297 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2024
    1. But it was her uncle, the RevdCyrus Byington, who had the greatest influence on her life and interests. Hehad been a missionary with the Brewer sisters’ father to the Choctaw NativeAmerican Communities at the old mission station in Stockbridge; he hadtranslated the Bible into Choctaw, and wrote a grammar and dictionary of thelanguage.
  2. Jan 2024
    1. this uh is taken from the website of a company called ibridge and this is 00:30:53 live transcription and translation at at the same time into text so it's it's almost interpreting there just isn't the voice synthesizer to speak the 00:31:06 translation
    1. 序 前言 數盲,其實普遍存在於生活之中   「數學向來是我最爛的一科。」   「100萬美元、10億美元、1兆美元,隨便。只要我們可以解決這件事,多少錢都不是問題。」   「我和傑瑞不能去歐洲了,都是恐怖分子害的。」   數盲,是指沒有能力自在地應對和數字以及機率有關的基本概念。這項缺點讓太多在其他方面博學多聞的人受了很多苦。這些人會因為別人混用「隱含」和「推斷」而感到苦惱,但看到數字上出現錯誤與矛盾,就算是嚴重失當,回應時也絲毫不見尷尬。我還記得,有一次在派對上聽到一個人侃侃而談「繼續」和「持續」有什麼差別,當晚稍後我們看新聞報導,氣象播報員說星期六的下雨機率是50%,星期天也是50%,結論是那個週末下雨的機率是百分之百。那位自封文法家的先生覺得這話很對,就連我向他解釋錯在哪裡之後,他也沒什麼表示。但如果天氣播報員的語法錯誤,他可能會比較火大。人常會隱藏其他缺點,但數學不好這件事不一樣,多半都是明目張膽表現出來:「我連平衡收支帳都做不到。」「我這個人關心的是人,我不關心數字。」或者「我向來痛恨數學。」   人們會洋洋得意於自己對數學很無知,部分原因是數學不好造成的後果,不像其他缺點這麼明顯。基於這一點,再加上我堅信人對於用具體範例來說明更有反應,對於一般性的描述比較無感。因此,本書會檢視許多真實世界裡的數盲範例,包含股票詐騙、擇偶、報紙專欄上的占卜師、飲食和醫療主張、恐怖主義的風險、占星、運動賽事數據、選舉、性別歧視、幽浮、保險和法律、心理分析、超心理學、樂透以及藥物試驗等等。   我努力避免太自以為是的言論,也不要用哲學家艾倫.布魯姆(Allan Bloom)式的批判,來泛論流行文化或是教育系統,但我還是提出了一些通論式的評論與觀察,但願我舉的例子能支持我的論點。我的看法是,有些人無法游刃有餘地面對數字和機率,是源於對不確定性、巧合或問題呈現方式的自然心理反應。或者是,出於焦慮,或是對數學的本質和意義懷抱不切實際的誤解。   數盲會造成一種罕有人討論的後果:數盲和相信偽科學有關。本書會討論兩者之間的交互關係。在現代這個社會,每天都會出現基因工程、雷射科技、積體電路等新科技,讓我們更進一步理解這個世界。但有很多成人仍相信塔羅牌、通靈和水晶的力量,特別讓人難過。   更不妙的是,科學家對於各種風險的評估,和一般人對於這些風險的認知大不相同,兩者間的落差最後要不就引發沒有根據、但殺傷力極大的焦慮,要不就導致人們要求得到根本做不到、而且會癱瘓經濟的無風險保證。政治人物在這方面幫不上忙,因為他們的工作就是處理公眾的意見,因此不樂於說清楚可能會造成哪些危險,以及有哪些相應的取捨,但這是幾乎所有政策要面對的問題。   本書大部分談的是各種不當,比方說沒有數字觀點、過度重視無意義的巧合、輕信偽科學、無能識別社會中的各項取捨等等,寫來很有破解流言的意味。但我希望我有避開很多人這麼做時,都會露出的過度激昂和譴責語氣。   本書盡量用溫和可讀的方式來談數學,只採用一些基本的機率和統計概念。雖然某種程度上來說有一點深,但只需要具備常識與一些演算能力即可領會。而我也會分享一些概念,是過往很少用淺顯易懂的方式來討論的。我的學生多半很喜歡這些內容,但他們也常會問:「考試時會考這個嗎?」讀這本書不用考試,所以讀者可以好好享受,偶爾一些比較困難的段落,跳過也沒問題。   本書的主張之一,是數盲會基於個人經驗、或因為媒體側重個別性與戲劇性效果,而受到誤導,有強烈的對人不對事傾向。但這句話不代表數學家就不帶個人情感、或是一板一眼,我就不是,這本書也不是。我寫這本書的訴求對象,是受過教育但是數盲的人。或者,至少是對數學還沒有怕到死,不會看到數學兩字就癱軟的人。如果能因此講清楚數盲在我們的公、私生活中有多麼普遍,寫這本書就值得了。

      認真地對照原文看了,沒有發現意思上的問題。雖然試讀文不長,但從經驗看,沒有明顯的誤譯實爲難得。

    1. Bodies of Evidence: The Fascinating World of Forensic Science and How It Helped Solve More Than 100 True Crimes Hardcover – October 9, 2000 by Brian Innes (Author)

      中國版譯本,譯名: 医学名著系列--国际法医探案100例身体证据

  3. Dec 2023
    1. 最近我在試著翻譯 Do things that don’t scale 這篇有名的文章,在用 chatGPT 的時候,發現一個有趣的差別。 Airbnb now seems like an unstoppable juggernaut, but early on it was so fragile that about 30 days of going out and engaging in person with users made the difference between success and failure. chatGPT: Airbnb現在似乎是一個不可阻擋的巨無霸,但在早期,只要花大約30天的時間親自外出與使用者互動,就可能決定成功與失敗之間的差別。 我的翻譯:目前 Airbnb 似乎是個無人能擋的巨無霸,但它初期其實脆弱到如果三十天內不去和使用者互動,迎接他們的就會是失敗而不是成功。 chatGPT 「只要花 30 天就會決定成功與失敗」聽起來很不知所云,不知道到底是會失敗還是會成功?那是要超過三十天還是要低於三十天? 但如果是用我的版本,要表達的就很明確:「超過三十天不去找用戶的話,你就完蛋了。」 雖然我不確定自己翻的到底是否符合原話,但至少讀起來的「立場」較為明確,就是在說你就是要趕快去找使用者。但如果是 chatGPT 的版本,就會看不出來到底什麼東西會決定成功與失敗?又怎樣會導致成功、怎樣會導致失敗?

      其實這裡ChatGPT的直譯翻譯意思才對。

      人工的翻譯版犯了一個錯,「超過三十天不去找用戶」,這個意思原文完全沒有。難道,只要29天趕快去找用戶溝通一天,就沒事?

      原文是說,他們必須連續30天在外跟用戶溝通,才能成功。

  4. Nov 2023
    1. 泰語和緬甸語則是音素音節文字(alphasyllabary)或元音附標文字(abugida)

      原文:Thai and Burmese are alphasyllabaries, or abugidas.

      這翻譯犯了一種技術錯誤,即「或」字的使用。乍看之下,「or」翻成「或」顯得無懈可擊,但細究起來,中文單一的「或」字,加上句子裡提到兩個語言,有可能誤導讀者如此對號入座:以爲泰語是第一類,緬甸語是第二類。就算沒被誤導,也無法立即讀懂這個「或」。

      其實,這「or」的意思是「或稱」,表示alphasyllabary 和 abugida 是一種東西的兩種稱法,中文可以翻成「,或稱」、「,又稱」、「,也叫做」,無論怎麼翻,都勝過一個單獨的、令人混淆的「或」字。注意,這種意思的 or,前面必定有一個逗號。

    2. 不過語言帝國主義終究是個權宜之詞,關鍵原因在於:這個議題指的並不是某特定強勢語言的霸權地位,如英語、法語等等,也非我們當今所見的特定殖民地語言政策,如將強勢語言加諸在特定人群身上。

      有點吹毛求疵了。中譯讀起來像是有兩個原因(「也非」後面帶出第二個原因),但原文表達的是一個原因: for one critical reason。「也非」後面闡述的是同一個原因(強勢語言的霸權)的進一步說明。

    3. 然而,這道難題必須盡快破解,才能判斷它對一個文明所構成的考驗:中文究竟能不能與現代性相容。

      看到書名,很吸睛。從網路上找到對應的原文,讀了一下,覺得挺拗口,英文句子顯得冗長,不是很好讀,但不刁鑽。

      幾小段試讀的翻譯看下來,這個譯本很忠於原文,亦步亦趨採取相對直譯的策略來行文。但以此句而言,遺漏了一些重要的表達程度和強調的字眼:nothing short of、once and for all,這些詞並非空虛無意義,作者的用心處,如果能譯出來,讀者更能體會何以這道難題必須儘快破解。

      原文(強調部分是我加的):This puzzle would have to be solved quickly, though, for it constituted nothing short of a civilizational trial by which to judge once and for all whether Chinese script was compatible with Modernity with a capital M.

    1. 或許是受「忠於原著」的說法影響,很多中譯者都十分規行矩步,處理長句子時會乖乖按著子句順序來譯,就算譯出來怪怪的,也很少作出大刀闊斧的改動。這樣直譯的結果,往往是讀者的惡夢。

      此文旨在批評「直譯」是不佳的做法,但所舉三例中,較差的二例,並非是直譯造成的問題,而原po的翻譯較好,也並非因爲不直譯,其實,從句法看,直譯的程度:

      張 > 毫末 > 宋

      宋是最大程度打破原文的語法重新組織,但恰好也寫出最拗口賣弄的中文。

    2. 兩個譯本卻都丟失了其中意思

      which所表的「運動」,意思在張的譯文中並未如所稱丟失,她明白寫出「那些運動」如何如何,只是如前述,「有助於」是多餘意思。

    3. 張譯本是拆成兩句來直譯,但後段意思搞錯了,宋譯本則索性漏掉不譯

      張後段並沒有搞錯,宋也沒有漏譯,只是各自的表達不同於毫末版。不過,我還是最欣賞毫末版,最符合原文的意思。

      宋的「流變」在譯movements,「與聞其一」在譯take part in any one of,只是文字太高調、賣弄,裝高雅。張的「有助於」雖然不好,但沒有到搞錯的程度。

    1. Sönke Ahrens' Concept of "Permanent Notes" in a Zettelkasten is Completely False

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6jt7SPbhMs


      One snippet of brief insight which he could have built upon, but instead he sandwiches it in multiple shills for his book, shills for his newsletter, and several heaping servings of zettelkasten cultish religion.

      sigh

      Given the presentation here, one wonders how long Scott spent looking through the main portion of Luhmann's ZK to verify that, in fact, that section did not appear. It's nice that he found the bilbliography card related to the footnote, but I don't see enough evidence for deep search to indicate that it might not actually exist somewhere. I also know from experience that Scott doesn't have enough strength in German to potentially pull off such a search, particularly given two different translators of Luhmann's German into English. It may have been the case that Scott missed it.

      The better example would have been to use Goitein whose writing output far exceeded that of Luhmann with a fraction of the cards.

  5. Oct 2023
    1. Steinberg, Avi. “After More Than Two Decades of Work, a New Hebrew Bible to Rival the King James.” The New York Times, December 20, 2018, sec. Magazine. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/20/magazine/hebrew-bible-translation.html.

    2. Daniel is almost certainly the Bible’s latest book, composed during a time when Hebrew, no longer the spoken language, had gone into decline. It is one of the few books in the Hebrew Bible where Aramaic appears for long stretches of the text. And this linguistic estrangement isn’t just the historical background of Daniel’s authors, who scholars believe were living under foreign domination and religious persecution by the Seleucid Greeks around the second century B.C.
    3. Here is Alter’s version of the well-known opening of Genesis 21, part of the story of Isaac, the miracle baby of 90-year-old Sarah, and her 99-year-old husband, Abraham: “And the Lord singled out Sarah.” The word Alter is translating as “singled out” is pakad. The King James, and most others after it, translate it as “visited.” The Jewish Publication Society has it as “remembered.” Others translate it as “kept his word,” “took note of,” “was gracious to,” “was attentive to” or “blessed.” A good literal version, provided by the canny contemporary translator Everett Fox, has it as “took account of” — and there is something numerical and even administrative about pakad. (Elsewhere in the Bible, in the context of describing a public census, pakad means “to number”; in modern Hebrew, it is related to the words for “officer,” “clerk” and “roll-call.”) Weaving together its numerical dimensions with a thread of bureaucratic banality, Alter yields the anxious verb “singled out” and with it, reveals new layers of tension in this story.

      translation of pakad, an administrative word literally translated as "took account of" as "took note of"

    4. Alter regularly composes phrases that sound strange in English, in part because they carry hints of ancient Hebrew within them. The translation theorist Lawrence Venuti, whom Alter has cited, describes translations that “foreignize,” or openly signal that a translated text was originally written in another language, and those that “domesticate,” or render invisible the original language. According to Venuti, a “foreignized” translation “seeks to register linguistic and cultural differences.” Alter maintains that his translation of the Bible borrows from the idea of “foreignizing,” and this approach generates unexpected and even radical urgency, particularly in passages that might seem familiar.
    5. Alter told me about his decision to reject one of the oldest traditions in English translation and remove the word “soul” from the text. That word, which translates the Hebrew word nefesh, has been a favorite in English-language Bibles since the 1611 King James Version.

