Turning the tide for translation: Six questions for Susan Bernofsky

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Bogdan Buzdugan
Local time: 23:46
Italian to Romanian
+ ...
German vs English - Economy of Language Jul 4, 2016

The truth is German has a rare quality nowadays: it is indeed a pure and unaltered language. It has preserved its rigorous grammar construction - it has a very flexible word order because of its inflectional Latin syntax; Latin also influenced the verb tenses in German. The fact is that this beautiful and rich language that gave birth to poetry such as Hölderlin's and Rilke's, owns an admirable ease of use, being able to express a whole range of emotions and relationships in a few words or in subtle shifts of tense, that few languages can match.
German's marvellous insights into human nature (the way it succeeds in comprising philosophical concepts in a single word) is a strong example of how a language can really shape minds and entire cultures.
The word "Geist" makes you think to a round and complete entity that is both Spirit and Mind, but all German language and culture it's actually feeling/thinking spirit.


Maxi Schwarz
Local time: 15:46
German to English
+ ...
what tide is being turned? Jul 4, 2016

I read the transcript rather than spending the time listening to it. It seemed to be about translating books from German. Did I miss the part where a tide of some kind is being turned in some other direction?


Catherine Howard
United States
Local time: 16:46
Portuguese to English
+ ...
she explains the tide that's turning right there in the text Jul 10, 2016

She is explicit about the turning tide when the interviewer asked her why publishers in the U.S. publish so few books in translation:

"The number of translations that have been published in the US, I think, is beginning to increase again.
There’s been a whole new crop of mostly smaller publishers specializing in translated literature, and I
have a sense that there’s a lot of interest from younger readers in reading international literature now
[ . . . ] I think publishers used to think that they couldn’t sell books that were translated [ . . . ] There
was just actually a study in England finding that the translated books were in many cases selling better
than similar books written in English. I think there’s something of a renaissance going on of interest in
translated literature. So, I think that tide is turning. "

[Edited at 2016-07-10 13:37 GMT]


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Turning the tide for translation: Six questions for Susan Bernofsky

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