Apr 30

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How young translators are helping knit European culture together

“Translating is art in itself. But it gets recognised only when you make mistakes. If you fail, everyone notices. If you do a great job, usually people don’t notice.”

Do YOU agree with this statement? Find out more on the role of translation for less-spread languages in art and literature and the EU’s initiative to promote this often-neglected field.  Read the article and expand your vocabulary by checking out the expressions underlined in the text below. Some expressions also provide an example on the difficulties of translation. Make a try….


Europe’s babel-like (1) patchwork of languages has, on the face of it, made communication and understanding a constant issue. To deal with it the EU has (2) spawned a translation industry, (3) sewing in the stitches of understanding that keep the 28 members together.

While translation has become big business out of necessity, it is an (4) often-ignored yet vital aspect of the EU project. Its application in the world of the arts and literature is also bringing form and coherence to European multiculturalism.

“I’ve been asked to do book covers for books that weren’t even written yet. Half the time the title says nothing about the actual book. Possibly the worst mistake you can make when you’re making a book cover is to illustrate. There has to be some kind of creative tension already there,” says David Konečny.

David takes photos for Větrné mlýny, a Czech publishing house from Brno that is preparing a big translation project of 10 contemporary (5) European books. The themes range from historical changes in Europe to how young people cope with multiculturalism nowadays.

You may read the whole article here

RELATED QUIZ:  EU Multilingualism  here ID-10026459-Colourful people


(1) patchwork: cloth with different patterns and colours / mixture of different things (see also e.g. patchwork family) –  probably very difficult to translate into your mother tongue….

(2) to spawn (here): to start something new

(3) stitch: a piece of thread sewn in cloth / to sew in the stitches of understanding (here): metaphorical – probably very difficult to translate into your mother tongue….

(4) often-ignored: often-neglected, (this word is used when no attention is paid to something)

(5) contemporary: at the present time

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Permanent link to this article: http://www.euenglish.hu/2015/04/how-young-translators-are-helping-knit-european-culture-together/

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