Just before sunset on April 5, 1815, a massive explosion shook the volcanic island of Sumbawa in the Indonesian archipelago. This destroyed the village of Tambora, erasing the unique culture, and changed world history (previously, more). Among the impacts, a small group of authors and creative types holed up in the Villa Diodati in June of 1816 and wrote two iconic "monster" stories that set up the next two centuries of story telling. You can read the inspiration and subsequent works of Lord Byron, Mary Godwin, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John William Polidori and Claire Clairmont below the break. [more inside]
This excerpt from the Lexicon Recentis Latinitas contains Vatican-approved Latin translations for 600 (comparatively) modern concepts. For example, the Latin term for "jazz" is iazensis música. "Laser" is instrumentum laséricum, "Scotch" is víschium Scóticum, "mini golf" is pilamálleus minūtus, and "blue jeans" are bracae línteae caerúleae. [more inside]
Chad W. Post at Three Percent recently linked to World Literature Today's 75 Notable Translations of 2015 and went on a list-making tear to provide more structure and commentary: 7 books by women, 6 water-cooler fiction books, 6 university press books, 3 'funny' books, 4 books from underrepresented countries, and the best poetry I should read. The commentary often leads to further matters of interest, e.g. the Women in Translation Tumblr or Marianne Fritz and the translation challenges (scroll down) in her work.
Pardon My French: 561 covers of English-language hit songs, sung in French (by native French speakers of varying musical abilities) in the most literal word-for-word translations over chiptune instrumentals. Includes classics such as L'éclair de Jacques Qui Saute (Les Pierres qui roulent), Sexuelle Guérison (Marvain La-Joie) or Le Paradis des Bandits (Yo Sympa). Includes MP3s, lyrics and links to the original songs for earbleach. BAISE OUAIS ! [more inside]
The LiederNet Archive is the world's largest reference archive of texts and translations of art songs and choral works, currently cataloguing 135,129 vocal pieces and 25,078 translations. [more inside]
Diseased Gardens offers a selection of 20th C. weird fiction from Belgium and France as well as a checklist of strange fiction in translation. [more inside]
If you've like Jack, the Pumpkin King, and you've grown so tired of the same old thing, you know all the songs from the The Nightmare Before Christmas Soundtrack (YT Playlist), and you're done with the covers in the 2006 reissue bonus CD (featuring Fiona Apple, Fall Out Boy, She Wants Revenge and Panic! at the Disco) and the 2008 cover album, Nightmare Revisited (YT Playlist), why not check out the official translated versions? There's L'Étrange Noël de Monsieur Jack, Pesadilla Antes De Navidad, and ナイトメアー·ビフォア·クリスマス, to name a few versions. [more inside]
Asterix: Latin Jokes Explained. Andrew Girardin is working his way through Asterix, and explaining the latin bits. [more inside]
The Economist wants to know: Are four new translations of Homer’s “Iliad” a bit much? After nearly 3,000 years, does the “Iliad” really need translating again?
Having zombie problems again? Perhaps a bloodless coup has installed you as dictator of your HOA? Don't worry - Spanish for Everyday Situations has you covered. (NSF lovers of correct Spanish grammar.)
The Drunken Boat publishes poetry from around the world, translations of poetry, reviews of poetry collections and anthologies, and interviews with well-known poets. The current issue features Cave Canem poets, home for the many voices of African-American poetry and committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of African-American poets.
Wordchamp lets you view foreign-language web pages with definitions in your language as mouseovers (registration-only). [more inside]
Could I interest you in a Chocolate Collon? And would you like a cool can of Plussy to wash it down? If you're looking for a fun book to read, or anything else, Engrish has it in stock.
How do you say “Give me the bat, Wendy” in Italian?
The Renaissance saw the publication of many great romantic epics: Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso in 1516; Torquato Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered in 1581; and Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene in 1590 and 1596. But perhaps the most ambitious and mysterious of them all was the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili published in 1499 by Aldus Manutius (previously discussed here). The Poliphili has usually been attributed to an Italian monk named Francesco Colonna, although recently some have claimed that it was the work of architect and humanist Leon Battista Alberti, even though he died in 1472. The Poliphili has long fascinated scholars because of its amazing typography, the cinematic style of its woodcuts, and the strange messages seemingly hidden in this multi-lingual text. Written in Italian, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, Chaldean, and even some hieroglyphs, it has only recently been translated into English. This strange text has inspired a great deal of research and even a New York Times best-selling murder mystery.
BollyWhat. Making Bollywood accesible to all. Including such wonders as lyrics translations, newcomer's guides and intriguing articles such as Masculinity, Bollywood-Ishtyle and a Hollywood FAQ for a different perspective. Explore and enjoy.
To add to the recent JapanFilter phenom, here are two unrelated items: a brief tutorial on using Japanese commodes, and a list of Japanese car names. Interested in buying a Nissan Homy? A Mitsubishi Bravo Exceed, perhaps?
A neato collection of Russian eBooks translated into English mostly for propaganda purposes, which while not in the public domain are available for non-commercial use after the fall of the Soviet Union and certain copyright peculiarities, as described here. The archivist says: The main aim of this collection is to preserve the work of translators and give some information to historians. But whatever the reason, there's some good reading here to be had.
Japanese Tolkien fans angered over translation issues. Relatively old news, but I believe not that well known. Do the technical difficulties involved excuse the loss of important meaning in dialogue? Film translation seems to suffer from much less prestige than literary translation, though that too has its controversies. In the US, anime fans replay the loose vs strict translation debate daily, also protesting cuts and edits. Is it really impossible in the rush to make money off the geeks and off the masses to stay relatively true to the original material?
How Do You Say ASSALAMU ALAIKUM in Gaelic? Plans have been announced in the Irish Republic to translate the Koran, Islam's most sacred text, into Irish. The ambitious project aims to bring Ireland's Gaelic-speakers and Muslim communities closer together, Leslie Carter of the Islamic Cultural Centre in Dublin said.
Metafilter Absurdified via Spanish.
Dubbing the Simpsons Should The Simpsons in French be egalitarian or classist? Depends on whether you use Quebec or national French, apparently. (Second article.)
The Aberdeen Bestiary Project, beautiful scans of medieval art, and translations of the Latin translations of the Physiologus, a story-book of sorts, or an encyclopedia of nature.