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Is That a Fish in Your Ear?: Translation and the Meaning of Everything (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 16. Oktober 2012

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Taschenbuch, 16. Oktober 2012
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  • Is That a Fish in Your Ear?: Translation and the Meaning of Everything
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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

"[Bellos] offers an anthropology of translation acts. But through this anthropology a much grander project emerges. The old theories were elegiac, stately; they were very much severe. Bellos is practical, and sprightly. He is unseduced by elegy. And this is because he is onto something new . . . Dazzlingly inventive." --Adam Thirlwell, "The New York Times"

"In the guise of a book about translation this is a richly original cultural history . . . A book for anyone interested in words, language and cultural anthropology. Mr Bellos's fascination with his subject is itself endlessly fascinating." --"The Economist"

"For anyone with a passing interest in language this work is enthralling . . . A wonderful celebration of the sheer diversity of language and the place it occupies in human endeavour. Conducted by a man who clearly knows his stuff, it is a whirlwind tour round the highways and byways of translation in all its glorious forms, from literary fiction to car repair manuals, from the Nuremberg trials to decoding at Bletchley Park." --"The Scotsman"

"Bellos has numerous paradoxes, anecdotes and witty solutions . . . his insights are thought provoking, paradoxical and a brilliant exposition of mankind's attempts to deal with the Babel of global communication." --Michael Binyon, "The Times"

"This informed book props open the door to the idea of translation with pop culture . . . This broad-ranging book reads like a survey course in translation, providing a look at its history, detractors, challenges, future--if computers are the future--and current practice, both spoken and written . . . The result is arresting." --Carolyn Kellogg, "Los Angeles Times"

"David Bellos writes like a person who chooses his words not only carefully but also confidently and pragmatically. Translation is a challenging enterprise, but one he embraces vigorously and without the gloomy pessimism that leads some to declare that it's impossible . . . Rich, often playful chapters." --Jim Higgins, "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel"

"[A] witty, erudite exploration . . . [Bellos] delights in [translation's] chequered past and its contemporary ubiquity . . . He would like us to do more of it. With the encouragement of this book, we might even begin to enjoy it --Maureen Freely, "Sunday Telegraph"

""Is That A Fish In Your Ear? "is spiced with good and provocative things. At once erudite and unpretentious . . . [it is a] scintillating "bouillabaisse."" --Frederic Raphael, "Literary Review"

"Forget the fish--it's David Bellos you want in your ear when the talk is about translation. Bellos dispels many of the gloomy truisms of the trade and reminds us what an infinitely flexible instrument the English language (or any language) is. Sparkling, independent-minded analysis of everything from Nabokov's insecurities to Google Translate's felicities fuels a tender--even romantic--account of our relationship with words." --NATASHA WIMMER, translator of Roberto Bolano's "Savage Detectives" and "2666""A disquisition of remarkable freshness on language, speech and translation. In short, punchy, instructive chapters that take in such things as linguistics, philosophy, dictionaries, machine translation, Bible translations, international law, the Nuremberg trials, the European Union and the rise of simultaneous interpreting . . . I could say anyone with an interest in translation should read "Is That a Fish," but there wouldn't be very much point; instead, anyone with no interest in translation, please read David Bellos's brilliant book" --Michael Hofmann, "The Guardian" "Bellos has adopted a radically different approach: as his Hitchhikery title suggests, he has set out to make it fun . . . Is That a Fish in Your Ear? is essential reading for anyone with even a vague interest in language and translation--in short, it is a triumph." --Shaun Whiteside, The Independent "Erudite . . . ultimately illuminating, even transformative." --"Kirkus Reviews" "Written by an award-winning translator and professor of comparative literature, this book is informed by considerable culture and an original, probing intelligence with a mostly light touch--the title riffs off of Douglas Adams's "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," whose babel fish, when inserted in one's ear, could translate any imaginable language. If only it were that easy . . . It is a breeze to get lost in translation, and for this reason Bellos cannily exclaims, 'We should do more of it.'" --"Publishers Weekly" (starred review)

[Bellos] offers an anthropology of translation acts. But through this anthropology a much grander project emerges. The old theories were elegiac, stately; they were very much severe. Bellos is practical, and sprightly. He is unseduced by elegy. And this is because he is onto something new . . . Dazzlingly inventive. "Adam Thirlwell, The New York Times"