      Extended discussion here of the decision to translate nefesh not as "soul" with various examples.

    1. Shulevitz, Judith. “‘The Five Books of Moses’: From God’s Mouth to English.” Book Review of The Five Books of Moses: A Translation With Commentary by Robert Alter. The New York Times, October 17, 2004, sec. Books. https://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/17/books/review/the-five-books-of-moses-from-gods-mouth-to-english.html.

    2. Alter's translation puts into practice his belief that the rules of biblical style require it to reiterate, artfully, within scenes and from scene to scene, a set of "key words," a term Alter derives from Buber and Franz Rosenzweig, who in an epic labor that took nearly 40 years to complete, rendered the Hebrew Bible into a beautifully Hebraicized German. Key words, as Alter has explained elsewhere, clue the reader in to what's at stake in a particular story, serving either as "the chief means of thematic exposition" within episodes or as connective tissue between them.
    3. Biblical Hebrew has an unusually small vocabulary clustered around an even smaller number of three-letter roots, most of them denoting concrete actions or things, and the Bible achieves its mimetic effects partly through the skillful repetition of these few vivid words.
    4. In the case of the binding of Isaac, for instance, Alter not only accepts a previous translator's substitution of "cleaver" for the "knife" of the King James version but also changes "slay" (as in, "Abraham took the knife to slay his son") to "slaughter." Moreover, in his notes, he points out that although this particular Hebrew verb for "bound" (as in, "Abraham bound Isaac his son") occurs only this once in biblical Hebrew, making its meaning uncertain, we can nonetheless take a hint from the fact that when the word reappears in rabbinic Hebrew it refers specifically to the trussing up of animals. Alter's translation thus suggests a dimension of this eerie tale we would probably have overlooked: that of editorial comment. The biblical author, by using words more suited to butchery than ritual sacrifice, lets us know that he is as horrified as we are at the brutality of the act that God has asked Abraham to commit.
    1. Goldfajn, Tal. “Thou Shalt Show: On Robert Alter’s Translation of the Hebrew Bible.” Book Review of The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary by Robert Alter. Los Angeles Review of Books, June 2, 2020. https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/thou-shalt-show-on-robert-alters-translation-of-the-hebrew-bible/.

    2. Several biblical translations into other languages in the 20th and 21st centuries have followed some kind of version of these translation norms, albeit with different goals and within different contexts. The German translation by Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig, whose first volume appeared in 1925, for instance, aimed to reflect the linguistic features of the original Hebrew. The central precept of Henri Meschonnic’s French translation, which came out in 1970, is “more than what a text says, it is what a text does that must be translated.” Haroldo de Campos’s translation of individual biblical books into Brazilian Portuguese in the 1990s were meant to “Hebraicize the Portuguese.”

      Nice summary of various modern translations of the bible.

    3. Alter’s keen grasp of that rhythm and syntax is evidenced by his playful 10 commandments for Bible translators: 1.Thou shalt not make translation an explanation of the original, for the Hebrew writer abhorreth all explanation. 2. Thou shalt not mangle the eloquent syntax of the original by seeking to modernize it. 3. Though shalt not shamefully mingle linguistic registers. 4. Thou shalt not multiply for thyself synonyms where the Hebrew wisely and pointedly uses repeated terms. 5. Thou shalt not replace the expressive simplicity of the Hebrew prose with purportedly elegant language. 6. Thou shalt not betray the fine compactness of biblical poetry. 7. Thou shalt not make the Bible sound as though it were written just yesterday, for this, too, is an abomination. 8. Thou shalt diligently seek English counterparts for the word-play and sound-play of the Hebrew. 9. Thou shalt show to readers the liveliness and subtlety of the dialogues. 10. Thou shalt continually set before thee the precision and purposefulness of the word-choices in Hebrew.
    4. Take “soul” in the KJV’s Psalm 23: “The Lord is my shepherd […] He restoreth my soul.” Alter, who has by now become famous for taking the soul out of the Hebrew Bible, gives us: “The Lord is my shepherd […] My life He brings back.” Where has the soul gone? The answer is that the Hebrew didn’t really provide it in the first place. The word “nefesh” is more concrete, meaning “breath,” “life-breath,” “essential self,” and also “throat.” It suggests the material, the bodily, or, as the biblical scholar James Barr put it, “is not a separate essence and is more like the principle of life animating the person, acting in his actions, and touched by that which touches him.”
    5. Alter, for his part, has faith in the original, and the result is both refreshing and beautiful.

      clever use of "faith" with respect to translation here

    6. Let me illustrate by examining a well-known passage, Genesis 7:17–18, in which the flood comes and Noah’s ark is lifted up above the earth. The example involves the Hebrew syntactic tendency to open each sentence in narrative with “and,” to order the words in parallel clauses by coordination (“and” + “and” + “and”), rather than by subordination (“because,” “so,” or “although”). This biblical syntactic feature, known as parataxis, affects the text’s rhythm, its temporal interpretation, its layers of cohesion and ambiguity. Here is Alter’s rendering of this passage: “And the Flood was forty days over the earth, and the waters multiplied and bore the ark upward and it rose above the earth. And the waters surged and multiplied mightily over the earth, and the ark went on the surface of the water.”
    7. Alter’s approaches the Bible as great literature first and foremost — an approach almost inconceivable before the mid-20th century.
    1. Bruce, James. “The Godless Bible.” Book Review of The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary by Robert Alter. Law & Liberty, July 15, 2022. https://lawliberty.org/book-review/the-godless-bible/.

    2. Even still, these volumes will not rest on my shelf untouched. Yes, I have read them carefully, but I will return to them again. Indeed, whenever I speak or write about the Hebrew Bible, I plan on consulting them. You should, too.

      After such a scathing review, really?? I'd be interested to hear a few paragraphs about why.

    3. His commentary, often thought-provoking and occasionally infuriating, is never edifying.

      Could it be edifying to the author who seems to have a set notion of how things should be in advance of the argument? One wonders what his translation would look like...

    4. Alter says he avoids the phrase “‘like the son of man’ because of its strong, and debatable, tilt toward a messianic interpretation.”

      Of course Alter's alternate translation of "son of man" allows one a closer meaning of Jews prior to the first century and Jesus, which adds a lot of undue baggage which may be seen as retconning the Hebrew Bible. It is after all, titled The Hebrew Bible and specifically not The Old Testament, thus placing it into the tradition of Christianity.

    1. The only place in the Hebrew Bible where nasab is translated as a pillar is the case of Lot’s wife: “Lot’s wife looked back, and she thereupon turned into a pillar of salt” (Genesis 19:26). The Hebrew word nasab indicates that Lot’s wife was standing in place like a pillar.
  6. Sep 2023
    1. If you are watching this show with non-Chinese subtitles you are massively missing out. The Chinese dialogue is written with the skill of a bard. The language is sophisticated, succinct, elegant and poetic - as beautiful as the visuals. In comparison, the English subtitles were dull and prosaic, an abominable shadow of the original dialogue, using the vocabulary of a primary school student. It's as if the varying shades of blue - cerulean, sapphire, teal, indigo were translated into "blue, blue, blue, blue". I was truly disappointed by the English subtitles
  7. Aug 2023
    1. the systemwide optimum population cohort for the climate action interventions is a community (P4) of 10 000 persons
      • for: cross-scale translation of earth system boundaries, downscaled planetary boundaries, leverage point

      • stats

        • 10000 to 1 million is optimum size
      • question: investigate rationale
    2. We suggest that prioritizing the analyzed climate actions between community and urban scales, where global and local converge, can help catalyze and enhance individual, household and local practices, and support national and international policies and finances for rapid sustainability transformations.
      • for: cross-scale translation of earth system boundaries, downscaled planetary boundaries, leverage point
      • key finding
        • suitable cohorts and cohort ranges for rapidly deploying climate and sustainability actions between a single individual and the globally projected ∼ 10 billion persons by 2050 is:
        • community scale between 10k and 100k
      • for: cross-scale translation of earth system boundaries, downscaled planetary boundaries, leverage point
      • title: Powers of 10: seeking 'sweet spots' for rapid climate and sustainability actions between individual and global scales
    1. So far, smart city systems are being set up to appropriate and commercialize individual and community data. So far, communities are not waking up to the realization that a capacity they need is being stolen from them before they have it.”
      • for: smart cities, doughnut cities, cosmolocal, downscaled planetary boundaries, cross-scale translation of earth system boundaries, TPF, community data, local data, open data, community data ownership, quote, quote - Garth Graham, quote - community owned data
      • quote
      • paraphrase
        • Innovation in the creation and sustainability of social institutions acts predominantly at the local level.
        • In the Internet of Things, for those capacities to emerge in smart cities, communities need the capacity to own and analyse the data created that models what they are experiencing.
        • Local data needs to be seen as a common, pool resource.
        • Where that occurs, communities will have the capacity to learn or innovate their way forward.
        • So far, smart city systems are being set up to appropriate and commercialize individual and community data.
        • So far, communities are not waking up to the realization that a capacity they need is being stolen from them before they have it.
      • author: Garth Graham
        • leader of Telecommunities Canada
  8. Jul 2023
    1. The Buddhist concept of interconnectedness or emptiness (all things are empty of a separate self) is represented by the metaphor of the Jewel Net of Indra
      • adjacency
        • ecology
        • Indra's net of jewels -translation
        • of Indra's Net story
        • “Far away in the heavenly abode of the great god Indra,
          • there is a wonderful net which has been hung by some cunning artificer
          • in such a manner that it stretches out infinitely in all directions.
        • In accordance with the extravagant tastes of deities,
          • the artificer has hung a single glittering jewel in each “eye” of the net,
          • and since the net itself is infinite in dimension,
            • the jewels are infinite in number.
        • There hang the jewels, glittering like stars in the first magnitude,
          • a wonderful sight to behold.
        • If we now arbitrarily select one of these jewels for inspection and look closely at it,
          • we will discover that in its polished surface there are reflected all the other jewels in the net, infinite in number.
        • Not only that, but each of the jewels reflected in this one jewel is also reflecting all the other jewels,
          • so that there is an infinite reflecting process occurring"
          • Author
            • Cook, F. H. (1977). Hua‐Yen Buddhism: The jewel net of Indra. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press. [Google Scholar]
    1. N. P. S.

      In Ukrainian, АЕС stands for Атомна електростанція, which would be widely recognized as standing for Atomic Energy Station. I translated this line into English as N.P.S. which stands for Nuclear Power Station. [1] Since English-language readers may not be familiar with this acronym, I wanted to explain it in this annotation.

      Source:

      [1] "Acronyms." Nuclear Energy Agency, https://www.oecd-nea.org/general/acronyms/.

    2. Wasn’t there a way to put concrete and yellow steel in a radiation-proof sarcophagus that would not put an Iron Curtain in control?

      The syntax of this section is strange in the original Spanish. While translating it, I endeavored to preserve as much of the sentence structure as possible while maximizing clarity.

      "Sarcófago certero contra la radiación" could also be translated as a "sarcophagus well-aimed against radiation."

    3. from one problem to the next.

      This line could also be translated as "From stress to stress."

    4. Humanity

      The word "человек" in Russian has a variety of possible translations and meanings. On the one hand, the word refers to "mankind" or "humanity," while on the other it can describe an individual "person," "man," or "human." Throughout my translation, I have translated человек as "humanity" and "human," in order to make the word's meaning as inclusive as possible while maintaining consistency throughout the poem.

