Is That a Fish in Your Ear? Translation and the Meaning of Everything

ISBN-10: 0865478767

ISBN-13: 9780865478763

Edition: 2012

Authors: David Bellos
List price: $16.00 Buy it from $3.00
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Description: An NBCC Award and Los Angeles Times Book Award finalistANew York TimesNotable Book for 2011One ofThe Economist’s 2011 Books of the Year People speak different languages, and always have. The Ancient Greeks took no notice of anything unless it was said in Greek; the Romans made everyone speak Latin; and in India, people learned their neighbors’ languages—as did many ordinary Europeans in times past (Christopher Columbus knew Italian, Portuguese, and Castilian Spanish as well as the classical languages). But today, we all use translation to cope with the diversity of languages. Without translation there would be no world news, not much of a reading list in any subject at college, no repair manuals for cars or planes; we wouldn’t even be able to put together flat-pack furniture. Is That a Fish in Your Ear?ranges across the whole of human experience, from foreign films to philosophy, to show why translation is at the heart of what we do and who we are. Among many other things, David Bellos asks: What’s the difference between translating unprepared natural speech and translatingMadame Bovary? How do you translate a joke? What’s the difference between a native tongue and a learned one? Can you translate between any pair of languages, or only between some? What really goes on when world leaders speak at the UN? Can machines ever replace human translators, and if not, why? But the biggest question Bellos asks is this: How do we ever really know that we’ve understood what anybody else says—in our own language or in another? Surprising, witty, and written with great joie de vivre, this book is all about how we comprehend other people and shows us how, ultimately, translation is another name for the human condition.

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Book details

List price: $16.00
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Faber & Faber, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/16/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 384
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 0.968
Language: English

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