary event. The book ‘stands as the most significant German novel published after The Tin Drum.’ [more inside]
"The main thing was that in West Berlin,
we really thought it would've been great to witness the end of the world." A great interview with Einstürzende Neubauten co-founder Alexander Hacke from signandsight.com
, a website that translates German arts and letters writing into English. Just part of what seems a larger trend
of German outlets
wading into the English market.
Lauris is the spirit of the office, irrespective weather those are the numerous jokes for any occasion he has in his luggage or a basket of autumn apples, which he has picked in the morning to remind the colleges about the beauty of the autumn.
Zane has chosen to live in a beautiful world of internal and external beauty, where fragrances and aromas are of importance, however the uppermost value are harmonious relations with the closest people.
We are all fans of mangled English translations
, but there is a certain added beauty in this site for a Latvian law firm, which boasts "professional, fast and qualitative translations" while "introducing a spirit of poetics in the daily routine of the office"
Can't hack Catullus
? How about Brazilian Portuguese
? You can also compare two languages side by side.
Early Modern Texts. Versions of some classics of early modern philosophy, prepared with a view to making them easier to read while leaving the main arguments, doctrines, and lines of thought intact.
Recently added: John Locke's Second Treatise of Government
. Via Crooked Timber.
In her new book
written with Catherine Johnson, Animals in Translation
(NYTimes), Dr Temple Grandin, an animal behavior expert and inventor of the squeeze machine
, uses her experiences with autism
to explore the intricacies of animal behavior. She argues that animals do have consciousness
, that language is not a prerequisite and other theories that bring insight into both animal and human behavior. (More)
Knack for language? Great! Gay? No thanks.
Interesting WaPo story of how DoD desparately needs linguists trained in Arabic, but dismisses linguists when it comes out that they are gay.
A normal person wouldn't steal pituitaries,
and other actual Hong Kong film subtitles. T-shirts
, too. How can you use my intestines as a gift?
Colorful phrases in 172 languages
*contains offensive language* - but how else are your going to learn how to say "to pet one's monkey
" in Russian
or the Romanian
classic "Our boss is a bloody farthead