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A debate on name order highlights an old translation issue

By: Catharine Cellier-Smart

Minister of Defense Taro Kono is back on Twitter asking for the English media to use his desired name order, Kono Taro. In the process, he stirred up an 150-year-long public debate on how Japanese names should be rendered in Western languages.

Last fall, Japan embraced a policy to swap the order and write the surname first on all official documents, recommending capitalization to emphasize which name is the family name. Accordingly, Shinzo Abe would become ABE Shinzo and, it follows, Hayao Miyazaki would be MIYAZAKI Hayao, and Naomi Osaka, OSAKA Naomi.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2020/09/15/language/japanese-name-order/

What professors don’t teach you about translating professionally

By: Andrea Capuselli

During my undergraduate degree in translation, I felt like I was very prepared for a career in translation. I excelled in my language classes and the translation classes prepared me to thoroughly read a translation brief and identify tone, audience, and purpose so that I could carefully craft a beautiful translation. What more is there to know?

Oh, how unprepared was I… While translation programs are great when it comes to language mediation and translation theory, they seem to be lacking in the areas of client acquisition, marketing, payment practices, and starting a freelance business. (This is my personal experience; however, I have heard similar thoughts from other newly graduated translators.)

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TrM Translations has voluntarily provided translations of COVID-related news for expats in Hungary

By: TrM Translations

To help expats living in Hungary, TrM Translations has been providing translations of articles related to COVID-19 since March, combining human translations and post-edited machine translation. The Budapest Times published an interview with Managing Director Istvan Fulop about this service and translations in general.

https://www.budapesttimes.hu/what-lies-beneath/translating-a-need/

Beowulf forces its translators to show their cards from the first word

By: Catharine Cellier-Smart

This new translation of Beowulf brings the poem to profane, funny, hot-blooded life

https://www.vox.com/culture/21399477/beowulf-maria-dahvana-headley-review

WIT Month: An Interview with Aneesa Abbas Higgins

By: Andrea Capuselli

According to the Index Translationum, a database published by UNESCO, texts written originally in French are the second most frequently translated, with over two hundred thousand titles published since 1979. Though the numbers exhibit a disappointing hierarchy, the fact that French occupies such a large presence is unsurprising; after all, as today’s interviewee, Aneesa Abbas Higgins, informs us: “French is a world language.” Spoken in diasporic populations around the world, the French of today is a linguistic carrier of resistance and individualism just as it once was a language of oppression.

Aneesa Abbas Higgins has translated numerous works from the French, including Seven Stones by Vénus Khoury-Ghata (Jacaranda, 2017) and Winter in Sokcho by Elisa Shua Dusapin (Daunt Books, 2020). In her efforts to represent a variety of original French voices, her contributions to English-language readers have been invaluable. Now, in our second feature for Women in Translation Month, blog editor Sarah Moore speaks to Higgins about her most recent translation, All Men Want to Know by Nina Bouraoui (Penguin, 2020), how French female authors are represented in translations, and the challenges of translating today.

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Kuwaiti publisher Takween releases Arabic translation of Persian novel “Prison for the Criminals”

By: Andrea Capuselli

The book was originally published by the Persian publishing company Cheshmeh in 2018 and soon became a bestseller.

It has been rendered into Arabic by prominent Arab translator Ahmad Heidari who has translated several other books by Iranian writers including Sadeq Hedayat’s “Isfahan, Half of the World” and Bozorg Alavi’s “Her Eyes”.

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Writing tips for translators: get into writing, find ideas and more

By: Loie Favre

If you are looking to get into writing or improve your writing skills as a while, here are some writing tips on how to get started, find ideas, get jobs and make connections! Also, some points on writer’s block as well. These are points that were discussed recently during the #LocFromHome live conference on localization, translation and languages.

https://blog.alconost.com/writing-tips-for-translators

Enjoy!

