CHAT: This and that
- Irena - interesting - I was thinking of a quote from an article by a Slovak
writer that I noted
down a few years ago on usage of the Slovak language (unfortunately I only
jotted down his
name as "Ch", which doesn't help much). He talks about the lexis more than
the grammar, I
"The difference between spoken and written language is quite big. More than
we think, we
are influenced by normatives. We're not relaxed and we're afraid to put onto
something we would easily say out aloud. The emply phraseology of the
exercises some influence."
Perhaps this is an outdated viewpoint or just plain wrong. I am not
qualified to judge.
Hi Martin, welcome to the list:
>The most efficient method for disseminating anything is always personalreference. If you send a message to a dozen of your translator friends,
if half of them do the same....
Point taken everybody??
>I started with SF books someyears ago - much more fun,
Ooooh, which books have you translated? Place-names and personal names must
>and you are constantly at risk of never getting paid at all when yourpublisher disappears.
Yes, the whole book-publishing industry seems very risky here.
Talking of books - your question about a cracking good read, Paul, is one
that I frequently
put to my students, but I very often draw a blank when it comes to modern
when I ask my Hana, who knows her onions about Czech literature, to
something modern, she just turns up her nose. A lot of people seemed to
enjoy the early
work of Viewegh and some recommend Iva Pekarkova who
spent some time making a living as a taxi-driver in New York, but I can't
get into any of it.
Sorry. What I do enjoy doing, is taking a well-translated work like Klima's
Garbage" or Hrabal's "I Served the King of England" and comparing my
translations of a few
pages with those of the masters. It's funny what huge gaps and additions you
But why go for modern authors? I reckon there are some terribly
underestimated writers from
before the war whom an anglophone readership would welcome: Ladislav Klima
combination of bizarre eroticism (he claimed to have invented thirty
perversions) and radical
solipsistic philosophy is the stuff that cults are made of, or the
"decadent" Karasek ze Lvovic
(Posvatne Ohne) or Julius Zeyer (Dum U Tonouci Hvezdy) or the little known
Marten (Cyklus rozkose a smrti) for rich language redolent of langorous
intimations of powerful dark forces lurking in the human psyche. Is this
what you mean by a
cracking good read? Hmmm maybe not :)
Methods of divination, Alastair? Has anybody rated them for efficiency and
if so, did Alta
Vista rank in the first fifty? BTW for those interested in cybermancy, I
Google as my number-one search engine, at least for subjects where you don't
have to really
scrape the barrel to find anything, in which case I go to dogpile.com or -
sigh - Alta Vista.
The advantage of Google is that your key-words appear in the couple of lines
of text it
produces for each hit - very often saves you having to open the page in