[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)
posted by Kattullus
on Apr 30, 2009 -
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]
posted by kurumi
on Mar 26, 2009 -
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]
posted by languagehat
on Feb 17, 2009 -
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]
posted by Effigy2000
on Feb 13, 2009 -
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]
posted by ersatz
on Nov 16, 2008 -
“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.
posted by parmanparman
on Oct 7, 2008 -
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
posted by Knappster
on Aug 5, 2008 -
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]
posted by Forktine
on Jul 11, 2008 -
Enter a website in the box to make all words on the page clickable. Available for English, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Polish.
posted by Lezzles
on Nov 20, 2007 -
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]
posted by jacalata
on Nov 11, 2007 -
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]
posted by Kattullus
on Jul 18, 2007 -
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.
posted by k8t
on May 11, 2007 -
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."
posted by madamjujujive
on May 26, 2006 -
, 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
posted by OmieWise
on Jul 20, 2005 -
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]
posted by misteraitch
on Jun 28, 2005 -
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"
posted by szechuan
on Apr 13, 2005 -
Can't hack Catullus
? How about Brazilian Portuguese
? You can also compare two languages side by side.
posted by kenko
on Apr 11, 2005 -
English-friendly Arab web portal:
For those who want to better understand what Arab news agencies are printing/broadcasting or if you want to be able to read any web site published in Arabic, the Ajeeb portal has a free translation service
. It translated Arabic to English more clearly than how I've seen babblefish handle other languages. However, one should approach any translation with circumspection, especially in light of current events.
posted by Modem Ovary
on Mar 23, 2003 -
The Powell is sent in order to carry the water:
I find Japanese "Engrish" websites unfunny and stupidly patronizing but this blog is potential poetry - Surrealist poetry. Whether it was machine-translated or drafted using Breton's, Ionesco's or Burroughs' techniques, it's splendidly memorable: Rather than "I am sad" we need "mush truth"
. All it needs is some artful, e.e.cummings-like arranging on the page to be transformed into art. [Via Linkfilter
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Feb 6, 2003 -