Translation, Exile, and ALTA

The annual American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) conference, the virtual portion of which is taking place this weekend, always makes me think deeply about translation. After a roundtable today organized by Diana Thow and Jamie Richards, which left me feeling stimulated but also isolated and nostalgic for the in-person ALTA conferences of the past, I… Continue reading Translation, Exile, and ALTA

Translating Identifying As

(Available as a podcast here.) This is a very strong essay by my friend Alta Ifland at East West Literary Forum. It becomes especially powerful when one reads the Russian translation by Tatiana Bonch Osmolovskaya, where the key phrase “identify as” feels as strange and culturally specific as Ifland claims. The meta-phenomenon she identifies (not… Continue reading Translating Identifying As

Kin praise from the music world

A friend from across the country sent me a note today to say that Marissa Lorusso and Lyndsey McKenna’s NPR music newsletter had plugged my translation of Jergović’s Kin, which made me say what!? Here’s what seems to have happened. They contacted a handful of their favorite musicians and asked them to tell them about… Continue reading Kin praise from the music world

Teaching Russian Culture through Artifacts

A couple of months ago, I decided to make my Russian culture survey into an artifact driven class. Rather than lead with the history and then place the culture on top of it, as I used to do it, using the cultural component almost like examples, I would lead with the cultural artifacts, and then… Continue reading Teaching Russian Culture through Artifacts

People and Achievers

As I think through ways of rendering the language and feel of Notes from Underground more effective for younger readers of English today, it occurs to me that, just as chelovek should often be “person” rather than “man,” so too the frequent references to the U-Man’s listeners as “gentlemen” (which is the ubiquitous translation in… Continue reading People and Achievers

Topping 5000 listens, and a new album!

Ba Ren Chi hit 5000 listens earlier this week, a little less than a year from when I started using Jamendo as its main distribution platform. The other one I use is LANDR, which puts the music into a lot of other places (Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, AppleMusic/iTunes, YouTube Music) but doesn’t seem to get as… Continue reading Topping 5000 listens, and a new album!

Autumn Hill Books’ new website and new titles

Our hosting platform was out of date and non-secure (didn’t have the “s” by the “http” in the URL), so we needed to remake it. The site just went live yesterday, and we’re still working out the bugs, but please have a look at the new features and the new books in the past couple… Continue reading Autumn Hill Books’ new website and new titles

Translating Gender Pronouns

This is a tough topic, mostly because languages are currently in a great deal of flux as they figure out how to deal with the preferences of individuals with regard to expressions of gender and gender identity. The issue is complicated by the myriad different ways that languages mark gender. In some, all nouns have… Continue reading Translating Gender Pronouns

How Translators Teach Translations

Michael Henry Heim used to tell a story of how he had once introduced a bit of translation into his large survey class on Soviet Civilization in the early 1990s, commenting in passing on how a well-known book had been translated differently by two different translators. I believe it might have been Solzhenitsyn’s One Day… Continue reading How Translators Teach Translations