In the guise of a book about translation this is a richly original cultural history . . . A book for anyone interested in words, language and cultural anthropology. Mr Bellos's fascination with his subject is itself endlessly fascinating. "The Economist"

For anyone with a passing interest in language this work is enthralling . . . A wonderful celebration of the sheer diversity of language and the place it occupies in human endeavour. Conducted by a man who clearly knows his stuff, it is a whirlwind tour round the highways and byways of translation in all its glorious forms, from literary fiction to car repair manuals, from the Nuremberg trials to decoding at Bletchley Park. "The Scotsman"

Bellos has numerous paradoxes, anecdotes and witty solutions . . . his insights are thought provoking, paradoxical and a brilliant exposition of mankind's attempts to deal with the Babel of global communication. "Michael Binyon, The Times"

This informed book props open the door to the idea of translation with pop culture . . . This broad-ranging book reads like a survey course in translation, providing a look at its history, detractors, challenges, future--if computers are the future--and current practice, both spoken and written . . . The result is arresting. "Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times"

David Bellos writes like a person who chooses his words not only carefully but also confidently and pragmatically. Translation is a challenging enterprise, but one he embraces vigorously and without the gloomy pessimism that leads some to declare that it's impossible . . . Rich, often playful chapters. "Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel"

[A] witty, erudite exploration . . . [Bellos] delights in [translation's] chequered past and its contemporary ubiquity . . . He would like us to do more of it. With the encouragement of this book, we might even begin to enjoy it. "Maureen Freely, Sunday Telegraph"

"Is That A Fish In Your Ear? "is spiced with good and provocative things. At once erudite and unpretentious . . . [it is a] scintillating "bouillabaisse." "Frederic Raphael, Literary Review"

Forget the fish--it's David Bellos you want in your ear when the talk is about translation. Bellos dispels many of the gloomy truisms of the trade and reminds us what an infinitely flexible instrument the English language (or any language) is. Sparkling, independent-minded analysis of everything from Nabokov's insecurities to Google Translate's felicities fuels a tender--even romantic--account of our relationship with words. "NATASHA WIMMER, translator of Roberto Bolano's Savage Detectives and 2666"

A disquisition of remarkable freshness on language, speech and translation. In short, punchy, instructive chapters that take in such things as linguistics, philosophy, dictionaries, machine translation, Bible translations, international law, the Nuremberg trials, the European Union and the rise of simultaneous interpreting . . . I could say anyone with an interest in translation should read "Is That a Fish," but there wouldn't be very much point; instead, anyone with no interest in translation, please read David Bellos's brilliant book "Michael Hofmann, The Guardian"

Bellos has adopted a radically different approach: as his Hitchhikery title suggests, he has set out to make it fun . . . Is That a Fish in Your Ear? is essential reading for anyone with even a vague interest in language and translation--in short, it is a triumph. "Shaun Whiteside, The Independent"

Erudite . . . ultimately illuminating, even transformative. "Kirkus Reviews"

Written by an award-winning translator and professor of comparative literature, this book is informed by considerable culture and an original, probing intelligence with a mostly light touch--the title riffs off of Douglas Adams's "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," whose babel fish, when inserted in one's ear, could translate any imaginable language. If only it were that easy . . . It is a breeze to get lost in translation, and for this reason Bellos cannily exclaims, We should do more of it.' "Publishers Weekly (starred review)""

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

David Bellos is the director of the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication at Princeton University, where he is also a professor of French and comparative literature. He has won many awards for his translations of Georges Perec, Ismail Kadare, and others, including the Man Booker International Translator's Award. He also received the Prix Goncourt for "George Perec: A Life in Words."


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Akademisch bestens recherchiert aber dabei sehr leichtläufig und unterhaltsam geschrieben macht dieses Buch viel Freude für jeden, den das Phänomen Sprache fasziniert. Dabei bewegt sich Bellos gekonnt von einem Ende der Skala bis zur anderen: Am philosophischen Ende der Skala wird die Fragestellung betrachtet was eine Übersetzung ist, ob eine Übersetzung überhaupt möglich ist, was beinhaltet ein Wort, gibt es ein und dasselbe Wort in verschiedenen Sprachen? Am taktischen Ende der Skala geht es z.B. ganz konkret um die Funktionalität von Comupterübersetzungen. Dabei ist jeder Gedankengang ordentlich gegliedert in abgeschlossenen Kapiteln - wen also ein Thema gar nicht interessiert, der kann es leicht überspringen.