    5. parsec

      The word parsec is composed of the words parallax and arcsecond. Parsec is a unit used in astronomy to measure extraordinarily large spaces between astronomical objects outside of our Solar System. While the full explanation of this mathematical concept is beyond the scope of this project, a detailed description can be found in the source below. [1]

      Sources:

      [1] Bender, Stephanie. "What is a Parsec?" Universe Today, 14 November 2013, https://www.universetoday.com/32872/parsec/.

    1. Pevear, especially, has read some of the theory about translation: Walter Benjamin, José Ortega y Gasset, Roman Jakobson, and, of course, Nabokov.

      Some authors who have written about translations.

    2. For instance, they will not use an English word that the Oxford English Dictionary says came into use after the publication of the novel they are translating.
  9. Jun 2023
    1. vorrebbe imparare l’italiano

      Interlinguistic necessity. Although containing the record of a ‘lesson’ on Dante’s Inferno 26, the central experience recounted in this chapter is set in motion by linguistic rather than literary elements. Jean desires to learn a new language, Italian, and Primo’s teaching accordingly combines his intermittent recitation of Dante’s text in the original language with a hesitant French commentary on, often a paraphrase of, salient elements in it. At its core, thus, the chapter relates an attempt at interlinguistic mediation. The text’s emphasis on interlinguistic communication is projected against the backdrop of the Lager’s Babel-like dehumanising confusion of languages that Levi explored in other texts (SQ, I sommersi e i salvati). As such, the circumstances of the episode are exceptional.

      Jean is an exceptional, and exceptionally positive, character in the universe of the book. He speaks and thinks in two languages: most importantly, he is native in both (‘Jean parlava correntemente francese e tedesco’). As established on the chance encounter with an SS, Rudi the Blockführer, bilingual utterances are for him the norm: ‘È indifferente, può pensare in entrambe le lingue’. The role he plays in the structure of the concentration camp, facilitated by the distinction of his bilingualism, however, is not what is at stake in the episode per se. While Jean certainly has acquired a linguistic capital of sorts, Levi’s narrative insists on what he decides to share of that privilege. His multilingualism is not associated with exclusionary practices, but with the work of intermediation it brings about and the community of intents it creates. The language learning situation is presented as a space in which the power dynamics of the Lager’s languages are suspended and ultimately refused.

      (For more on this, go back here or forward here).

      SM

    2. Qui mi fermo e cerco di tradurre

      The late Stuart Woolf (1936-2021) must have smiled to himself when he first translated these lines, as a young historian working on his PhD in 1950s Turin. Woolf is the only published English translator of SQ; his fluid and immediate rendering of Levi’s words remains the version known to millions of anglophone readers. While the task of a translator is never easy, it may be that the clarity and simplicity of Levi’s style lends itself to translation and grants his writing a certain universality - almost like a chemical formula.

      ‘The Canto of Ulysses’ can be read as an ode to translation, not just from one language to another, but in a metaphorical sense, in the repositioning of meaning between people and time. This goes back to the idea implied in the etymology of the word ‘translation’, which comes from the Latin translatio, to ‘carry over’, to ‘bring across’. In this chapter, instances of translation form a mise en abyme that ‘carries over’ from Homer to Virgil, Virgil to Dante, Dante to Levi, Levi to Pikolo, Italian to French, Italian to English, and text to reader.

      This more conceptual idea of ‘translation’ has become a way of understanding the testimonial act, central to Holocaust studies (Insana 2009; Felman and Laub 1992). Witnesses ‘translate’ into words their experience and their trauma. This process is often thought of as entailing a loss: an ineffable residue that cannot be communicated through language. However, the exchange that takes place between Levi and Jean in ‘The Canto of Ulysses’ invites us to rethink translation in terms of expansion, with each new version becoming part of the original’s harvest. The non-Italian reader’s lack of familiarity with ‘Who Dante is’, ‘What the Comedy is’, may at first seem a disadvantage. And yet, this has the enriching effect of aligning us with Jean: the reader/Pikolo attempts to overcome a linguistic and cultural barrier, to be in communion with the narrator/Levi. Conversely, Italian readers are likely to identify more closely with Levi, as they try, with him, to remember lines learned in their schooldays.

      The new interpretative perspectives created by the translated text respond to the original and form a polyphony. This polyphonic effect works on two different levels: first, just as a piece of music sounds different when sung by a different voice, a translation performs a text in another language, with another instrument. Second, by co-existing in the literary universe of the original text, the many translations of this chapter embody the multiple voices that have resonated from Levi’s writing. As Levi and Jean walk, we see the process of translation unfold. As they come to understand each other, communication through words falters, and another kind of translation begins to happen:

      O forse è qualcosa di piú: forse, nonostante la traduzione scialba e il commento pedestre e frettoloso, ha ricevuto il messaggio, ha sentito che lo riguarda, che riguarda tutti gli uomini in travaglio

      The ‘something more’ is in the polyphony of their exchange, where the ensemble is greater than any individual line. It takes on a special significance in Woolf’s translation - or in any translation of these lines, for it becomes another performance, or layer, of the initial translational act. The message of the original seems to swell, rather than subside. And, just as a melody transcends individual notes, the concern for individual words is eventually superseded by the harmony between Levi and Jean. Describing Dante’s approach to divine grace in Paradiso, George Steiner writes:

      But as the poet draws near the Divine presence, the heart of the rose of fire, the labour of translation into speech grows ever more exacting. Words grow less and less adequate to the task of translating immediate revelation (Steiner 1967).

      Levi draws us to a similar source, one that sounds ‘like the blast of a trumpet, like the voice of God’. This ‘something more’ that is not bound to language has the universality of music. It reaches towards an inexpressible goodness or enlightenment. This is in direct contrast to the negative ‘ineffability’ that is so often used to describe elements of testimony in Levi and others, in the challenge the Holocaust posed to language, in the impossibility of its translation. Here, language does not drift towards a void of suffering, but towards a chorus of joyful expression, a blast of trumpets. Unlike elsewhere in SQ, the ambiguity present in the meeting of languages is not represented as a chaotic and hellish Tower of Babel, but as a fecund, creative space. Translation is momentarily reclaimed, and acts as an implicit resistance to the obsessive uniformity of Nazi ideology. But their ‘canto’ is interrupted by the cacophony of Auschwitz, and this revelatory chink is closed with a tragic, symphonic surge:

      Infin che ’l mar fu sopra noi rinchiuso.

      RMur

    3. Infin che ’l mar fu sopra noi rinchiuso

      The chapter ‘Il canto di Ulisse’ in SQ ends with a shipwreck. Levi closes the chapter with the same line that Dante uses to conclude Inferno 26, ‘Infin che ’l mar fu sopra noi rinchiuso’. (As Alberto Cavaglion has pointed out, the citation contains a significative lapsus: ‘rinchiuso’ instead of ‘richiuso’.) How should we interpret this ending? I would like to offer a creative reading that plays on the metaphorical meaning of navigation and shipwreck in Western culture.

      In Shipwreck with Spectator, Hans Blumenberg argues that humans have sought to grasp the movement of their existence above all through the metaphor of the perilous sea voyage. As the reverberations of the Greek idea of the κυβερνήτης (governor) show, navigation is a widespread metaphor for politics, philosophy, and life itself. Among these reverberations we find an ancient motto that is particularly interesting for its ambivalence and paradoxical structure: naufragium feci, bene navigavi. This motto was first mentioned by Diogenes Laertius, but we find multiple versions of it throughout European culture. To cite a couple of examples from the Italian context, I would recall Leopardi’s ‘naufragar [...] dolce’ (‘L’infinito’) and Ungaretti’s Allegria di naufragi.

      How can we interpret the seeming contradictoriness of this motto? The motto calls into question the idea that shipwreck is the sign of bad navigation. On the contrary, there is a mutual implication between good navigation and shipwrecking. This is made explicit by Erasmus in the Adagium 1878:

      Nunc bene navigavi, cum naufragium feci (Now that I am shipwrecked, my navigation has gone well/I’ve learnt how to navigate)

      Here shipwreck is not in contrast with navigation, but is rather a necessary passage, something without which we cannot have a full and proper ‘navigation’. To put it a different way, only when we have experienced shipwreck can we claim to have navigated well. On the one hand, ‘shipwreck’ is an enriching experience, a possibility that gives meaning to every metaphorical ‘navigation’. On the other hand, in our human existence, it is impossible to navigate without ever experiencing shipwreck. In our finite, imperfect world, shipwreck is ultimately unavoidable.

      With this in mind, I would like to suggest that we could read ‘Il canto di Ulisse’ in SQ through the prism of the motto naufragium feci, bene navigavi. I am not arguing that this is what Levi intended to say, but simply that this is one of the ways of reading the text. If we see ‘texts and readers as co-creators of meaning […], [whereby] interpretation becomes a co-production between actors that brings new things to light rather than an endless rumination on a text’s hidden meaning or representational failures’ (Felski 2015, 173-74), ‘Il canto di Ulisse’ could be read as a (metaphorical) navigation on three levels. First, Levi and Pikolo’s journey to get the soup is a navigation through the camp that provides a ‘moment of reprieve’. Second, Levi’s translation of Dante is a metaphorical navigation in the labyrinth of memory, an attempt to trace a route through a sea of oblivion. Finally, Levi’s translation is also a ‘metanavigation’, for it concerns another navigation and shipwreck, that of Ulysses. By overlapping his navigation with that of Ulysses, Levi raises crucial questions regarding the human condition and the fate of the Häftlinge in the Lager.

      As in the case of Ulysses, each of the three levels of navigation ends with a shipwreck. But is Levi’s translation of Dante really a failure, or could it be read as the sign of a good navigation? In the Preface to SQ, Levi argues that when the idea that ‘every stranger is an enemy’ becomes the ‘major premise in a syllogism, then, at the end of the chain, there is the Lager’. The whole Lager could indeed be read through the curse of the Tower of Babel (see ‘Una buona giornata’). Translation is therefore a way of countering this course, a way of reining in the effects of Babel by restoring the humanity of the stranger and building a bridge through language, as Levi argues in ‘Tradurre ed essere tradotti’. By translating Dante to Pikolo, then, Levi is not just recovering fragments of memory. He is countering the logic that lies at the root of the Lager and restoring – if temporarily – his and Pikolo’s humanity. The translation ends with a shipwreck, yes, but that experience – the attempt of ‘enacting’ the human through a navigation – is a good shipwreck: naufragium feci, bene navigavi.

      SB

    4. Si annunzia ufficialmente che oggi la zuppa è di cavoli e rape: – Choux et navets. – Kaposzta és répak.

      Levi and Jean’s fleeting Dantean reprieve is abruptly halted by the return to the ‘sordid, ragged crowd of the soup queue’. Standing in contrast with Dante’s majestic verses and Ulysses’ voyage of discovery is the cramped enclosure of the queue and the banality of the description of the day’s cabbage-and-turnip soup. But the contrast is also between Levi’s own Italian language and sense of cultural identity and the Babelic experience of the Lager. Linguistic chaos is a key component of Levi’s experience and subsequent description of the camp, and one to which he was unusually attentive. Early on in his testimony (and once again, Dante is an important model here), Levi designates the camp a ‘perpetua Babele’. He evokes the linguistic confusion of the camp by including in his account unfamiliar tongues. We see this here in the soup queue but also, for example, in his recollection of the distribution of bread (‘la distribuzione del pane, del pane-Brot-Broit-chleb-pain-lechem-kenyer’) and in his description of the industrial tower in the camp (‘i suoi mattoni sono stati chiamati Ziegel, briques, tegula, cegli, kamenny, bricks, teglak’). Linguistic chaos contributes acutely to the condition of extreme isolation associated with the Lager.

      Levi’s most sustained meditation on language in Auschwitz comes in the essay ‘Comunicare’, found in the 1986 collection I sommersi e i salvati. Here he reflects not only upon the extreme linguistic isolation of the camp and the psychological damage this often wrought, but also upon the degradation of language he witnessed. Violence and brute force would often replace linguistic exchange as the ‘communicative’ medium between individuals. Levi describes how, for those who did not speak German, words were used not on account of their referential function but as blunt aural instruments that could elicit the desired response from the receiver. The linguistic interaction between guards and prisoners became more reminiscent of that between humans and working animals than that between human beings existing on the same level.

      TK

    5. Kraut und Rüben

      Examples are everywhere in SQ, but this is arguably the most striking instance of how an elevated style and references taken from literary tradition clash continuously with plurilingualism in Levi’s writing; abstract concepts with harsh materiality; ‘destiny’ with ‘Kraut’. In this case, ‘cavoli e rape’ is repeated in four different languages. The harsh sound of these words in German, Italian, French, and Hungarian clashes with the philosophical reasoning of the vertiginous previous lines. Language underscores the tragic irony of the entire sequence (a tragic irony that was present even in Dante’s original treatment of Ulysses’ story, in his Inferno 26).

