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Paying Attention to the Translators of Great Literature


Think back to your undergraduate literature classes. When you read Dante or Tolstoy, did the professor lead any discussions about the translator and his or her translations? Probably not. The common practice is to analyze the book without reserving time to discuss the translator or talk about the various translations in circulation…

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Bellissimo! The Italian Language and European Culture

What, seriously, have the Romans ever done for us? Well, it's no coincidence that the word “romance” looks suspiciously similar to the word “Roman”. By marching all over Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, subjugating/civilizing the local inhabitants from Babylon to Portugal, they managed to spread the Latin language…

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The Danger Zone: Translators At War

Translators At War

If the aim of a military exercise is to minimize casualties - and it isn't always - conflict between two antagonists requires effective communication. This has always been the case, and the examples of interpreters who have attempted to bridge the chasm between warring parties are numerous and often inspiring.…

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Squanto: Trans-Atlantic Translator

Today, unless you're one of the relatively few people who travel between the US and Europe regularly, a trip across the Atlantic is still a real thrill, and something that many will only do once in a lifetime. Four hundred years ago, a Native American from the Patuxet tribe had…

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Sacagawea: Pioneer Interpreter


Imagine a USA that, as you travel west, stops abruptly at St Louis, Missouri. No Denver, in fact no Rocky Mountains at all. No Grand Canyon, no Pacific coast. The lands that today contain San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, all under the control of Spain. From Montana in…

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