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Found in Translation: How Language Shapes…

Found in Translation: How Language Shapes Our Lives and Transforms the…

by Nataly Kelly, Jost Zetzsche

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1037190,586 (3.8)9
A lively look at the surprising role that translation plays all around us. Worth an estimated 31 billion dollars, translation is one of the biggest industries that goes largely unnoticed. Nataly Kelly and Jost Zetzsche are two veteran translators who have show how translation affects the daily life of millions of people. From hurricane warnings to holy books, from poetry to peace treaties, this is an illustration of how translation spreads culture and fuels the global economy.… (more)



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» See also 9 mentions

English (6)  Italian (1)  All languages (7)
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Great read. As an interpreter myself, the stories were very true to experiences I have on a day to day basis and expanded my understanding of the scope far outside my specialisation. Easy to read, fun and interesting stories - I'll be recommending it to family and friends who want to know more about my career. ( )
  genolgra | Jul 24, 2017 |
I heard an interview with authors Kelly and Zetzsche on NPR. They were smart and engaging, so I read their book. Unfortunately, I found it thin: it's primarily a collection of anecdotes and case studies illustrating the importance of translation in the modern world. While many of the stories are mildly interesting—who knew that many think IKEA's practice of naming high-end items after Swedish places and lowly items (doormats, toilet seats) after Danish places is viewed by many as an obvious way of tweaking the Danes?—if you come to the book already understanding that translation is important and makes an impact, the repeated attempts to persuade you of that will quickly become wearying. I'd recommend this book to people who do not work with words for a living and who have not traveled much in non-English-speaking countries: the issues the book discusses may be new to you. ( )
  john.cooper | Oct 1, 2013 |
An interesting book about translating and translators. Translating is vital to our world culture and economy. Some compnies spend a fair amount of money making sure that their marketing words are correctly interpreted in the another language, so that their products sell, and no disasters in misinterpretation come about along the way. Both authors have a lot of stories to tell, and many are either fun to read or they illuminate things we don't often think about (idioms can't always be translated well). The last chapter spends time on where the world is vis-a-vis computer translations, and how big websites like Twitter and Wikipedia deal with translation. ( )
  vpfluke | Jul 28, 2013 |
When translators and interpreters are doing their jobs well, they are invisible. That's the goal: to seamlessly transfer information from one language to another, adapting as necessary to fit the target language's grammar, syntax and cultural aspects. So it's easy to take translation for granted. This book does a very good job of highlighting just how prevalent translation and interpretation are in the world and just how many opportunities there are for budding language professionals. (Basically, there are translation opportunities in pretty much any subject field, and if people from two different language groups want to have a conversation, there's a need for interpretation.) Along the way we also get plenty of anecdotes about bizarre situations interpreters find themselves in and clever solutions to some tricky translation problems. And of course no translation book would be complete without tales of translation and interpretation gone wrong. There are plenty of those here!

I found this a very quick and easy read. I'd intended to dip in and out of it over a couple of days but ended up tearing through it in an afternoon. The anecdotes frequently prompted roars of laughter, and the authors have a smooth, conversational writing style that propels you along. It's a fun glimpse into the world of translation, and I do mean world: there are plenty of anecdotes from around the globe, covering a variety of languages. Recommended if you're interested in language and translation, especially if linguistic gaffes tickle your funnybone. ( )
1 vote rabbitprincess | Feb 19, 2013 |
I heard Found in Translation coauthor Nataly Kelly interviewed, and having found some of her translation examples quite interesting, I bought the book. Then I discovered that the book consists of nothing but these examples of where translation has an impact. Dozens of standalone examples are strung together consecutively, each essentially unrelated and unconnected to the other. Much time went into this book in the form of interviews and research, but the authors make no effort to synthesize the content into a larger coherent story about "how language shapes our lives and transforms the world". Nor do they weight topics to reflect their transformative potential. Google Translate gets the same airtime as translating opera. No matter how upbeat and chatty the authors' style, a list of examples is still just a list of examples, and a read that could have led us on a fascinating journey, ends up being a milk run instead. ( )
4 vote maritimer | Dec 15, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nataly Kellyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Zetzsche, Jostmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Crystal, DavidForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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We dedicate this book to translators
and interpreters everywhere.
Because of you, the world communicates.
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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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