      FB

    6. forse, nonostante la traduzione scialba e il commento pedestre e frettoloso, ha ricevuto il messaggio

      ‘Il canto di Ulisse’ describes a translation process like no other. Absent are the quiet room, the pen, paper, keyboard, screen, dictionary that nowadays usually accompany the translator’s work. Instead, there are two friends walking in the fresh air, momentarily released from labour. Absent, moreover, are the words on the page to be translated, that comforting object that is at once static and mutable, authoritative and open-ended. Instead, there is flawed memory, conversation, communion. The translation that happens in the canto (named for an act of song, a bodily, expressive, fleeting thing) has other priorities, other aims, other strengths at hand. It is first and foremost a translation between and of persons; a carrying across (trans-latio) of one self to another. Like the Dantean text it translates, it enacts a going-beyond the limits, a desperate striving for liberty and fully lived humanity, but it is a liberty of mind, of language, and not of body.

      The impetus for the translation that takes place in the canto has desire at its core. A desire to learn, a desire to seize a moment of liberty, to communicate, to be understood, to go beyond the awful limits of the present time and place. The shared desiring of Primo and Jean (Jean who, unlike Ulysses, ‘non trascurava di mantenere rapporti umani’, as Levi comments earlier in the chapter) pushes the translation forwards despite its shortcomings in terms of accuracy or creativity (it is ‘scialba’, ‘pedestre’). Though words might be forgotten, something fundamental of the absent Dantean text is expressed in this urgent desiring – Ulysses’ narrative of unquenchable desire, striving, desperate: ‘il messaggio’ comes through.

      Perhaps the translation is so full of feeling because the text to be translated is not on the page, an object, but is an integrated part of Primo’s memory. He is not translating Dante, he is translating his memory of Dante, Dante learned and remembered in who-knows-what circumstances - at home, at school - with who-knows-what feelings and associations. A text learned a world away from where he is. And yet his current situation makes the (memory) text take on meaning it did not have before. The gradually increasing pace of the narrative and the shift from past to present tense amplifies the sense of urgency; he is changing, the text is changing, everything is happening now, all made possible by the openhearted interlocutor Jean, who experiences with him. The intimacy of this translation act is breathtaking. Unlike other acts of translation that have an object which is (to varying degrees) fixed, external, safe, a book we can close at the end of the day, here the object is within, maddeningly intangible, bearing with itself not a third party’s words to be ‘interpreted’, but those words passed through the translator’s own living memory. The person of Primo through Dante is the source text.

      As Alexander has pointed out in relation to this chapter, ‘all translations […] bear the imprint of the moment’ (Alexander 2007, 160). The physical circumstances of this act of translation are tangible (‘gradevole marcia’, ‘aria fresca’), manifesting the momentary liberty of the participants (‘mi sentivo insolitamente leggero’). I would add to this: not only is the moment imprinted on the translation but the persons involved in it. The canto manifests in an extreme way the fact that ‘translators are never […] neutral, impersonal transferring devices. Translators’ personal experiences – emotions, motivations, attitudes, association […] are indispensable’ (Robinson 1991, 260). In the canto, the personal experiences of the translator are not only indispensable, they are inescapable, they are the text itself.

      The meaning of the text is generated in the willing coming together of the two friends, Primo and Jean. The text’s ‘message’ is not something external but emerges from their lives; meaning is found in the interpersonal act of translation itself, ‘at the heart of [which] is recovery’ (Woods 2014, 3). Primo and Jean are seeking to recover something of themselves in this stolen, fleeting translational exchange. Where words fail, Primo relies on Jean’s experience to fill in the gaps (‘Pikolo ha viaggiato per mare e sa cosa vuol dire’). But it is the present moment and the people they are now that makes possible a new reading, a new translation of the Dantean lines filled with revelation, empathy, resonance: ‘Dovevo venire in Lager per accorgermi’. It is their present state as ‘uomini in travaglio’ that enables Jean to ‘receive the message’ of the text, which is as much Primo’s life as it is Dante’s words.

      We do not hear the ‘dull’ (‘scialba’) translation that is produced in this encounter between the friends. It does not exist, only their living of the process of translating is recorded. The production of an object was never the aim of the encounter or the subsequent narrative Levi weaves around it. We are left with a message which, though composed of words, expresses the ineffable.

      RC

    7. «misi me» non è «je me mis»

      As in ‘Argon’ in Il sistema periodico, Levi here demonstrates a philologist’s interest in historical grammar. The grammatical difference that separates the marked ‘Ma misi me’ and its unmarked equivalent in Italian is not expressly stated (the French je me mis is the ordinary, unremarkable grammar, and hence can’t serve to illustrate it). Levi’s free indirect discourse here indicates how much store he put in this difference: he explains its effect in three different ways to Jean (as ‘audacious’, as a broken chain, as the other side of a barrier).

      The expected fourteenth-century Italian syntax is Ma misimi. (It is unlikely to be Ma mi misi, as it would be today, because in old Italian ma frequently triggers the postposition of the pronoun). But Levi does not limit himself to describing impressionistically the effect of the marked grammar. Scientifically, he analyses the form of mettersi via comparison with other instances of the same lemma in the passage. Of si metta: ‘I had to come to the Lager to realise that it is the same expression as before’.

      The difference between Ma misimi and Ma misi me is that the unaccented, enclitic pronoun mi has become the accented, separate word me. This completely changes the rhythm of the line: *Ma mísimi per l’álto máre apérto (accents on 2, 6 and 10) becomes Ma misi mé per l’álto máre etc. (with accents on 4, 6 and 10). A number of Commedia manuscripts, in fact, have misimi – another clue to precisely the ‘audacity’ that Levi detects in Dante’s rhythmical and grammatical usage here.

      Dante’s me makes his reflexive pronoun mi into (almost) a transitive object – a distinct, real-existing entity, separate from the grammatical subject: ‘I’ act on a ‘me’, not just ‘myself’.

      What Levi hears, via a kind of solecism, is a prominent, sticking-out me – ‘oggi mi sento da tanto’. This is a sense of self that grows – ‘Per un momento, ho dimenticato chi sono e dove sono’ – into almost an answer to his title’s question.

      RP

    8. Tuttavia l’esperienza pare prometta bene: Jean ammira la bizzarra similitudine della lingua, e mi suggerisce il termine appropriato per rendere «antica».

      Interlinguistic felicity. Passages addressing questions of communication, language acquisition, interlanguage connection and intercultural translation scattered throughout the text are constantly marked by a specific affective tonality: they are remembered and represented as successful. The situation at hand is exceptional. In both SQ and I sommersi e i salvati, linguistic plurality is often used to characterise the absurd chaos and linguistic cacophony that marked Häftling existence in the Lager, which is a temporary universe of linguistic dissension and violence. To the contrary, the exchange between Jean and Primo is not simply based on, and concerned with, translation. It also is utterly charitable, in a technical sense. It is based on a systematic practicing of interpretive benevolence. It is dominated, that is, by the desire to move beyond linguistic differences and find a common ground. Such desire is not simply posited: it is acted upon. When Primo stumbles or forgets, Jean encourages him to go on (“Ça ne fait rien, vas-y tout de même”). Similarly, when memory of Dante’s original fails Primo and something of the original text is admittedly lost, the text does not dwell on the loss, but it vindicates the eventual success of the mediation work: ‘nonostante la traduzione scialba e il commento pedestre e frettoloso, ha ricevuto il messaggio’.

      Felicity in interlingual communication is crucial for Levi to regain momentary existence as a human being in the violent linguistic landscape of the Lager. Accordingly, interlinguistic success is made the vehicle of interhuman connection. The exchange between Primo and Jean, in its translative quality, sheds light on an oppositional element in the language of the Lager, which Levi defines as ‘orts- und zeitgebunden', tied to that place and that time (I sommersi e i salvati, 1066; OC II, 1025). Levi draws his terminology from Victor Klemperer’s 1947 book Lingua Tertii Imperii: A Philologist’s Notebook. Klemperer’s merciless diagnosis of the language of Nazi Germany as the product and the producer of a dehumanising regime is the foil for Levi’s momentarily but crucially successful act of communicating across different languages. In the chapter, the willingness and ability to free the most meaningful human exchange from the ties of a time- and place-bound language is the antidote to the isolating and dehumanising linguistics of the concentration camp.

      (For more on this theme, see here.)

      Linguistically categorised terms: * Vorarbeiter [German]

      • Pikolo [KZGerman]

      • Häftling [KZGerman]

      • Kommando [KZGerman]

      • Also, etc. [German]

      • Qu’est-ce qu’il-y-a [French]

      • Kapo [KZGerman]

      • Ihr Doktoren! [German]

      • Meister [KZGerman]

      • Lager [KZGerman]

      • Aujourd’hui [French]

      • Essenholen [KZGerman]

      • Corvée [French]

      • Tu es fou de marcher [French]

      • Blockführer [KZGerman]

      • Sale brute [French]

      • Ein ganz gemeiner Hund [German]

      • Je me mis [French]

      • Kraftwerk [German]

      • Keine Ahnung [German]

      • Ça ne fait rien [French]

      • Kraut und Rüben [German]

      • Choux et navets [French]

      • Káposzta és répak [Other]

      SM

    9. – Aujourd’hui c’est Primo qui viendra avec moi chercher la soupe.

      Interlinguistic mutuality. Shuttling between recitation of Dante’s text in the Italian original and its hurried and utilitarian French prose version, the lesson Primo imparts to Jean is deeply interlinguistic. The exchange between Jean and Primo is also mutual, at the very basic level of collaboration that any linguistic exchange requires. In addition, Jean is not a passive learner. He takes part in the process of communication, which unfolds in a living dialogue and requires that dialogue to exist. The first words of Italian that Jean picks up and adopts emerge from the living context of a spoken exchange, by the ‘natural’ and immediate imitation of two native speakers. The syllabification of the initial vocabulary Jean apprehends (“zup-pa, cam-po, ac-qua”) from those exchanged between Primo and another prisoner from Rome, Limentani, is not a marker of alienness but of co-participation. More importantly, the learning process is from the start accompanied by a smile, a pre-linguistic sign of mutual understanding.

      Levi’s insistence on the collaborative work that undergirds the acts of interlinguistic communication taking place in the episode resonates with Walter Benjamin’s notion that translation is the cultural practice which best captures the intrinsic drive of all languages to communicate through their apparent mutual exclusiveness: ‘All suprahistorical kinship between languages consists in this: in every one of them as a whole, one and the same thing is meant […]. Whereas all individual elements of foreign languages - words, sentences, associations - are mutually exclusive, these languages supplement one another in their intentions’ (‘The Translator’s Task’, 156). The experience of shared humanity, which Primo and Jean achieve within the Babel of the Lager, and notwithstanding its violence, relies on the same underlying philosophy of language as Benjamin’s.

      (For more on this, go here next.)

      SM

    1. Tuttavia l’esperienza pare prometta bene: Jean ammira la bizzarra similitudine della lingua, e mi suggerisce il termine appropriato per rendere «antica».

      Interlinguistic felicity. Passages addressing questions of communication, language acquisition, interlanguage connection and intercultural translation scattered throughout the text are constantly marked by a specific affective tonality: they are remembered and represented as successful. The situation at hand is exceptional. In both SQ and I sommersi e i salvati, linguistic plurality is often used to characterise the absurd chaos and linguistic cacophony that marked Häftling existence in the Lager, which is a temporary universe of linguistic dissension and violence. To the contrary, the exchange between Jean and Primo is not simply based on, and concerned with, translation. It also is utterly charitable, in a technical sense. It is based on a systematic practicing of interpretive benevolence. It is dominated, that is, by the desire to move beyond linguistic differences and find a common ground. Such desire is not simply posited: it is acted upon. When Primo stumbles or forgets, Jean encourages him to go on (“Ça ne fait rien, vas-y tout de même”). Similarly, when memory of Dante’s original fails Primo and something of the original text is admittedly lost, the text does not dwell on the loss, but it vindicates the eventual success of the mediation work: ‘nonostante la traduzione scialba e il commento pedestre e frettoloso, ha ricevuto il messaggio’.