In conversation with GH Habib

By: Andrea Capuselli

Translator GH Habib has made a name for himself as a translator of world literary gems. Habib, with his flair for what many call cultural mediation, has translated into Bengali a series of works by writers who still preside over the world literary scene. Habib’s first translation appeared in February 1988. Over the years, 20 of his books saw the light of the day, much to the delight of the Bengali readers. Among them are Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose, Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, Jostein Gaarder’s Sophie’s World, Tore Janson’s A Natural History of Latin, Isaac Asimov’s Foundation, Roland Barthes’ The Death of the Author, Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Sign of Four and others.

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US author’s manuscript on Japan’s invasion

By: Andrea Capuselli

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the victory in the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1931-45), which falls on Thursday. A manuscript, collected by a translator from Shandong province, uncovers facts buried in the fierce war.

Now being carefully restored by the translator and writer Wang Jinling, the manuscript by US novelist Irving Wallace, reveals the Japanese army’s atrocities and Chinese people’s struggle in the most desperate condition.

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You May Not Know Ann Goldstein. But Without Her, You Might Not Know Elena Ferrante Either

By: Andrea Capuselli

Behind every world-renowned author is a largely unknown translator. Yet in the case of Elena Ferrante, Italy’s reclusive literary phenomenon, the translator has emerged from behind the curtain of quiet stewardship to become a quasi-celebrity in her own right. Ann Goldstein, a celebrated translator of Italian and the longtime chief of the copy department at The New Yorker, began translating Ferrante in 2004, when she won a contest to take on the translation of The Days of Abandonment. In the years to follow, Ferrante’s Neapolitan Quartet became a global sensation, selling over ten million copies in forty countries. All the while, the pseudonymous Ferrante has fiercely guarded her anonymity, saying, “I can say with a certain pride that in my country, the titles of my novels are better known than my name. I think this is a good outcome.”

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FinTech translations advantages and best practices

By: Loie Favre

If you are looking to do FinTech translations, whether it be for a broker, trading company, bank or other, it has its own particularities that make it different to other types of translation. Here we explore what to pay attention to, best courses of action, and some data that will help companies know in which demographics they should be localizing their services:

https://www.smartcat.ai/blog/fintech-localization-for-trading-companies/

WIT Month: An Interview with Ginny Tapley Takemori

By: Andrea Capuselli

As we approach the end of a wonderfully celebratory Women in Translation month, Asymptote is proud to present a week of content featuring women writers and translators who are working at the top of their game. Since the first WIT Month in 2014, advances and improvements have been made for women working in global letters, but the significance of continuing to read and translate women’s voices remains. The act of reading women is indistinguishable from the act of reading the world—a truth we must continue to recognize.

First up in our spotlight series is translator from the Japanese, Ginny Tapley Takemori. Though Japanese literature is a landscape built by men and women alike, the nation-specific politics and postulations of gender makes for thought-provoking discussion as one examines the truths and concepts reflected in its literature. An advocate for women translators and writers in Japan, Tapley Takemori has translated award-winning texts by Sayaka Murata, Kyoko Nakajima, Kaori Fujino, among many others. In the following dialogue, she speaks with blog editor Xiao Yue Shan about her prolific endeavours of translating such vital, well-loved work.

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The Premium Translation Market: Hiding In Plain Sight

By: Andrea Capuselli

It is challenging to get a credible and widely accepted estimate of the size of the “business translation” market. The researchers who generate the market forecasts focus heavily on publicly available, or voluntary survey data provided by Language Service Providers (LSPs) in the most visible part of the translation market, but yet they seem to come up with somewhat different market sizing estimates. One is often left wondering what they are counting, and where and how they are getting the supporting data. The variations in the market estimates are quite different, as we see below.

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Internal Harmonics: Fionn Petch on Translating Luis Sagasti’s A Musical Offering

By: Andrea Capuselli

True to its title and Sagasti’s style at large, our July Book Club selection reads like a Bachian fugue: it features countless shifts in pace, genre, tone, and content, but it weaves them into soulful patterns; it’s filled with deliciously nerdy in-jokes, but it ultimately strikes a universal chord. How does one transcribe such a complex score into English, making sure its author’s voice still sings? Fionn Petch has done it twice (he translated Sagasti’s Fireflies to great acclaim in 2018), and here he talks about it at length. One of many priceless takeaways: don’t get lost in theory—get lost with the author in a maze-like garden crammed with sculpture-poems instead.

