the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible and the constant presence in Stieg Larsson's best selling English contributed to a new appreciation for the art of good translation
We are told in chapter 11 of Genesis, that once "the whole earth had one language and one speech." In the aftermath of Noah's flood, the survivors decided to celebrate his escape chance in a manner consecrated with the architectural triumph. "Let's build a city and a tower whose top may reach unto heaven" is the way the Bible expresses this aspiration. "We will make a name," the son of Noah, "lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the earth."
fat chance. According to the Old Testament, to urge men to find a common purpose, does not appeal to the Almighty. So the idea that men and women should be like God was a non-starter, and the name of the project devoted called Babel. As the King James Version has "the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth." For good measure, which scattered the peoples of different languages ??in the world.
In the first 21, the world remains a patchwork of more than 5000 different languages ??and in competition. But for those who still dream of the restoration of a universal language, the point of view has rarely been brighter: 2011 was an extraordinary year for the art of translation. The Tower of Babel could actually be rebuilt?
Many scholars accept the innovative language philosopher Noam Chomsky, the perception that despite mutually unintelligible vocabularies, "Earthlings speak a single language" - a remark of Chomsky said to be obvious to a visitor from Mars. For various reasons, which may be closer than ever of what is intelligible. With the power of global media, it is more than ever a market for literature in translation in the default language for the translations, which are British or American English. Versions of some cases may have as much resemblance to the original than the wrong side of a Turkish carpet, but that does not seem to diminish its appeal. recently in the U.S. appetite for the "foreign fiction" - Stieg Larsson Millennium Trilogy or Haruki Murakami
- sponsored a trend that has inspired new literary public international superstars, as Umberto Eco, Roberto Bolaño and Peter Nadas. Perhaps from the 1980s, when the novels of Milan Kundera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Mario Vargas Llosa became international bestsellers, has been a reader of fiction in translation in the literary market.
In prose, if not poetry, there are concerns about the lack of "vanity of translation" identified by Shelley, who wrote that "were as wise to cast a violet into a crucible that can discover the formal principle of its color and smell, as if seeking transfusion from one language into another the creations of a poet. "
new editions of Tolstoy
War and Peace
Madame Bovaryand Proust In Search of Lost Time
were overworked translators - one stroke shy - in the center of attention. David Bellos, whose new book,
is a fish in your ear? Translation and meaning of all
be published this fall, notes that in Japan, for example, "the translators are rock stars" with their own book of gossip
Life Translators 101unthinkable, or commercial, without a remarkable statistic. According to the British Council, supported by many reliable sources, about half of the world's population - 3.5 billion people - have knowledge or familiarity with "a kind of English." And for the first time in the human history has allowed the language to be transmitted and received almost anywhere in the world.
This unprecedented language is based on the formidable power of global media. Lindsey Hilsum, international editor
Channel 4 News
, technical reports, asking the meaning of some Arabic graffiti sprayed on a wall, in Tripoli, has been given is a translation wink comic incongruity of Anne Robinson intercultural "Gaddafi, who are the weakest link goodbye .."
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