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Off topic: John Le Carre's newest - interpreter protagonist
Thread poster: Doron Greenspan MITI

Doron Greenspan MITI  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 22:54
Member (2005)
English to Hebrew
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Oct 9, 2006

Interpreters and translators alike will surely enjoy Le Carre's new novel, The Mission Song (Hodder & Stoughton, 2006).

The story teller is an interpreter specializing in a myriad of central African languages, and Le Carre takes him through some shady business to do with British Intelligence, business conglomerates and corrupt African elements. In his beautifully constructed language (a real challenge to any translator...) Le Carre once again elegantly takes on the post-Communist Modern World, as he did in his previous books, The Constant Gardener and others.
Highly recommeded. Being a devout Le Carre's fan, I pre-ordered it in Amazon -- something I wouldn't do for other writers...

Enjoy, Doron


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ICL  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:54
English to Spanish
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The Interpreter Oct 10, 2006

Doron Greenspan wrote:

The story teller is an interpreter specializing in a myriad of central African languages, and Le Carre takes him through some shady business to do with British Intelligence, business conglomerates and corrupt African elements.
Enjoy, Doron



Thanks for the tip. I wonder if this book is remotely related to the recent movie "The Interpreter", with Nicole Kidman.

Like in Le Carre's book, the interpreter in the movie is also a specialist in an African language, and although she works for the UN, the plot is also related to corrupt African elements.

On the other hand, it seems interpreters are the ones who usually catch the attention of writers/movie directors...

And by the way, I just took a quick look at your profile and I wanted to mention that I find library studying very helpful when it comes to translation. I myself did one year of library-research studies, which helped me a lot when looking for reference bibliography (and now to use the Internet as a huge world library).

Cheers,

Ivette

[Edited at 2006-10-10 11:21]


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Joost Elshoff  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:54
Spanish to Dutch
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More translators in literature Oct 10, 2006

Haven't ever read Le Carre's books, don't particularly go for that genre.

But a couple of weeks ago I found myself staring at a local bookstore's collection of Spanish literature and found an interesting title by Mario Vargas Llosa, "Travesuras de la niña mala", which in fact tells a love story from a translator's/interpreter's point of view.

Was kind of surprised to have chosen this book, because I didn't suspect it having a translator as a protagonist. I can recommend it to anyone loving Vargas Llosa, but I don't know if it has yet been translated into any other languages, since it was only published this year.


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Daniel Bird  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:54
German to English
BBC serialisation Oct 10, 2006

If you can access BBC.co.uk > Radio 4 > "Listen again" > Book at Bedtime you'll find repeat episodes of the serialisation of Mission Song over the last week or so
Happy listening
DB


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ICL  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:54
English to Spanish
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Vargas Llosa's novel Oct 10, 2006

Joost Elshoff wrote:

an interesting title by Mario Vargas Llosa, "Travesuras de la niña mala", which in fact tells a love story from a translator's/interpreter's point of view.

Was kind of surprised to have chosen this book, because I didn't suspect it having a translator as a protagonist.


Hallo Joost,

I haven't had a chance to buy Vargas Llosa's latest novel and I must have missed reading the reviews, because I had no clue that it had a translator as one of the main characters.

To be honest, I have hardly read Vargas Llosa's novels (only one, his first one), because I actually like his essays better (I usually find very interesting his contributions to the Spanish newspaper El País and other essay titles such as "La verdad de las mentiras" or "Historia secreta de una novela").

But thanks for the tip anyways, as it is good to know that a translator finally caught a creator's attention. Well, I guess translators have been in other novels, but maybe lately it just sounds as if interpreters are the usual stars...

On the other hand, I recently read a rather long novel about vampires, "The Historian", which actually involves a lot of crucial translation, although none of the characters are professional translators per se (does it sound familiar?...).

Saludos,

Ivette

[Edited at 2006-10-10 16:20]


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Doron Greenspan MITI  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 22:54
Member (2005)
English to Hebrew
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TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the Vargas Llosa tip! Oct 10, 2006

Joost, many thanks for the Vargas Llosa info - I love reading him anyway, but a translator "hero" - that's so much better. Hopefully it will be translated into English (Hebrew will have to wait...)

Ivette, I believe the subject matter may be the same as the film's, but unfortunately I haven't watched it yet. Anyway, with Le Carre it's the psychology that matters, and he does that wonderfully.
I guess there are other novels where translators/interpreters are mentioned (we all know no one can do without us!), but to have them as protagonists - that's entirely different.

Which brings me to librarianship - indeed, for a while, when I was a librarian, I looked for films/novels with, guess what, librarian heroines (well, most are women...).
That way I 'discovered' a great American writer called Elizabeth McCracken, whose heroine in The Giant's House is a librarian.
Anyways, being a librarian helps of course to discover that Google is not all - but these days, I hardly need to use my searching abilities anymore, since everything becomes so much easier with Google, Babylon, Onelook and the rest.

Doron


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ICL  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 21:54
English to Spanish
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P.S. ... Oct 11, 2006

Doron, I forgot to mention that:

1) I would say the film is worth watching/renting (the director is Sydney Pollack), whether you like Nicole Kidman/Sean Penn or not (I personally think they both do a great job).

It's interesting to see the UN in the inside and a bit of how the UN interpreters work. In the film's official site at http://www.theinterpretermovie.com/ , there is even an "interpretation" game (though I caught a couple of typos in some of the phrases) and some interesting interviews of real UN interpreters.

2) In the novel I mentioned, "The Historian", a lot of it actually takes place in libraries and has to do with librarians, so since you still seem to have "a heart" for librarianship, you might be interested in reading it (if you don't mind the vampire part, which is basically a historical research of the infamous Count Dracula).

Regards,

Ivette


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