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9 Translated Books by Black Women Writers to Read This #WITMonth

By: Andrea Capuselli

This #WITMonth, we’re spotlighting books by some of our favorite Black women writers in translation. From Haiti and Cabo Verde, Italy and Equatorial Guinea, the books below span continents and historical eras as they explore themes as diverse as queerness, memory, race, and immigration. We hope that this selection, which is by no means exhaustive, will enrich your reading list this Women in Translation Month and beyond.

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A tribute to Manabendra Bandyopadhyay

By: Andrea Capuselli

He was a recognized poet and a novelist too, but his prominence as a translator overshadows his other identities. He always stayed in touch with the latest publications in Spanish and English. It is safe to say that through his masterly translations, he almost single-handedly brought the gems of Latin American and Indian literature to our doorstep.

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Jhumpa Lahiri champions the writerly art of translation

By: Andrea Capuselli

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author and current director of Princeton University’s Program in Creative Writing, Lahiri was born in London and raised in Rhode Island, first speaking her parents’ language, Bengali. She learned English as she grew, initially by watching children’s television shows like Sesame Street and the Electric Company.

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Pursuing the Translation Dream: Promoter of the Profession

By: Andrea Capuselli

Since we last visited ATA’s Self-Evaluation Questionnaire for Translators we hope you’ve had a chance to practice the items we discussed in section 4, “Professional Demeanor.” It can be a challenge to develop a professional mindset and apply it to all your business interactions, but we’re confident that you’ve done so skillfully.

Now that you’ve mastered what to know before the phone rings, what to know after the phone ringshow to keep the phone ringing, and developing a professional demeanor, we’re ready to move on to the fifth and final installment of this series on how to achieve a successful professional career in translation. Today we’ll explore the steps to becoming a “Promoter of the Profession,” not only to gain respect from your peers and colleagues, but also more appreciation for your career from your friends, family, and acquaintances. We hope this prompts you to become a more active proponent and spokesperson for the translation and interpreting professions in your everyday life.

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Court interpreters’ priorities: Their health and to interpret

By: Andrea Capuselli

Although we are still in the middle of a world-wide pandemic, I have heard from several colleagues that some courts in the United States, and elsewhere, are back in session and they are asking court interpreters to attend in-person hearings. Courts may have their reasons to reopen, but I think is a bad idea for interpreters to answer the call at this time. Covid-19 is very contagious and continues to spread all over the United States and many other countries. This is not the time to risk our health, and perhaps our future, to make the not-so-good court interpreter fees. Technology is such that courthouses can hold virtual hearings, or distance interpreting if they want to have in-person sessions. There are solutions for all judicial district budgets, from fancy distance interpreting platforms, to Zoom, to a simple over-the-phone interpretation with 3-way calling and a speaker phone. Federal courts have provided over the phone interpretation in certain court appearances for many years.  Most hearings are short appearances that do not justify risking the interpreter. As for more complex evidentiary hearings and trials, just as conferences have temporarily migrated to this modality, distance interpreting can happen with a few adjustments. If in-person court interpreting is a bad idea right now, in-person interpreting at a detention center, jail or prison, is out of the question. At least in the United States, detention facilities are at the top of places where more Covid-19 cases have been detected.

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Is It Worth It for You To Do an MA in Translation Studies?

By: Andrea Capuselli

This article by Gwenydd Jones looks at the pros and cons of doing an MA in Translation Studies. It’ll help you think ahead and figure out whether doing an MA is the right choice for you.

With the cost of university study continually rising, you’re probably asking yourself whether doing an MA in translation studies is worth the investment. The answer will depend on your own circumstances and goals, as this article will explain. By the end, you should have a better idea of whether or not doing an MA in translation studies is worth it for you.

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