      Felicity in interlingual communication is crucial for Levi to regain momentary existence as a human being in the violent linguistic landscape of the Lager. Accordingly, interlinguistic success is made the vehicle of interhuman connection. The exchange between Primo and Jean, in its translative quality, sheds light on an oppositional element in the language of the Lager, which Levi defines as ‘orts- und zeitgebunden', tied to that place and that time (I sommersi e i salvati, 1066; OC II, 1025). Levi draws his terminology from Victor Klemperer’s 1947 book Lingua Tertii Imperii: A Philologist’s Notebook. Klemperer’s merciless diagnosis of the language of Nazi Germany as the product and the producer of a dehumanising regime is the foil for Levi’s momentarily but crucially successful act of communicating across different languages. In the chapter, the willingness and ability to free the most meaningful human exchange from the ties of a time- and place-bound language is the antidote to the isolating and dehumanising linguistics of the concentration camp.

      Linguistically categorised terms: * Vorarbeiter [German]

      • Pikolo [KZGerman]

      • Häftling [KZGerman]

      • Kommando [KZGerman]

      • Also, etc. [German]

      • Qu’est-ce qu’il-y-a [French]

      • Kapo [KZGerman]

      • Ihr Doktoren! [German]

      • Meister [KZGerman]

      • Lager [KZGerman]

      • Aujourd’hui [French]

      • Essenholen [KZGerman]

      • Corvée [French]

      • Tu es fou de marcher [French]

      • Blockführer [KZGerman]

      • Sale brute [French]

      • Ein ganz gemeiner Hund [German]

      • Je me mis [French]

      • Kraftwerk [German]

      • Keine Ahnung [German]

      • Ça ne fait rien [French]

      • Kraut und Rüben [German]

      • Choux et navets [French]

      • Káposzta és répak [Other]

      SM

    2. Infin che ’l mar fu sopra noi rinchiuso.

      The chapter ‘Il canto di Ulisse’ in SQ ends with a shipwreck. Levi closes the chapter with the same line that Dante uses to conclude Inferno 26, ‘Infin che ’l mar fu sopra noi rinchiuso’. (As Alberto Cavaglion has pointed out, the citation contains a significative lapsus: ‘rinchiuso’ instead of ‘richiuso’.) How should we interpret this ending? I would like to offer a creative reading that plays on the metaphorical meaning of navigation and shipwreck in Western culture.

      In Shipwreck with Spectator, Hans Blumenberg argues that humans have sought to grasp the movement of their existence above all through the metaphor of the perilous sea voyage. As the reverberations of the Greek idea of the κυβερνήτης (governor) show, navigation is a widespread metaphor for politics, philosophy, and life itself. Among these reverberations we find an ancient motto that is particularly interesting for its ambivalence and paradoxical structure: naufragium feci, bene navigavi. This motto was first mentioned by Diogenes Laertius, but we find multiple versions of it throughout European culture. To cite a couple of examples from the Italian context, I would recall Leopardi’s ‘naufragar [...] dolce’ (‘L’infinito’) and Ungaretti’s Allegria di naufragi.

      How can we interpret the seeming contradictoriness of this motto? The motto calls into question the idea that shipwreck is the sign of bad navigation. On the contrary, there is a mutual implication between good navigation and shipwrecking. This is made explicit by Erasmus in the Adagium 1878:

      Nunc bene navigavi, cum naufragium feci (Now that I am shipwrecked, my navigation has gone well/I’ve learnt how to navigate)

      Here shipwreck is not in contrast with navigation, but is rather a necessary passage, something without which we cannot have a full and proper ‘navigation’. To put it a different way, only when we have experienced shipwreck can we claim to have navigated well. On the one hand, ‘shipwreck’ is an enriching experience, a possibility that gives meaning to every metaphorical ‘navigation’. On the other hand, in our human existence, it is impossible to navigate without ever experiencing shipwreck. In our finite, imperfect world, shipwreck is ultimately unavoidable.

      With this in mind, I would like to suggest that we could read ‘Il canto di Ulisse’ in SQ through the prism of the motto naufragium feci, bene navigavi. I am not arguing that this is what Levi intended to say, but simply that this is one of the ways of reading the text. If we see ‘texts and readers as co-creators of meaning […], [whereby] interpretation becomes a co-production between actors that brings new things to light rather than an endless rumination on a text’s hidden meaning or representational failures’ (Felski 2015, 173-74), ‘Il canto di Ulisse’ could be read as a (metaphorical) navigation on three levels. First, Levi and Pikolo’s journey to get the soup is a navigation through the camp that provides a ‘moment of reprieve’. Second, Levi’s translation of Dante is a metaphorical navigation in the labyrinth of memory, an attempt to trace a route through a sea of oblivion. Finally, Levi’s translation is also a ‘metanavigation’, for it concerns another navigation and shipwreck, that of Ulysses. By overlapping his navigation with that of Ulysses, Levi raises crucial questions regarding the human condition and the fate of the Häftlinge in the Lager.

      As in the case of Ulysses, each of the three levels of navigation ends with a shipwreck. But is Levi’s translation of Dante really a failure, or could it be read as the sign of a good navigation? In the Preface to SQ, Levi argues that when the idea that ‘every stranger is an enemy’ becomes the ‘major premise in a syllogism, then, at the end of the chain, there is the Lager’. The whole Lager could indeed be read through the curse of the Tower of Babel (see ‘Una buona giornata’). Translation is therefore a way of countering this course, a way of reining in the effects of Babel by restoring the humanity of the stranger and building a bridge through language, as Levi argues in ‘Tradurre ed essere tradotti’. By translating Dante to Pikolo, then, Levi is not just recovering fragments of memory. He is countering the logic that lies at the root of the Lager and restoring – if temporarily – his and Pikolo’s humanity. The translation ends with a shipwreck, yes, but that experience – the attempt of ‘enacting’ the human through a navigation – is a good shipwreck: naufragium feci, bene navigavi.

      SB

    3. «misi me» non è «je me mis»

      As in ‘Argon’ in Il sistema periodico, Levi here demonstrates a philologist’s interest in historical grammar. The grammatical difference that separates the marked ‘Ma misi me’ and its unmarked equivalent in Italian is not expressly stated (the French je me mis is the ordinary, unremarkable grammar, and hence can’t serve to illustrate it). Levi’s free indirect discourse here indicates how much store he put in this difference: he explains its effect in three different ways to Jean (as ‘audacious’, as a broken chain, as the other side of a barrier).

      The expected fourteenth-century Italian syntax is Ma misimi. (It is unlikely to be Ma mi misi, as it would be today, because in old Italian ma frequently triggers the postposition of the pronoun). But Levi does not limit himself to describing impressionistically the effect of the marked grammar. Scientifically, he analyses the form of mettersi via comparison with other instances of the same lemma in the passage. Of si metta: ‘I had to come to the Lager to realise that it is the same expression as before’.

      The difference between Ma misimi and Ma misi me is that the unaccented, enclitic pronoun mi has become the accented, separate word me. This completely changes the rhythm of the line: *Ma mísimi per l’álto máre apérto (accents on 2, 6 and 10) becomes Ma misi mé per l’álto máre etc. (with accents on 4, 6 and 10). A number of Commedia manuscripts, in fact, have misimi – another clue to precisely the ‘audacity’ that Levi detects in Dante’s rhythmical and grammatical usage here.

      Dante’s me makes his reflexive pronoun mi into (almost) a transitive object – a distinct, real-existing entity, separate from the grammatical subject: ‘I’ act on a ‘me’, not just ‘myself’.

      What Levi hears, via a kind of solecism, is a prominent, sticking-out me – ‘oggi mi sento da tanto’. This is a sense of self that grows – ‘Per un momento, ho dimenticato chi sono e dove sono’ – into almost an answer to his title’s question.

      RP

    4. Kraut und Rüben

      Examples are everywhere in SQ, but this is arguably the most striking instance of how an elevated style and references taken from literary tradition clash continuously with plurilingualism in Levi’s writing; abstract concepts with harsh materiality; ‘destiny’ with ‘Kraut’. In this case, ‘cavoli e rape’ is repeated in four different languages. The harsh sound of these words in German, Hungarian, French, and Italian clashes with the philosophical reasoning of the vertiginous previous lines. Language underscores the tragic irony of the entire sequence (a tragic irony that was present even in Dante’s original treatment of Ulysses’ story, in his Inferno 26).

      FB

    5. – Aujourd’hui c’est Primo qui viendra avec moi chercher la soupe.

      Interlinguistic mutuality. Shuttling between recitation of Dante’s text in the Italian original and its hurried and utilitarian French prose version, the lesson Primo imparts to Jean is deeply interlinguistic. The exchange between Jean and Primo is also mutual, at the very basic level of collaboration that any linguistic exchange requires. In addition, Jean is not a passive learner. He takes part in the process of communication, which unfolds in a living dialogue and requires that dialogue to exist. The first words of Italian that Jean picks up and adopts emerge from the living context of a spoken exchange, by the ‘natural’ and immediate imitation of two native speakers. The syllabification of the initial vocabulary Jean apprehends (“zup-pa, cam-po, ac-qua”) from those exchanged between Primo and another prisoner from Rome, Limentani, is not a marker of alienness but of co-participation. More importantly, the learning process is from the start accompanied by a smile, a pre-linguistic sign of mutual understanding.

      Levi’s insistence on the collaborative work that undergirds the acts of interlinguistic communication taking place in the episode resonates with Walter Benjamin’s notion that translation is the cultural practice which best captures the intrinsic drive of all languages to communicate through their apparent mutual exclusiveness: ‘All suprahistorical kinship between languages consists in this: in every one of them as a whole, one and the same thing is meant […]. Whereas all individual elements of foreign languages - words, sentences, associations - are mutually exclusive, these languages supplement one another in their intentions’ (‘The Translator’s Task’, 156). The experience of shared humanity, which Primo and Jean achieve within the Babel of the Lager, and notwithstanding its violence, relies on the same underlying philosophy of language as Benjamin’s.

      SM

    6. vorrebbe imparare l’italiano

      Interlinguistic necessity. Although containing the record of a ‘lesson’ on Dante’s Inferno 26, the central experience recounted in this chapter is set in motion by linguistic rather than literary elements. Jean desires to learn a new language, Italian, and Primo’s teaching accordingly combines his intermittent recitation of Dante’s text in the original language with a hesitant French commentary on, often a paraphrase of, salient elements in it. At its core, thus, the chapter relates an attempt at interlinguistic mediation. The text’s emphasis on interlinguistic communication is projected against the backdrop of the Lager’s Babel-like dehumanising confusion of languages that Levi explored in other texts (SQ, I sommersi e i salvati). As such, the circumstances of the episode are exceptional.

      Jean is an exceptional, and exceptionally positive, character in the universe of the book. He speaks and thinks in two languages: most importantly, he is native in both (‘Jean parlava correntemente francese e tedesco’). As established on the chance encounter with an SS, Rudi the Blockführer, bilingual utterances are for him the norm: ‘È indifferente, può pensare in entrambe le lingue’. The role he plays in the structure of the concentration camp, facilitated by the distinction of his bilingualism, however, is not what is at stake in the episode per se. While Jean certainly has acquired a linguistic capital of sorts, Levi’s narrative insists on what he decides to share of that privilege. His multilingualism is not associated with exclusionary practices, but with the work of intermediation it brings about and the community of intents it creates. The language learning situation is presented as a space in which the power dynamics of the Lager’s languages are suspended and ultimately refused.

      SM

    7. Si annunzia ufficialmente che oggi la zuppa è di cavoli e rape: – Choux et navets. – Kaposzta és répak.

      Levi and Jean’s fleeting Dantean reprieve is abruptly halted by the return to the ‘sordid, ragged crowd of the soup queue’. Standing in contrast with Dante’s majestic verses and Ulysses’ voyage of discovery is the cramped enclosure of the queue and the banality of the description of the day’s cabbage-and-turnip soup. But the contrast is also between Levi’s own Italian language and sense of cultural identity and the Babelic experience of the Lager. Linguistic chaos is a key component of Levi’s experience and subsequent description of the camp, and one to which he was unusually attentive. Early on in his testimony (and once again, Dante is an important model here), Levi designates the camp a ‘perpetua Babele’. He evokes the linguistic confusion of the camp by including in his account unfamiliar tongues. We see this here in the soup queue but also, for example, in his recollection of the distribution of bread (‘la distribuzione del pane, del pane-Brot-Broit-chleb-pain-lechem-kenyer’) and in his description of the industrial tower in the camp (‘i suoi mattoni sono stati chiamati Ziegel, briques, tegula, cegli, kamenny, bricks, teglak’). Linguistic chaos contributes acutely to the condition of extreme isolation associated with the Lager.

