40. WAAT Session: Mithu Sanyal & Alta L. Price on Author-Translator Collaboration

The WAAT Sessions is a new series of video conversations about literary translation. In WAAT Session 01, the German author Mithu Sanyal and the literary translator, Alta L. Price discuss their author-translator collaboration process for Alta's English translation of Mithu's novel, Identitti.

32. Salman Rushdie on Literary Translation

I had other plans for this week's topic. But the news of this morning about the attack on the author, Salman Rushdie, has left me a bit shaken. No, I don't know him and I've never met him. But I've probably read every book, every essay, and every interview of his. And all his tweets from 2017-onward when I started following him there. It's curious how a writer can have so much impact on your reading and writing life. I wouldn't even say he was among my top three favorite writers (although, among desi or South Asian writers, he's definitely at the top.)

11. One of the Most Difficult Words to Translate in Any Language

MARCH 18, 2022: Cultural and contextual differences matter a great deal in literary translation because they can change the meaning of the text entirely. If you're a translator, you already know what this difficult word is, don't you? Hint: you use it so often that you probably don't even register this as a difficulty. In… Continue reading 11. One of the Most Difficult Words to Translate in Any Language

02. Long Words and Sentences (e.g. “Kraftfahrzeughaftpflichtversicherung”)

In 1993, I’d moved to Berlin, Germany to work at Siemens for a few months as an engineering apprentice. My job in the quality department involved doing all kinds of destructive and non-destructive testing procedures for defects, from hairline cracks to incorrect dimensions, in gas turbine components. And I had to do it all in a language that I had barely studied in the two years prior. So, while I was making my way around Berlin, getting hopelessly lost in eastern and western German dialects and all the immigrant slang that had made its way into them, I was also trying to decipher convoluted compound words from technical German manuals and reports.