September 11, 2018

USC Annenberg Professor Paolo Sigismondi discusses the translation and soft power implications of "cool."

NPR's new podcast examines at popular topics in the United States through the lens of other countries.

New breakthroughs at Google and Baidu are breaking down the language barriers between countries and cultures. In fact, the new technology, called machine learning, doesn’t just make online translation services more accurate, it actually allows the computers to learn and improve. [...] improving translations is a major step forward in bringing the world closer together and helping people connect.

Six young translators of Japanese literature from inside and outside the country were invited to participate in a workshop on translation techniques and practical knowledge related to the publishing process. [...] A Japan Foundation program has also subsidized the translation of books in the fields of humanities, social sciences and art. This fiscal year, 33 books have been chosen for the program, for which a budget of ¥19 million has been earmarked.

Despite huge cultural gaps, Chinese online literature, especially fantasy novels featuring martial arts and magical powers, has created a reading frenzy among foreign readers, Xinhua News Agency reports. Fascinated by the cultural elements contained in Chinese web novels and their imaginative plots, many foreigners have spontaneously begun to translate these works.

PEN International, a literary organization aiming to globalize Korean literature overseas [...] "Literature is food for the soul and a mirror of the world. It has a cathartic effect on our hearts. Korean literature is struggling to be appreciated overseas due to a lack of administrative support and translations. We will continue to hold forums and publish second and third books onwards to accelerate the globalization of Korean literature."

Ken Liu is a prolific and award-winning author of stories that span the galaxies of futurism and fantasy. He also happens to interpret one cultural constellation for another: Liu is the leading translator of Chinese science fiction into English. “Science fiction can’t tell us a lot about the future,” he insists. “It’s more interesting for what it says about the society that produces it.”

Translators without Borders Words of Relief program 2016 - responding to the European refugee crisis

October 20, 2016

“Translation is like toilet paper. No one thinks about it until they need it," humanitarian organizations included.