      Levi’s most sustained meditation on language in Auschwitz comes in the essay ‘Comunicare’, found in the 1986 collection I sommersi e i salvati. Here he reflects not only upon the extreme linguistic isolation of the camp and the psychological damage this often wrought, but also upon the degradation of language he witnessed. Violence and brute force would often replace linguistic exchange as the ‘communicative’ medium between individuals. Levi describes how, for those who did not speak German, words were used not on account of their referential function but as blunt aural instruments that could elicit the desired response from the receiver. The linguistic interaction between guards and prisoners became more reminiscent of that between humans and working animals than that between human beings existing on the same level.

      TK

    1. J'en atteste les temps; j'en appelle à tout âge; I of them attest the times; I of them appeal to all age; I display the times; I appeal to the age Jamais au public avantage Never to the public advantages The public never has the advantage L'homme n'a franchement sacrifié ses droits; The man not has clearly sacrificed his rights; Certainly, mankind has not sacrificed his rights; S'il osait de son cœur n'écouter que la voix, If he dared of his heart not to hear but that the voice, If mankind dared but to listen to the voice of his heart, Changeant tout à coup de langage, changing all at a blow of language, changing suddenly the language, Il nous dirait, comme l'hôte des bois: He to us would say, as the host of the woods: He would say to us, as he would to the animals of the woods: La nature n'a fait ni serviteur ni maître; The nature not has made neither servant nor master; Nature created neither servant nor master; Je ne veux ni donner ni recevoir de lois. I not see neither to give nor receive of law. I seek neither to rule nor to serve. Et ses mains ourdiraient les entrailles du prêtre, And his hands would weave the entrails of the priest, And his hands would weave the entrails of the priest, Au défaut d'un cordon pour étrangler les rois. To the lack of a cord for to strangle the kings. For the lack of a cord with which to strangle kings. Without the original text and the interlinear text, one has as my approximate translation of Diderot: I display the times; I appeal to the age The public is never advantaged Certainly, mankind has not sacrificed his rights; If mankind dared but to listen to the voice of his heart, changing suddenly the language, He would say to us, as he would to the animals of the woods: Nature created neither servant nor master; I seek neither to rule nor to serve. And his hands would weave the entrails of the priest, For the lack of a cord with which to strangle kings. A similar sentiment is attributed to Jean Meslier (1664–1729), but, as of yet, I have no citation for it: "Je voudrais, et ce sera le dernier et le plus ardent de mes souhaits, je voudrais que le dernier des rois fût étranglé avec les boyaux du dernier prêtre."

      translation of diderot's antistrophe by user xocet

  10. May 2023
    1. sandbankment freed
      • translation error
        • should be
          • Sam Bankman-Fried
    2. eight brained meat sack
      • translation error
        • should be
          • ape-brained meat sack
    3. eight brained meat sacks
      • translation error

        • should be
          • ape-brained meat sack, taken from Elise's book
      • comment

        • comparable to Ernest Becker's description of the human condition
        • in his book The Denial of Death
          • quote:
            • "Man is literally split in two: he has an awareness of his own splendid uniqueness in that he sticks out of nature with a towering majesty, and yet he goes back into the ground a few feet in order to blindly and dumbly rot and disappear forever."
      • comment

        • the comparison is apt as one of the goals of transhumanism is to use technology to conquer death
        • From this perspective, we might argue that transhumanist aspirations have been with humanity for as long as medicine has intervened to extend life and human wellbeing
    4. eighth brain meat sat
      • translation error
        • should be
          • aped-brained meat sack
    5. ape brained meet sat
      • translation error
        • should be
          • ape-brained meat sack
    1. Qui mi fermo e cerco di tradurre.

      The late Stuart Woolf (1936-2021) must have smiled to himself when he first translated these lines, as a young historian working on his PhD in 1950s Turin. Woolf is the only published English translator of SQ; his fluid and immediate rendering of Levi’s words remains the version known to millions of anglophone readers. While the task of a translator is never easy, it may be that the clarity and simplicity of Levi’s style lends itself to translation and grants his writing a certain universality - almost like a chemical formula.

      ‘The Canto of Ulysses’ can be read as an ode to translation, not just from one language to another, but in a metaphorical sense, in the repositioning of meaning between people and time. This goes back to the idea implied in the etymology of the word ‘translation’, which comes from the Latin translatio, to ‘carry over’, to ‘bring across’. In this chapter, instances of translation form a mise en abyme that ‘carries over’ from Homer to Virgil, Virgil to Dante, Dante to Levi, Levi to Pikolo, Italian to French, Italian to English, and text to reader.

      This more conceptual idea of ‘translation’ has become a way of understanding the testimonial act, central to Holocaust studies (Insana 2009; Felman and Laub 1992). Witnesses ‘translate’ into words their experience and their trauma. This process is often thought of as entailing a loss: an ineffable residue that cannot be communicated through language. However, the exchange that takes place between Levi and Jean in ‘The Canto of Ulysses’ invites us to rethink translation in terms of expansion, with each new version becoming part of the original’s harvest. The non-Italian reader’s lack of familiarity with ‘Who Dante is’, ‘What the Comedy is’, may at first seem a disadvantage. And yet, this has the enriching effect of aligning us with Jean: the reader/Pikolo attempts to overcome a linguistic and cultural barrier, to be in communion with the narrator/Levi. Conversely, Italian readers are likely to identify more closely with Levi, as they try, with him, to remember lines learned in their schooldays.

      The new interpretative perspectives created by the translated text respond to the original and form a polyphony. This polyphonic effect works on two different levels: first, just as a piece of music sounds different when sung by a different voice, a translation performs a text in another language, with another instrument. Second, by co-existing in the literary universe of the original text, the many translations of this chapter embody the multiple voices that have resonated from Levi’s writing. As Levi and Jean walk, we see the process of translation unfold. As they come to understand each other, communication through words falters, and another kind of translation begins to happen:

      O forse è qualcosa di piú: forse, nonostante la traduzione scialba e il commento pedestre e frettoloso, ha ricevuto il messaggio, ha sentito che lo riguarda, che riguarda tutti gli uomini in travaglio

      The ‘something more’ is in the polyphony of their exchange, where the ensemble is greater than any individual line. It takes on a special significance in Woolf’s translation - or in any translation of these lines, for it becomes another performance, or layer, of the initial translational act. The message of the original seems to swell, rather than subside. And, just as a melody transcends individual notes, the concern for individual words is eventually superseded by the harmony between Levi and Jean. Describing Dante’s approach to divine grace in Paradiso, George Steiner writes:

      But as the poet draws near the Divine presence, the heart of the rose of fire, the labour of translation into speech grows ever more exacting. Words grow less and less adequate to the task of translating immediate revelation (Steiner 1967).

      Levi draws us to a similar source, one that sounds ‘like the blast of a trumpet, like the voice of God’. This ‘something more’ that is not bound to language has the universality of music. It reaches towards an inexpressible goodness or enlightenment. This is in direct contrast to the negative ‘ineffability’ that is so often used to describe elements of testimony in Levi and others, in the challenge the Holocaust posed to language, in the impossibility of its translation. Here, language does not drift towards a void of suffering, but towards a chorus of joyful expression, a blast of trumpets. Unlike elsewhere in SQ, the ambiguity present in the meeting of languages is not represented as a chaotic and hellish Tower of Babel, but as a fecund, creative space. Translation is momentarily reclaimed, and acts as an implicit resistance to the obsessive uniformity of Nazi ideology. But their ‘canto’ is interrupted by the cacophony of Auschwitz, and this revelatory chink is closed with a tragic, symphonic surge:

      Infin che ’l mar fu sopra noi rinchiuso.

      RMur

    2. forse, nonostante la traduzione scialba e il commento pedestre e frettoloso, ha ricevuto il messaggio

      ‘Il canto di Ulisse’ describes a translation process like no other. Absent are the quiet room, the pen, paper, keyboard, screen, dictionary that nowadays usually accompany the translator’s work. Instead, there are two friends walking in the fresh air, momentarily released from labour. Absent, moreover, are the words on the page to be translated, that comforting object that is at once static and mutable, authoritative and open-ended. Instead, there is flawed memory, conversation, communion. The translation that happens in the canto (named for an act of song, a bodily, expressive, fleeting thing) has other priorities, other aims, other strengths at hand. It is first and foremost a translation between and of persons; a carrying across (trans-latio) of one self to another. Like the Dantean text it translates, it enacts a going-beyond the limits, a desperate striving for liberty and fully lived humanity, but it is a liberty of mind, of language, and not of body.

      The impetus for the translation that takes place in the canto has desire at its core. A desire to learn, a desire to seize a moment of liberty, to communicate, to be understood, to go beyond the awful limits of the present time and place. The shared desiring of Primo and Jean (Jean who, unlike Ulysses, ‘non trascurava di mantenere rapporti umani’, as Levi comments earlier in the chapter) pushes the translation forwards despite its shortcomings in terms of accuracy or creativity (it is ‘scialba’, ‘pedestre’). Though words might be forgotten, something fundamental of the absent Dantean text is expressed in this urgent desiring – Ulysses’ narrative of unquenchable desire, striving, desperate: ‘il messaggio’ comes through.

      Perhaps the translation is so full of feeling because the text to be translated is not on the page, an object, but is an integrated part of Primo’s memory. He is not translating Dante, he is translating his memory of Dante, Dante learned and remembered in who-knows-what circumstances - at home, at school - with who-knows-what feelings and associations. A text learned a world away from where he is. And yet his current situation makes the (memory) text take on meaning it did not have before. The gradually increasing pace of the narrative and the shift from past to present tense amplifies the sense of urgency; he is changing, the text is changing, everything is happening now, all made possible by the openhearted interlocutor Jean, who experiences with him. The intimacy of this translation act is breathtaking. Unlike other acts of translation that have an object which is (to varying degrees) fixed, external, safe, a book we can close at the end of the day, here the object is within, maddeningly intangible, bearing with itself not a third party’s words to be ‘interpreted’, but those words passed through the translator’s own living memory. The person of Primo through Dante is the source text.

      As Alexander has pointed out in relation to this chapter, ‘all translations […] bear the imprint of the moment’ (Alexander 2007, 160). The physical circumstances of this act of translation are tangible (‘gradevole marcia’, ‘aria fresca’), manifesting the momentary liberty of the participants (‘mi sentivo insolitamente leggero’). I would add to this: not only is the moment imprinted on the translation but the persons involved in it. The canto manifests in an extreme way the fact that ‘translators are never […] neutral, impersonal transferring devices. Translators’ personal experiences – emotions, motivations, attitudes, association […] are indispensable’ (Robinson 1991, 260). In the canto, the personal experiences of the translator are not only indispensable, they are inescapable, they are the text itself.

      The meaning of the text is generated in the willing coming together of the two friends, Primo and Jean. The text’s ‘message’ is not something external but emerges from their lives; meaning is found in the interpersonal act of translation itself, ‘at the heart of [which] is recovery’ (Woods 2014, 3). Primo and Jean are seeking to recover something of themselves in this stolen, fleeting translational exchange. Where words fail, Primo relies on Jean’s experience to fill in the gaps (‘Pikolo ha viaggiato per mare e sa cosa vuol dire’). But it is the present moment and the people they are now that makes possible a new reading, a new translation of the Dantean lines filled with revelation, empathy, resonance: ‘Dovevo venire in Lager per accorgermi’. It is their present state as ‘uomini in travaglio’ that enables Jean to ‘receive the message’ of the text, which is as much Primo’s life as it is Dante’s words.

      We do not hear the ‘dull’ (‘scialba’) translation that is produced in this encounter between the friends. It does not exist, only their living of the process of translating is recorded. The production of an object was never the aim of the encounter or the subsequent narrative Levi weaves around it. We are left with a message which, though composed of words, expresses the ineffable.

      RC

    1. Finally the woman came to believe that the good Lord would fulfill her wish.

      2 -- Compare/Contrast Translation Choices

      It is important to see that this translation mentions "the Lord" and some other translations say "God," specifically, however, other translations just note that the couple had "reason to believe their wish [in conceiving a child] was fulfilled." To consider Rapunzel as a genre is to examine for consistencies but the presence of religious factors (or lack thereof) makes it difficult to use as a signifier of Rapunzel as its own genre. It is such a small part of a few translations (this one included and usually no more than one line), so I believe the occurrence of God/the Lord is not significant in signifying the fairy tale genre or Rapunzel as its own genre.

