I’ve the habit, when learning a language, of using classic poems as practice texts, alongside more modern works. With Japanese, I got a couple books out of this. Now with Chinese, I’m doing it again. So far I’ve translated 70+ poems, mostly from the Tang dynasty, mostly by working through 300 Tang Poems (唐詩三百首), but also other randoms as I stumble across them. The more polished work gets indexed in this post, with rougher drafts posted in this journal as I initially complete them. Feedback welcome at all levels and stages of work.
"Pampa (Dansa Ere Da Setara)" is a song I wrote in Lang Belta, the Creole language spoken by the humans who live in and beyond the Asteroid Belt on the TV show The Expanse. Its a story of tough lives and hard choices in a harsh environment. The lyrics in both Belter & English. [more inside]
is a set of four of my poems translated from Icelandic into English by Larissa Kyzer. It's published by Exchanges, University of Iowa's online journal of literary translation, as part of their fall 2017 issue, Traces. The poems are in a very strict form of my own devising where each poem is four verses, each verse four lines, and each line broken up into clusters of four letters, and the English translation replicates the form.
'Looking Back: This Past Year after the Earthquake' is a new website that gives voice to students of Kesen Junior High School in Rikuzentakata, Iwate prefecture, on what they experienced during the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake in March 2011. The website is bilingual, in Japanese and English. Dozens of teachers and scores of students from around Japan collaborated to translate the original Japanese into English. The accounts are available under a Creative Commons license. Excerpts tweeted @lookingback311. [more inside]
Unofficial translations of articles I find interesting, in either the Chilean press or the related blogosphere. [more inside]
My latest publishing project is an anthology of short stories in the skaz narrative style. The book has the Russian and English texts on facing pages and represents a sampling of skaz throughout the Tsarist and Soviet eras. [more inside]
Since September 2014 I have contributed stories about Japan as Global Voices' Japan Editor. I report on what Japanese people are actually saying about the news on Twitter, in blogs, and on 2chan (somewhat similar to Reddit). Often I can find eyewitness accounts (in Japanese) to what's happening in the news, sometimes even scooping Western news outlets. It's all about presenting an authentic, slightly quirky take on current events in Japan.
When English interpretations of the New Testament talk about ‘sexual immorality’ they are really translating the Greek word porneia (πορνεία), it’s used almost every time the topic of sex comes up and often when talking about the worst sins in general. If you can really grok what Paul was talking about as he uses the root for the word over and over again (it appears 32 times in the New Testament) then the rest falls into place. Now porneia has always been translated into Latin as fornication, while being understood by many conservatives to just be a 1:1 stand in for ‘any sexual expression not between husband and wife’. However, Porneia in post-classical Corinthian Greek did not mean generic sexual sin, or even sex outside of marriage, at all exactly and neither did fornication in actual Latin. The truth, like in many things, is a little bit more complicated and a lot more interesting
TRIGGER WARNINGS AHEAD FOR DEPICTIONS OF SEXUAL EXPLOITATION IN CLASSICAL GREECE, ALSO AN NSFW VASE. (SFW version)
In honor of Prohibition Repeal Day, The Toast ran a comic by me about how a typo nearly ruined a cocktail for over half a century.
I've recently launched my first book at my new ebook-only publishing house. Dedicated to publishing only literature in English translation and selling the books DRM-free and worldwide, I've partnered with prestigious publishing houses in Germany, Spain, Italy, and Brazil to bring the best of contemporary world literature to, well, anybody anywhere, if they can read English and have an ereading device. [more inside]
This a site I created as a hobby, to help my own self-study in Japanese, inspired by a trip to Japan last year. If you signup, it'll send you a regular translation assignment by email, with a sentence in Japanese to translate into English (and, as a friend pointed out, there was no reason not to allow the reverse, so you can also choose to get sentences in English and translate those into Japanese). [more inside]
A friend and I are working through the Josh Whedon TV series Firefly and translating the Chinese phrases in each episode. We post video clips from the show and audio clips of us pronouncing the phrases along with our non-expert analysis of the word usage. We've posted everything from the pilot ("Serenity") and we're now working on episode 2 ("The Train Job"). Hopefully we'll finish up in the next month or so but I figured we mind as well share now as folks all over are already celebrating the show's tenth year anniversary.
A computer program that interactively produces text in English and German from a single representation. The source code. [more inside]