New Illiad Translation

When it comes to translating classic literature, one of the most pressing issues a translator faces is determining how closely to follow the original text. One the one hand, you don’t want to deviate so far from the original that you lose or change the meaning. On the other hand, sometimes a literal, word-for-word translation can leave modern readers confused and frustrated.

This was the dilemma faced by renowned translator Stephen Mitchell when he began work on a new translation of The Iliad. The epic poem is full of long-winded descriptions and epithets like “you doer of deeds not forgotten” that sound formal and almost ritualistic to modern English speakers. The Wall Street Journal notes that Mitchell decided to take some liberties with these parts of the text when he translated, resulting in a more modern-sounding poem:

He cut about 1,100 lines, modernized the dialogue and left out most of the fusty-seeming descriptors attached to each character (swift-footed Achilles, bright-eyed Athena, crafty Odysseus). Read more

Man Deals With Dyslexia by Learning Klingon

According to Wikipedia, between 5 and 10 percent of people are believed to be dyslexic. Dyslexia is a frustrating neurological disorder that affects its victims’ ability to process written language. Dyslexic patients have normal and even high levels of intelligence, but they nonetheless have difficulty reading and writing.

Dyslexia is found across the world, but the manner in which it is expressed and the type of difficulties it produces depend in part on the language the person is trying to learn to read and write. As Wikipedia explains:

“Because different writing systems require different parts of the brain to process the visual notation of speech, children with reading problems in one language might not have a reading problem in a language with a different orthography.”

But can learning another language help English-speaking patients improve their ability to read and write in English? The experience of one man from Milton Keynes suggests that it can. Read more

September: A Month for Languages

For most people, Friday, September 30th was just a normal day. But for those of us who work at K International, it was a day that was near and dear to our hearts: International Translation Day!

International Translation Day was established by the International Federation of Translators in 1953, to coincide with the feast of St. Jerome (the patron saint of translators). Every year has a theme to guide the celebrations; this year’s was “Bridging Cultures” for the way translation allows us to build bridges between different cultures.

On its website, The International Federation of Translators reminds us that people and companies who perform translation services are “absolutely indispensable,” saying Read more

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