    2. You godless child

      2 -- Contrasting Translation Choice

      This is the one of the only translations I've found where Gothel chooses to insult Rapunzel by calling her a "godless child." In almost all other translations, Gothel chooses to refer to Rapunzel as a wicked child. The other translation where Gothel calls Rapunzel childless also has Rapunzel ask Gothel about why her clothes suddenly don't fit anymore. I feel like the purpose in the difference of translation was to shame Rapunzel (and young girls reading), thus trying to teach these girls that they need to be chaste, or else they are godless. However, the existence of religion in Rapunzel is not consistent among all translations and is likely a product of cultural norms and expectations, especially when used as a tool to teach moral lessons about pregnancy and chastity.

    3. Frau Gothel, tell me why it is that you are more difficult to pull up than is the young prince

      2 -- Contrast Translation Choices

      This telling line differs among translations of the story. Each variation does its part to signify to Gothel that Rapunzel has no longer been shut out from the world, but the reason for changing the subject of the sentence may be due to cultural beliefs and norms as to what is appropriate to say to children (as well as how old the audience is). I have seen this line translated as "Gothel, why have my clothes suddenly gotten so small?" (meaning that she is pregnant with the Prince's child, which foreshadows Rapunzel having birthed twins when she finds the blind prince). The reason for this may be that the translator simply found it inappropriate for children to describe Rapunzel's pregnant body (though vague), and decided it would be better to make Rapunzel outright admit that she had been allowing the Prince into the tower. This, however, does not impact Rapunzel as a genre because even when this line doesn't mention Rapunzel's changing body, she is still sometimes seen with twin babies at the end, proving that she was still pregnant -- it just hadn't been explicitly discussed.

    4. Rapunzel had splendid long hair, as fine as spun gold.

      2 -- Consistency Among Translations

      This line is used in every translation to describe Rapunzel's beauty. This is extremely significant to the genre because she is the beautiful damsel that finds herself in distress. It's imperative that she is portrayed as beautiful and feminine.

    5. Let mercy overrule justice.

      2 -- Consistency Among Translations

      This exact line is used in most translations when the husband asks for forgiveness. It is used to characterize Gothel because she is merciful to the husband and shows her capability to be merciful. This line and instance is important to Rapunzel as a genre because it is pivotal for the plot needed to introduce Rapunzel while getting bith parents out of the way.

  11. Mar 2023
    1. Another Zettel-related term that comes up in the quote by Magnus Wieland (in the original German version here) is "Zettelwirtschaft", which is simply translated as "paperwork" in the English translation. Not sure how dictionaries translate this word, but my impromptu translation is "loose-leaf business/operation". It is typically used to describe an unstructured mess of free-floating paper slips, as opposed to a notebook or file folder. My teachers in school have often used it to describe my careless maintenance of teaching material. But like "verzetteln", "Zettelwirtschaft" does not invoke thoughts about note making, only indirectly in the sense that it involves a set of pieces of paper.
    2. I find that last claim highly unlikely. If you walk through a bog, you get bogged down. That's where the phrase comes from, Magnus.

      In re: Last lines of: https://www.nb.admin.ch/snl/en/home/about-us/sla/insights-outlooks/einsichten---aussichten-2012/aus-dem-nachlass-von-james-peter-zollinger.html

      Google translate does a reasonable job on translating it as 'getting bogged down' but the original sich ‹verzettelt› would mean roughly to "get lost in the slips", perhaps in a way similar to Anatole France's novel Penguin Island (L’Île des Pingouins. Calmann-Lévy, 1908) but without the storm or the death.

      A native and bi-lingual German speaker might be better at explaining it, but this is a useful explanation of the prefix (sich) ver- : https://yourdailygerman.com/german-prefix-ver-meaning/

    1. Auch das grammatische Verhalten eines Wortes nach Flexion und Rektion ist der Sammlung vollständig zu entnehmen. Und schließlich und vor allen Dingen lag hier der Schlüssel zur Bestimmung der Wortbedeutungen. Statt jeweils ad hoc durch Konjekturen einzelne Textstellen spekulativ zu deuten (das Raten, von dem Erman endlich wegkommen wollte), erlaubte es der Vergleich der verschiedenen Zusammenhänge, in denen ein Wort vorkam, seine Bedeutung durch systematische Eingrenzug zu fixieren oder doch wenigstens anzunähern. Auch in dieser Hinsicht hat sich das Zettelarchiv im Sinne seines Erstellungszwecks hervorragend bewährt.

      The benefit of creating such a massive key word in context index for the Wörterbuch der ägyptischen Sprache meant that instead of using an ad hoc translation method (guessing based on limited non-cultural context) for a language, which was passingly familiar, but not their mother tongue, Adolph Erman and others could consult a multitude of contexts for individual words and their various forms to provide more global context for better translations.

      Other dictionaries like the Oxford English Dictionary attempt to help do this as well as provide the semantic shift of words over time because the examples used in creating the dictionary include historical examples from various contexts.

  12. Feb 2023
    1. During my journey of developing the Zettelkasten Method,

      Seems like he's saying he developed the Zettelkasten Method... perhaps his version of the method based on Luhmann's? Commodifying the version "created" by Luhmann?

      Credit here for native German speaker writing in English....

    1. An AI model that can learn and work with this kind of problem needs to handle order in a very flexible way. The old models—LSTMs and RNNs—had word order implicitly built into the models. Processing an input sequence of words meant feeding them into the model in order. A model knew what word went first because that’s the word it saw first. Transformers instead handled sequence order numerically, with every word assigned a number. This is called "positional encoding." So to the model, the sentence “I love AI; I wish AI loved me” looks something like (I 1) (love 2) (AI 3) (; 4) (I 5) (wish 6) (AI 7) (loved 8) (me 9).

      Google’s “the transformer”

      One breakthrough was positional encoding versus having to handle the input in the order it was given. Second, using a matrix rather than vectors. This research came from Google Translate.

  13. Jan 2023
    1. to heaven. I see that if my facts were sufficiently vital and significant,—perhaps transmuted more into the substance of the human mind,—Ishould need but one book of poetry to contain them all.

      I have a commonplace-book for facts and another for poetry, but I find it difficult always to preserve the vague distinction which I had in my mind, for the most interesting and beautiful facts are so much the more poetry and that is their success. They are translated from earth

      —Henry David Thoreau February 18, 1852

      Rather than have two commonplaces, one for facts and one for poetry, if one can more carefully and successfully translate one's words and thoughts, they they might all be kept in the commonplace book of poetry.

    1. Most editions of Geniza documents appear in Hebrew-language publications, andthis means that Hebrew documents are usually left untranslated. It is important to recognizethat this is a problem.
    1. When such consumers therefore mistake the meaning attributed tothe MT output as the actual communicative intent of the originaltext’s author, real-world harm can ensue.

      Harm from Machine Translation (MT) models

      MT models can create fluent and coherent blocks of text that mask the meaning in the original text and the intent of the original speaker.

  14. Dec 2022
    1. To put any of these ideas into practice requires the involvement of diverse actors across scales from the local to global (Ostrom et al., 1999). While cross-scale translation is necessary to inform decisions by such actors at sub-global scales, translation is complicated by the spatial heterogeneity of pressures and impacts (Biermann & Kim, 2020) and the value-laden (Biermann & Kalfagianni, 2020; Häyhä et al., 2016) and potentially iterative (Pickering & Persson, 2020) judgments involved in the allocation of these targets.

      !- challenges of : cross scale translation - spatial heterogeneity of pressures and impacts - value laden judgments in allocation of the targets

    1. The fundamental departure point of this working group is that there are missing links between the planetary level targets and local actors such as business and cities. There is a need to conduct a systematic review on some of the challenges and methodologies of cross-scale translation,

      !- quotable statement : cross scale translation - Xuemei Bai is expert on cities and one of the co-leaders of the working group

    2. what are the challenges of translating global scale targets into concrete and actionable targets for local actors?

      !- key question : what are the challenges of translating global scale targets into concrete and actionable targets for local actors? - in other words, how do we downscale global indicators such as planetary boundaries?

    3. New Earth Commission Working Group to Focus on the Challenges of Cross-Scale Translation

      !- title : New Earth Commission Working Group to Focus on the Challenges of Cross Scale Translation

    1. Duolingo or whatever French and I had this idea well basically what it reminds me of is Stefan's Vig the Austrian

      https://youtu.be/r9idbh-U2kM?t=3544

      Stefan Zweig (reference? his memoir?) apparently suggested that students translate authors as a means of becoming more intimately acquainted with their work. This is similar to restating an author in one's own words as a means of improving one's understanding. It's a lower level of processing that osculates on the idea of having a conversation with a text.

      tk: track this reference down. appropriate context?

  15. Nov 2022
    1. Localisation ≠ Translation To start with, we have been researching, publishing, and producing articles on the topics of localisation to gain a wider understanding for implementing it. Here's some of what we published with @sophie authoring:

      Have you thought about crowdsourcing localization via weblate? It includes DeepL and can also be a learning ground, such as Duolingo Immersion.

  16. Sep 2022
  17. earlybritishlit.pressbooks.com earlybritishlit.pressbooks.com
    1. Higelac’s liegeman

      enter Beowulf; compare: "News went global. In Geatland, Hygelac's right-hand man / heard about Grendel. Bro, here was a warrior like no other: massive, mighty, born of noble / blood. He called for a ship to be readied / for his band, and boasted he'd try his teeth on this tale, / sail in as a savior over the swan-road, seek that king / and lend a hand as defender." (Headley lns. 193-199)

  18. Aug 2022
  19. earlybritishlit.pressbooks.com earlybritishlit.pressbooks.com
    1. Grendel

      Alternative translation: "Grendel was the name of this woe-walker, / Unlucky, fucked by Fate. he'd been / living rough for years, ruling the wild: / the mere, the fen, and the fastness, / his kingdom. his creation was cursed / under the line of Cain, the kin-killer. / The Lord, long ago, had taken Abel's side. / Though none of that was Grendel's doing, / he'd descended from bloodstains. / From Cain had come a cruel kind, / seen by some as shadow-stalked: monsters, / elves, giants who'd ground against God, / and for that, been banished." (Headley lns. 101-113)

    2. his grudges he cherished, Murderous malice, many a winter, 40 Strife unremitting, and peacefully wished he 4Life-woe to lift from no liegeman at all of The men of the Dane-folk, for money to settle, No counsellor needed count for a moment On handsome amends at the hands of the murderer

      Grendel refuses to make peace or provide "money to settle." Heaney translates: "he would never / parley or make peace with any Dane / nor stop his death dealing not pay the man price" (lns. 154-156).

    3. the mighty war-spirit

      OE ellengaést (literally: ellen strong/powerful/vigorous and gaést enemy/stranger

      Heaney trans.: "powerful demon"

    4. In due time it happened Early ’mong men, that ’twas finished entirely, 25 The greatest of hall-buildings; Heorot he named it Who wide-reaching word-sway wielded ’mong earlmen. The hall is completed, called Heorot. His promise he brake not, rings he lavished, Treasure at banquet. Towered the hall up High and horn-crested, huge between antlers: 30 It battle-waves bided, the blasting fire-demon; Ere long then from hottest hatred must sword-wrath Arise for a woman’s husband and father.

      from Heaney (1999): "And soon it stood there / finished and ready, in full view, / the hall of halls. Heorot was the name / he had settled on it, whose utterance was law. / Nor did he renege, but doled out rings / and torques at the table. / The hall towered, / its gables wide and high and awaiting / a barbarous burning. That doom abided, / but in time it would come: the killer instinct / unleashed among in-laws, the blood lust rampant" (lns 76-85).

      from Headley (2020): "So it rose: a greater hall than any other! / Hrothgar filled it, blood-brother by blood-brother, / and named it Heorot. his words were heard and heralded, / and yes, yes, bro! The man was more than just talk: / he gave good gifts. His war-wedded wore kings' rings, / and drank their leader's mead. Nightly, he / feted his fight-family with fortunes. The hall loomed, golden towers antler-tipped; it was asking for burning, but that hadn't happened yet. / You know how it is: every castle wants invading, and every family / has enemies born within it. Old grudges / recrudesce." (lns 75-84)

    5. from scathers in numbers

      OE: sceaþena þrēatum

      Heaney translation; "scourge of many tribes"

      Unsure what "scathers" means; cannot find a definition

    1. The sheet box

      Interesting choice of translation for "Die Kartei" by the translator. Some may have preferred the more direct "file".

