September 2013 Archives

International Translation Day 2013

Today, Monday 30 September, is International Translation Day. The day was chosen by the International Federation of Translators as it is the feast day of St Jerome, a man who was instrumental in the 3rd century AD for translating holy scriptures from Hebrew into Latin. The International Federation of Translators, incidentally, is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.

In case anyone who visits this blog is in any doubt as to the need the world has of translators (after all, everyone speaks English, don't they? And machine translation is almost as good as a human, isn't it?) should watch this YouTube video - right to the end.

It was compiled and performed by Erik Skuggevik of the Norwegian Association of Literary Translators and is, in my view, quite simply brilliant.

Translators are a waste of space, right?

[Thanks to Aletta for bringing it to my attention]

And if you are inspired by its brilliance, you might be interested in tomorrow's post in which there is an offer for anyone wishing to learn English as a foreign language or German (for English speakers)!

Chinese culture in Bath

I wonder if this blog has any Chinese readers?

The city of Bath is primarily associated in people's minds with its Romans baths (apparently the best example north of the Alps), Georgian architecture, Jane Austen and Sally Lunn buns. There are of course many other things that it can be added. For example, it is perhaps less well known that Issac Pitman whose name is associated with the Pitman shorthand system lived at the Royal Crescent for a while and died in Bath in 1897.

Of the many museums in Bath, the Museum of East Asian Art is perhaps the most exotic. It has recently launched an oral history project which aims to collect the stories and history of people of Chinese origin living in the Bath area.  Non-Chinese are also invited to contribute with stories of their first encounters with Chinese culture be they meeting Chinese people, their first taste of Chinese food or any other contact with China whilst living in Bath.

To find out more about the project and tell your story, contact Rachel Yuan at the museum: