Articles for Translation industry

British scholar Emily Wilson’s fresh and contemporary translations of the Greek classics discussed at a recent Yale University event

by Pisana Ferrari – cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village In Emily Wilson's translations of the classics the Greek goddess Demeter has “cornrows in her hair”, Achilles is described as a “superhero”, and Odysseus, when disguised as an old, homeless man, carries a "tote bag"...(1) Wilson’s innovative approach to the ...

September 30 marks International Translation Day, a time to reflect on changes in the industry in 2020

by Pisana Ferrari – cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village "Finding the words for a world in crisis" was the theme for the 2020 International Translation Day poster design contest set up by FIT, the International Federation of Translators. The beautiful winning design, by Russian artist and translator Liza Gunenko, ...

“Fabricius”, Google’s new AI tool, unravels the symbols of Ancient Egypt

by Pisana Ferrari – cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village Google launched "Fabricius", a web based AI tool to let users interact with ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, on July 16, 2020, to coincide with the anniversary of the Rosetta Stone. The Rosetta stone was the first Ancient Egyptian bilingual text (Egyptian/Ancient ...

“A poem a day”, 365 poems in 34 languages by 279 poets: a tribute to the many languages of India

by Pisana Ferrari – cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village Sampooran Singh Kalra (b.1934), known as Gulzar, is an Indian lyricist, poet, author, screenwriter, and film director. His anthology of 365 poems, one for every day of the year, has just been published by Harper and Collins. He describes it ...

The origins of idioms are lost in the mists of metaphor and meaning: they are “the fossilized poetry of language”

by Pisana Ferrari – cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village Chi Luu, a computational linguist and natural language processing researcher, writes about idioms and their special power to draw people together in a recent article for JSTOR Daily. The origins of idioms, she says, are most often frozen in time, ...

New English version of Camus’ “The Plague” during Covid-19: how historical context can affect translation

by Pisana Ferrari – cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village Publishers around the world are reporting booming sales of "The Plague" (La Peste), an allegorical tale set in a town at the mercy of an epidemic, written by French Nobel prize writer Albert Camus in 1947. Penguin is rushing through a ...

“Literary lockdown”: how the translation of a novel by a best selling author made for a thriller film plot

by Pisana Ferrari – cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village The French film Les traducteurs (The Translators) premiered last year in November at the French Film Festival in Prague. The plot follows a group of nine talented polyglots charged with translating the third installment of a fictitious Daedalus trilogy, a ...

The challenge of translating scales in multilingual surveys and the value of leveraging “legacy materials”

by Pisana Ferrari – cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village To quote scholars Barbara Byrne and Fons van de Vijver (2010), the goal of translating scales in multilingual and cross-cultural comparative survey is to produce an instrument that "measures the same construct(s) in exactly the same way" across all language ...

Should professional translators shun machine translation?

by Steve Dept, cApStAn CEO Beyond the AI hype and controversial reports about automatic translation achieving parity with human translation, neural machine translation (NMT) has undoubtedly made spectacular progress in the last three years. Should professional translators resist or should they use it? Machine translation software has been around for ...

The key role of translation in ensuring that life-saving Covid-19 information reaches minority language communities within countries

Pisana Ferrari – cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village Never before has translation been as important as during the current coronavirus pandemic. Understanding relevant medical terms is vital at all times but all the more so during a global health crisis, where compliance to containment measures is critical in order ...