      Historically for this specific time period, while index cards were becoming more ubiquitous, most of the prior century researchers had been using larger sheets and frequently called them either slips or sheets based on their relative size.

      Beatrice Webb in 1926 (in English) described her method and variously used the words “cards”, “slips”, “quarto”, and “sheets” to describe notes. Her preference was for quarto pages which were larger pages which were likely closer to our current 8.5 x 11” standard than they were to even larger index cards (like 4 x 6".

      While I have some dissonance, this translation makes a lot of sense for the specific time period. I also tend to translate the contemporaneous French word “fiches” of that era as “sheets”.

      See also: https://hypothes.is/a/OnCHRAexEe2MotOW5cjfwg https://hypothes.is/a/fb-5Ngn4Ee2uKUOwWugMGQ

    1. Contemporary scholarship is not in a position to give a definitive assessmentof the achievements of philosophical grammar. The ground-work has not beenlaid for such an assessment, the original work is all but unknown in itself, andmuch of it is almost unobtainable. For example, I have been unable to locate asingle copy, in the United States, of the only critical edition of the Port-RoyalGrammar, produced over a century ago; and although the French original isnow once again available, 3 the one English translation of this important workis apparently to be found only in the British Museum. It is a pity that this workshould have been so totally disregarded, since what little is known about it isintriguing and quite illuminating.

      He's railing against the loss of theory for use over time and translation.

      similar to me and note taking...

    2. And just a fewyears later, it was jubilantly discovered that machine translation and automaticabstracting were also just around the corner.

      HA!

  20. Jul 2022
  21. Jun 2022
    1. What information we collect about you Personal identification and communication information: your name, home address, phone number; email address; date of birth, gender, national insurance number and immigration status; Application-related information: resume/curriculum vitae (CV), cover letter, employment history, education history, qualifications and skills, reference contact information, position preferences, willingness to relocate, desired salary, interests and aspirations, and background screening information if relevant; and Sensitive information: for example, information about your health and disabilities where we need to make any reasonable adjustments.

      Information collected by Block, Inc.

    1. SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — The Oxford English Dictionary declared an emoji its 2015 word of the year. This was puzzling for many. The emoji it singled out — an image of a laughing yellow face crying tears of joy — didn't fit most people's definition of a word.

      オックスフォード英語辞典は、絵文字を2015年の流行語大賞に宣言した。これは多くの人にとって不可解なことでした。その絵文字は、笑っている黄色い顔が喜びの涙を流しているイメージで、多くの人の言葉の定義に当てはまらなかったのです。

    1. You agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless Motorsport.tv, its parent corporation, officers, directors, employees and agents, from and against any and all claims, damages, obligations, losses, liabilities, costs or debt, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees) arising from: (i) your use of and access to the Motorsport.tv Platform; (ii) your violation of any term of these Terms of Service; (iii) your violation of any third party right, including without limitation any copyright, property, or privacy right; or (iv) any claim that one of your user submissions caused damage to a third party. This defense and indemnification obligation will survive these Terms of Service and your use of the Motorsport.tv Platform.

      If a user's behavior causes harm to another party, and that other party sues Motorsport.tv, the user will cover any losses incurred by Motorsport.tv as a result of the user's behavior.

    2. Nothing in this Agreement shall be deemed to confer any third-party rights or benefits.

      The agreement is only between the user and Motorsport.tv.

    3. Motorsport.tv may, in its sole discretion, modify or revise these Terms of Service at any time, and you agree to be bound by such modifications or revisions.

      Motorsport.tv may change the terms at any time.

  22. May 2022
    1. The source sequence will be pass to the TransformerEncoder, which will produce a new representation of it. This new representation will then be passed to the TransformerDecoder, together with the target sequence so far (target words 0 to N). The TransformerDecoder will then seek to predict the next words in the target sequence (N+1 and beyond).
  23. Apr 2022
    1. Yeshiva teaching in the modern period famously relied on memorization of the most important texts, but a few medieval Hebrew manu-scripts from the twelfth or thirteenth centuries include examples of alphabetical lists of words with the biblical phrases in which they occurred, but without pre-cise locations in the Bible—presumably because the learned would know them.

      Prior to concordances of the Christian Bible there are examples of Hebrew manuscripts in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries that have lists of words and sentences or phrases in which they occurred. They didn't include exact locations with the presumption being that most scholars would know the texts well enough to quickly find them based on the phrases used.


      Early concordances were later made unnecessary as tools as digital search could dramatically decrease the load. However these tools might miss the value found in the serendipity of searching through broad word lists.

      Has anyone made a concordance search and display tool to automatically generate concordances of any particular texts? Do professional indexers use these? What might be the implications of overlapping concordances of seminal texts within the corpus linguistics space?

      Fun tools like the Bible Munger now exist to play around with find and replace functionality. https://biblemunger.micahrl.com/munge

      Online tools also have multi-translation versions that will show translational differences between the seemingly ever-growing number of English translations of the Bible.

  24. Feb 2022
    1. Diesen gebrochenen Zahlen, welche zunächst als reine Zeichen auftreten, kann in vielen Fällen eine actuelle Bedeutung beigelegt werden.

      A presented meaning can in many cases be attributed to these rational numbers, which at first appear as pure signs,

    2. Wie wir die Regeln der rein formalen Verknüpfungen, d. h. der mit den mentalen Objecten vorzunehmenden Operationen definiren, steht in unserer Willkühr, nur muss eine Bedingung als wesentlich festgehalten werden: nämlich dass irgend welche logische Widersprüche in den- selben nicht implicirt sein dürfen.

      How we define the rules of purely formal operations (Verknüpfungen), i.e., of carrying out operations (Operationen) with mental objects, is our arbitrary choice, except that one essential condition must be adhered to: namely that no logical contradiction may be implied in these same rules.

    3. man sich zu der gegebenen Reihe von Ob- jecten eine inverse hinzudenkt

      one adds an inverse in thought to the given series of objects

    4. Man sieht aber nicht, wie unter — 3 eine reale Substanz verstanden werden kann, wenn das ursprünglich gesetzte Object eine solche ist, und würde im Rechte sein, wenn man — 3 als eine nicht reelle, imaginäre Zahl als eine „falsche" bezeichnete.

      one cannot see how a real substance can be understood by -3... and would be within his rights if he refers to -3 as a non-real, imaginary number, as a "false" one.

    5. Eine andere Definition des Begriffes der formalen Zahlen kann nicht gegeben werden; jede andere muss aus der Anschauung oder Erfahrung Vorstellungen zu Hilfe nehmen, welche zu dem Begriffe in einer nur zufälligen Beziehung stehen, und deren Beschränktheit einer allgemeinen Untersuchung der Rechnungsoperationen unüber- steigliche Hindemisse in den Weg legt..

      A different definition of the concept of the formal numbers cannot be given; every other definition must rely on ideas from intuition or experience, which stand in only an accidental relation to the concept, and the limitations of which place insurmountable obstacles in the way of a general investigation of the arithmetic operations.

    6. Die Bedingung zur Aufstellung einer allgemeinen Arithmetik ist daher eine von aller Anschauung losgelöste, rein intellectuelle Mathem&tik, eine reine Formenlehre, in welcher nicht Quanta oder ihre Bilder, die Zahlen verknüpft werden, sondern intellectuelle Objecte, Gedankendinge, denen actuelle Objecte oder Relationen solcher entsprechen kön- nen, aber nicht müssen.

      The condition for the establishment of a general arithmetic is therefore a purely intellectual mathematics detached from all intuition, a pure theory of form, in which quanta or their images, the numbers, are not combined, but rather intellectual objects, thought-things, to which presented objects or relations of such objects can, but need not, correspond.

    7. Wie überhaupt die Entwicklung mathematischer Begriffe und Vorstellungen historisch zwei entgegengesetzte Phasen zu durchlaufen pflegt, so auch die des Imaginären. Zunächst erschien dieser Begriff' als paradox, streng genommen unzulässig, unmög- lich;

      As the development of mathematical concepts and ideas generally goes historically through two opposed phases, so goes also that of the imaginary numbers. At first this concept appeared as a paradox, strictly inadmissible, impossible;

    8. Wissenschaft leistete, im Laufe der Zeit alle Zweifel an seiner Legitimität nieder und es bildete sich die Ueberzeugung seiner inneren Wahrheit und Nothwendigkeit in solcher Entschiedenheit aus, dass die Schwierigkeiten und Widersprüche, welche man anfangs in ihm bemerkte, kaum noch gefühlt wurden. In diesem zweiten Stadium befindet sich die Frage des Imaginären heut zu Tage ; — indessen bedarf es keines Beweises, dass die eigentliche Natur von Begriffen und Vorstellungen erst dann hinreichend auf- geklärt ist, wenn man unterscheiden kann, was an ihnen noth- wendig ist, und was arbiträr, d. h. zu einem gewissen Zwecke in sie hineingelegt ist.

      however, in the course of time, the essential services which it affords to science subdue all doubts of its legitimacy, and one is convinced in such decisiveness of its inner truth and necessity, that the difficulties and contradictions which one noticed in it at the beginning are hardly felt. Today, the question of imaginary numbers is in this second stage; --- however it needs no proof that the actual nature of concepts and ideas is only sufficiently clarified when one can distinguish what is necessary in them, and what is arbitrary, i.e., is put to a certain purpose in them.

  25. Jan 2022
    1. Even finding terms totranslate concepts like ‘lord’, ‘commandment’ or ‘obedience’ intoindigenous languages was extremely difficult; explaining theunderlying theological concepts, well-nigh impossible.

      Example of the difficulty of translating words when the underlying concepts don't exist in a culture.

  26. Nov 2021
    1. And then they met— the offspring of Skywoman and the children of Eve— and the land around us bears the scars of that meeting, the echoes of our stories.

      There's a subtle sense of repetition here. She frames the result of the meeting in two different cultures: a Western-centric one and an Indigenous one. The Western result is a "scar", but it's retranslated into "echoes of our stories" from the indigenous perspective.

    2. Our elders say that ceremonies are the way we “remember to remember,”

      The Western word "ceremony" is certainly not the best word for describing these traditions. It has too much baggage and hidden meaning with religious overtones. It's a close-enough word to convey some meaning to those who don't have the cultural background to understand the underlying orality and memory culture. It is one of those words that gets "lost in translation" because of the dramatic differences in culture and contextual collapse.

      Most Western-based anthropology presumes a Western idea of "religion" and impinges it upon oral cultures. I would maintain that what we would call their "religion" is really an oral-based mnemonic tradition that creates the power of their culture through knowledge. The West mistakes this for superstitious religious practices, but primarily because we can't see (or have never been shown) the larger structures behind what is going on. Our hubris and lack of respect (the evils of the scala naturae) has prevented us from listening and gaining entrance to this knowledge.

      I think that the archaeological ideas of cultish practices or ritual and religion are all more likely better viewed as oral practices of mnemonic tradition. To see this more easily compare the Western idea of the memory palace with the Australian indigenous idea of songline.

  27. Oct 2021
    1. Lost in Translation

      In the film, Lost in Translation, Bob and Charlotte begin their conversation learning what each of them is doing in Tokyo.

      Bob: What do you do?

      Charlotte: I’m not sure yet, actually. I just graduated last spring.”

      Bob: What did you study?

      Charlotte: Philosophy.

      Bob: Yeah, there’s a good buck in that racket.

      Charlotte: (Laughs.) Yeah. Well, so far it’s pro bono.

      (33:45)


      Edge Effects

      In ecology, edge effects are changes in population or community structures that occur at the boundary of two or more habitats. Areas with small habitat fragments exhibit especially pronounced edge effects that may extend throughout the range. As the edge effects increase, the boundary habitat allows for greater biodiversity.

      Wikipedia: Edge effects

  28. Sep 2021
    1. People believed that they could translate it with a magnifying glass. Not possible because The machine is reading it for you.

  29. Aug 2021
    1. While it is clear that technologies of communication change societiesand permit different forms of human organization, it is not clear that theychange the basic human thought processes embedded in language. The humanbrain does adapt differently to different technologies (recall the differences inbrain wiring between readers of ideograms and of phonetic alphabets), butthe evidence to date indicates the human brain adapts in order to translateinformation into language, so as to exchange information and permit concertedaction with others with whom we communicate. This concerted action is nolonger, as at the dawn of language, action undertaken by people in close contactbut rather is activity undertaken because of reliance upon expectations storedin individual and social memory.
    1. mhcsnsw. (n.d.). Translated COVID 19 Vaccination Glossary Launch. Retrieved August 18, 2021, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmDVUVB2Rtk