Just a reminder that I also blog at Nordic Voices in Translation, a literary blog devoted to the Emglish translation – in several sense – of Scandinavian literary culture. When I’m not here, I’m often to be found there.
Posting is light, as I’ve been busy over at Nordic Voices in Translation.
Nordic Voices in Translation is a new blog devoted to the English translation of the literatures of the Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. It is also hoped to include Estonian writing in the published material and discussion.
перезагрузка (f.) – reset
перегрузка (f.) – overload, overloading
This blog has a lot of lively and informed news and commentary about literary translation – especially from the Nordic languages.
At Evrodiaspora – the unofficial website of Chechens living in Europe – a poster has compiled a list of some words that the Chechen and Swedish languages have in common. Examples:
Töntig – awkward, clumsy – Тентаг
Ute – outside – Уьт1е (yard)
Barn – child – Бер
Kasta – to throw – Кхосса
Padda – toad – Пхьид – frog
Tall – pine tree – Талл
Sinne – чувство – Са
Damm – dust – Дам – flour
Darra – to tremble – Дарр аьлла вегош
Adel – aristocracy, nobility – Ад(ам)-эла
Adjö – farewell, goodbye – 1адика-йойла ( adika jöjla!)
Bår – stretcher – Барм
Tyda – to interpret – Тида
Gå – to go, walk – Г1о
Var – was – Вар
Vagga – cradle, to lull – Ага
Usel – wretched – Осала
Kyla – chill, cold – Шело
Ort – place, locality, village – Юрт
Stjälk – stalk, stem – Шелкх
Sin – one’s (own) – Шен
Dekis – seedy-looking person – Декъаз
Dag, Dan – day – Де
Folk – people, nation – Халкъ
Låg – low – Лог1а
Sirlig – graceful, elegant – Сирла
Kol – coal – К1ор
Rask – quick, speedy, rapid – Расха
Mark – ground, land, territory – Мохк
Modd – mud, slush – Мода – mud
Land – land, country – Латта
The article also contains an interesting discussion of the origins of the words “Valhalla” and “Valkyrie”.
RFE/RL has an interesting feature about how the CIA may have performed the inestimable service of arranging in 1958 for the first Russian-language publication of Boris Pasternak’s novel Doctor Zhivago . In the same year, Albert Camus had nominated Pasternak for the Nobel Prize, but the award could not be made unless the novel had been published in the original language – no Soviet publisher would do this, and the risks for the author of having the book published in a Western country were great.
According to RFE/RL’s Ivan Tolstoi, it was the CIA which ultimately managed to get the book put out in the West – and this may not only have secured the Nobel Prize for the poet and author, but also saved his life:
“Thanks to the fact that Pasternak won the Nobel Prize, Pasternak wasn’t arrested,” says Tolstoi. “This deed by the CIA served to ennoble and save Pasternak. The actions of American intelligence saved a great Russian poet.”
But, in a December 14 presentation in Moscow, Tolstoi said “Pasternak had absolutely nothing to do with” the operation. “The American intelligence community did and financed everything itself, in order that a famous novel from an ingenious writer and poet might receive recognition.”
Pasternak was forced to decline the award under pressure from Soviet authorities. But when he died two years later, in 1960, it was in his home in Peredelkino — not in prison or exile abroad. It was a better fate than those of many Russian writers of the time.
Tolstoi said America’s use of culture as a weapon in its ideological battle with the Soviet Union typifies what he calls “the drama of the Cold War.”
“American intelligence, American policy, in this story, battled Kremlin ideology and communism not with poison, or kidnappings, or some other unseemly actions, but with the help of Russian culture,” Tolstoi said. “They used Russian culture to fight against the Soviet state.”