Welcome to Hopscotch Translation

Hopscotch Translation’s Second Anniversary Forum

with contributions from Santiago Artozqui, David Bellos, David Boyd, Mayada Ibrahim, A.M. Juster, Archana Madhavan, and Lindsay Turner

At a literary translation award ceremony in New York a few years ago, the guest of honor, French novelist Marc Levy, expressed his deep admiration for the craft. “What I love about translators is that they are, as we say in French, passeurs. How do you say passeur in English?” The reply came with a laugh from the roomful of translators: “Yeah, you can’t really translate that…” READ MORE

En passant : Une passeuse de ce qui ne passe pas partout…

by Erín Moure

Galician, galego, is a language historically oppressed and today still suppressed in many ways — subtle and not so subtle — in the state where it is at home, and I must work to translate it without ingesting it and causing its difference, its Galician difference, to vanish in the hegemonic yet multiple language that is English. How to keep her accent, her difference, audible and palpable in the English text?… READ MORE

The Bulgarian Чужбина: an “Untranslatable,” Dreamed of and Unknown Place

by Ekaterina Petrova

Although, technically, the word “abroad” is a perfectly good translation for чужбина (chujbina), appearing as its most straightforward equivalent in the dictionary, the English word fails to capture the Bulgarian term’s full range of connotations or the tremendous power it holds over the hearts, minds, and collective consciousness of many Bulgarians. Particularly for Bulgarians who lived during communism (1944 – 1989), chujbina meant much more than just what lay “abroad,” beyond the physical borders of Bulgaria… READ MORE

Byways of Translation: Review of The Backstreets by Perhat Tursun

by Munawwar Abdulla

The valuing of one language or narrative over another hangs heavy in this book as well. The unnamed protagonist is often taken to task for his unconfident grasp of Mandarin. In one encounter he is asked to write a contract promising that he would not request boarding from his workplace. For each error in spelling, he is asked to rewrite the whole thing. With each repetition he loses the will to speak the language for fear of making a mistake… READ MORE

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