Tag Archives: translation

W. S. Merwin (1927-2019)

This tribute to W. S. Merwin is by Dr. A. Hope Jahren, a geobiologist who is author of the memoir “Lab Girl” and a professor at the University of Oslo. My own experience of Merwin has been mostly through his … Continue reading

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The “Immortals” Budge

Decades after other French-speaking countries adopted feminine names for professions, the official guardians of the language in France have also backed the change. The Académie française, whose members are known as “immortals”, has said it has no obstacle in principle … Continue reading

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Remarkable Insights from Working with Translators

nyti.ms/2UzwdPr A connection between languages On this day in 1786, a Briton living in India delivered a discourse on a little-known proposition: that Sanskrit, Persian, Latin, Greek and other languages might have a common source. The commentary set off the … Continue reading

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Unsung Heroes, Sung Villains

Hannah Arendt lamented the damage done by translators to some of her favorite German poems. (“Remembering W. H. Auden,” The New Yorker, Jan. 20, 1975 — recently reprinted). As best I recall, she as good as said that trying to … Continue reading

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Hello, Non-America

nyti.ms/2DZufmq The WASP virtues … included a cosmopolitanism that was often more authentic than our own performative variety — a cosmopolitanism that coexisted with white man’s burden racism but also sometimes transcended it, because for every Brahmin bigot there was … Continue reading

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Lexicomania at the Table

ABOVE: My first vocab list for Helena (age 10) made at her mother Eva’s request. I’m on pins and needles to show it. Each time I expose Helena to my fetish for coloring the enclosed spaces of letters, I detect … Continue reading

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“Soria” Wrecked: Meter and Rhyme

“Soria” by Antonio Machado, Spanish Poet, 1875-1939 From “Campos de Castilla,” Antonio Machado, Biblioteca Anaya, 1964. (English translations by James Mansfield Nichols) Translating into meter is a lost cause, but adding a rhyme scheme escalates it to a punishing lost cause. You’re … Continue reading

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