Wie bereits eingangs gesagt hat mir das Buch sehr gefallen mit vielen Wiedererkennungs und Aha-Erlebnissen aber auch ganz neuen Erkenntnissen:
• Wiedererkannt habe ich mich z.B. in der Fragestellung ob eine gute (literarische) Übersetzung eine aus dem Original stammende Fremdartigkeit zulassen sollte, oder ob sie den Text perfekt in die Welt der Zielsprache assimilieren sollte.
• Interessant die Fragestellung warum Journalisten, die Agenturtexte recherchieren und dann häufig eine fremdsprachige Meldung fast 1:1 in der Sprache wiedergeben Journalisten und keine Übersetzer sind
• Spannend der Gedankengang, dass Harry Potters größte Bedeutung darin liegt, dass es in unendlich viele Sprachen übersetzt wurde und damit den modernen Sprach-Software-Algorithmen geradezu einen Schatz für verbesserte Software liefert. Der Rosetta Stein für Übersetzungssoftware, sozusagen...
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Seit Menschen sprechen, wird übersetzt, und seit Menschen übersetzen, ist nur eines entscheidend: Die Information zu vermitteln, auf die es ankommt, und zwar mit der kommunikativen Kraft des gesprochenen oder geschriebenen Originals. Alles andere ist Beiwerk. Dass das Übersetzen trotzdem eine hohe, äußerst vielschichtige Kunst ist, breitet David Bellos in 32 kurzen, aber mit viel Herzblut des erfahrenen Praktikers geschriebenen Kapiteln aus.

Durch diese zieht sich als roter Faden die Überzeugung, dass alles übersetzbar ist, wenn man nur will und kann (und manchmal etwas Glück hat). Wobei man trefflich darüber diskutieren kann, was eine "gute" und "richtige" Übersetzung ist: Für spröde Gesetzes- und Vertragstexte, die in verschiedenen Sprachen exakt das Gleiche aussagen müssen (allein schon ein so vertrauter Begriff wie "Menschenrechte" stellt die Sprachexperten in all den Ländern vor knifflige Aufgaben, in denen zwischen "Mensch" und "Mann" nicht unterschieden wird), gelten völlig andere Kriterien als für Literatur, wo sich die Mittel und Wege, das Andersartige der Quellsprache in der Zielsprache zum Ausdruck zu bringen, sich im Laufe der Zeit stark geändert haben.

Der delikate Aspekt der Sprachhierarchie mit "Aufwärts-" und "Abwärtsübersetzen" wird sehr diplomatisch erörtert, wobei diese Hierarchie weder für alle Zeiten fixiert noch ausschließlich machtpolitisch begründet ist: Latein stand für 1000 Jahre ganz oben, nachdem das Römische Reich längst kollabiert und Latein nirgendwo mehr Muttersprache war.
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I learned a great deal from David Bellos' wide-ranging collection of essays on translation. For example, he introduced me to the concept of translating UP vs. DOWN. Translating UP is to a language that occupies a higher position in the hierarchy of languages. Currently, English occupies the dominant position. When I translate business German into English, I am translating UP to the international language of business. Another way of putting this is that English is the vehicular language for transacting business around the world. Unfortunately, it is more remunerative to translate DOWN from English because of English's cultural influence. This partially explains why translators abound in Europe but not in the United States.

Bellos recalls an old friend from literature, the bumbling aristocrat Pierre Bezhukov in War and Peace. Pierre was so accustomed to speaking in French that he found it hard to express abstract ideas in Russian. French was the language of diplomacy and society in Russia in the early 1800s, so French conversation plays an important role in War and Peace. In fact, the first words of the novel are in French. Bellos points out that in translations of Tolstoy's masterpiece, French is neither L1 (the source language) nor L2 (the target language), but L3 (a third language). Translators face a decision to retain the original colloquial French or to render it in English. He recommends the former in order to emphasize this linguistic anomaly. Unfortunately, translating War and Peace into French presents a dilemma because this nuance must be lost.

Unlike Edith Grossman in Why does Translation Matter?
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