The world in 1529

A nearly monosyllabic (in Italian) statement about the state of the world in 1529. Language Log » Filosofia monosillabica ( My attempt at a translation: Those who can, don’t want toThose who want to, can’tThose who know how, don’tThose who do, don’t know howAnd thus the world goes badly Pedants’ corner My translation commits an…… Continue reading The world in 1529

Song of a Wanderer at Night (2)

I entered my translation of this poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) for the 2015 Stephen Spender Prize. The entry includes my commentary on the translation. Translation Over hilltops, In treetops, Hardly a sigh. No birdsong in the forest, Your place of rest Is nigh. German original Wandrers Nachtlied 2 (Ein Gleiches) Über allen Gipfeln…… Continue reading Song of a Wanderer at Night (2)

The Scandinavian languages

The Scandinavian Languages are members of the Germanic family within the broader family of Indo-European languages. The ancestral language, North Germanic (Common Scandinavian), began to divide from the Germanic group around 500-800 CE and then to split into East Scandinavian (the Kingdom of Denmark, the southern two thirds of Sweden and adjacent parts of Norway)…… Continue reading The Scandinavian languages

How do you say the name of that river?

UK news organisations have reported the outcome of a centuries-long dispute about how to pronounce the name of the river 10th longest river in the UK. People in Northampton pronounce the name Nene as Nen. People in Peterborough pronounce the same written form Neen. The croquet teams in the two towns decided to use their…… Continue reading How do you say the name of that river?

I am Goya

My translation of this poem by Andrey Voznesensky (1933-2010) was commended by the judges of the Joseph Brodsky/Stephen Spender Prize 2014. submission also included the commentary that follows. Translation I am Goya!a crow — my foe — swooped on the barren field,and gouged craters in the globes of my eyes.I am grief.I givevoice to…… Continue reading I am Goya

Varning, vi bits!

Varning, vi bits. Couldn’t have put it better myself. Some odd things about this sign though. Why is the second language a Scandinavian language, not a more widely spoken one?Why does only the English version feel the need to specify that the vicious creatures are parrots? Of the others, only French even mentions birds. The…… Continue reading Varning, vi bits!