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1.12.16 - 31.12.16
11.03.2017, 19:51

31.12.16 I often wonder what made Lefevere and Bassnett name the word-for-word strategy in translation after St. Jerome whose most famous quotation from his letter to Pammachius is known to every translator:

“Ego enim non solum fateor, sed libera voce profiteor me in interpretatione Graecorum absque scripturis sanctis ubi et verborum ordo mysterium est non verbum e verbo sed sensum de sensu”.

“Not only do I admit, but I proclaim at the top of my voice, that in translating from Greek, except from Sacred Scripture, where even the order of the words is of God’s doing, J have not translated word for word, but sense for sense”.

I accept this quotation in David Bellos’s wonderful interpretation:

That is, of course, what translators have always done. For the most part, they transmit the sense; where the sense is obscure, the best they can do – because unlike ordinary readers they are not allowed to skip – is to offer a representation of the separate words of the original” [Bellos, 2011: 107].


27.12.16 Ever notice that Jews don’t traditionally wish each other “happy new year”?

Instead they use the Hebrew phrase “shanah tovahwhich — in spite of the mistaken translation that appears on almost all greeting cards — has no connection at all to the expression “have a happy new year.”

Shanah tovah conveys the hope for a good year rather than a happy one. And the reason for that distinction contains great significance.

This past January, the Atlantic Monthly had a fascinating article titled There’s More to Life than Being Happy. The author, Emily Esfahani Smith, points out how researchers are beginning to caution against the pursuit of mere happiness. They found that a meaningful life and a happy life overlap in certain ways, but are ultimately very different. Leading a happy life, the psychologists found, is associated with being a "taker" while leading a meaningful life corresponds with being a "giver."

"Happiness without meaning characterizes a relatively shallow, self-absorbed or even selfish life, in which things go well, needs and desire are easily satisfied and difficult or taxing entanglements are avoided," the author writes.


23.12.16 Bound For Hawaii, Obama Wishes America 'Mele Kalikimaka' It's the thing to say on a bright Hawaiian Christmas Day.

"Mele Kalikimaka" is a Hawaiian-themed Christmas song written in 1949 by Robert Alex Anderson. The song takes its title from the Hawaiian phrase, "Mele Kalikimaka," meaning "Merry Christmas". The phrase is borrowed directly from English but since Hawaiian has a different phonological system - Hawaiian does not have the /r/ or /s/ of English and its phonotactic constraints do not permit consonants at the end of syllables or consonant clusters - "Merry Christmas" becomes "Mele Kalikimaka".

17.12.16  The most natural decision for a translator to make when he comes across a word with the same root in the Source Language and the Target language would be to use this etymological similarity: standard – стандарт (ный). However, these pairs are called “false friends” (faux amis) for good reason, as you see in the example below:

How to Rebuild Eastern Ukraine

Kiev is too corrupt to do the job itself. The reconstruction of the Donbass must be overseen by an independent body.

·  By Josh Cohen

·  December 14, 2016 - 4:27 pm

The best way to ensure the money goes where it should would be to remove the government from the process entirely, outsourcing all Donbass reconstruction procurement to an independent commission completely free from state control. Surrendering the sovereign right to manage state procurements would be a difficult pill for any government to swallow, but the unique challenge presented by the Donbass region requires thinking outside the box.


Чтобы деньги шли по назначению, лучше всего полностью отстранить правительство от этого процесса, отдав всю работу по закупкам для восстановления Донбасса на внешний подряд независимой комиссии, никак не подчиняющейся государству. Власти будет трудно проглотить эту горькую пилюлю, поскольку ей придется уступить свое суверенное право руководить государственными закупками. Но проблемы Донбасса уникальны, и поэтому они требуют нестандартных подходов и мыслей.

13.12.16 Phrasal verbs present a challenge to translators. But sometimes they are difficult to manage even for such experienced politicians as Hillary Clinton. She should not have promised to stand up to Russia, she should not have tried to take Putin on:

“I’ve stood up to Russia,” Ms. Clinton said during a debate in the fall. “I’ve taken Putin on and I would do that as president.”


«Я всегда противостояла России, — заявила г-жа Клинтон в ходе проходивших осенью дебатов. — Я всегда принимала вызов со стороны Путина, и я буду делать это в качестве президента».

11.12.16 Annus horribilis or annus mirabilis?

Annus horribilis is a Latin phrase, meaning "horrible year". It is complementary to annus mirabilis, which means "wonderful year"; however, annus mirabilis is a traditional term, while annus horribilis is of relatively recent coinage.

Although the phrase was used in 1891 to describe 1870, the year in which the Roman Catholic church defined the dogma of papal infallibility, it was brought to prominence by Queen Elizabeth II in a speech to Guildhall on 24 November 1992, marking the 40th anniversary of her accession, in which she described the year as an annus horribilis.

Nineteen ninety-two is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure. In the words of one of my more sympathetic correspondents, it has turned out to be an annus horribilis.


10.12.16 A very important linguistic observation:

"An American accent does not automatically mean someone is a good person.

Anwar al-Awlaki is the poster child for that. Born in New Mexico, Awlaki grew up to become a leading ideologue and recruiter for al Qaeda, with a vast social media presence. It was that American accent that made him so compelling. Even though he was assassinated in 2011 by a U.S. drone in Yemen, online videos of his lectures continue to inspire a new generation of extremists. Awlaki is a reminder that the tiny subset of “homegrown” extremists is a very real threat and must be identified and distinguished from the vast majority of Muslims in America".


1.12.16 Ukraine’s Political “Frenemies” Seek To Avoid 2005-Style Split  (a portmanteau word)      http://blogs.wsj.com/brussels/2016/11/29/ukraines-political-frenemies-seek-to-avoid-2005-style-split/

«Заклятые друзья» украинской политики стараются избежать раскола

Guess who they might be!

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