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Found in Translation
Nataly Kelly
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Found in Translation

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  351 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
Translation. It's everywhere we look, but seldom seen--until now. "Found in Translation" reveals the surprising and complex ways that translation shapes the world. Covering everything from holy books to hurricane warnings and poetry to peace treaties, Nataly Kelly and Jost Zetzsche offer language lovers and pop culture fans alike an insider's view of the ways in which tran ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published October 1st 2012 by Perigee Books
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(showing 1-30 of 1,299)
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Meg - A Bookish Affair
To me, translation is absolutely fascinating. You take one idea in one language and turn it into something that someone else with a different language, a different culture, and perhaps a different life experience can fully understand and digest. In a way, it is sort of a real-life magic trick, which is a very cool way to think about it.

"Found in Translation" is really a book about the importance of translation in a place where we don't all share the same language, culture, or experiences. Transl
Oct 26, 2012 Guna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is basically a book of praise telling everyone that translation and interpreting are the two whales (or turtles, or elephants, whichever you prefer) upon which the world rests. And it's true, at least, you're gonna believe it if you read the book. One can only marvel at the tremendous impact translation has on every aspect of our lives - from business and entertainment to saving lives and bringing people together. It is chock full of examples of how, well, to use the title of the book, lang ...more
John Cooper
I heard an interview with authors Kelly and Zetzsche on NPR. They were smart and engaging, so I read their book. Unfortunately, I found it thin: it's primarily a collection of anecdotes and case studies illustrating the importance of translation in the modern world. While many of the stories are mildly interesting—who knew that IKEA's practice of naming high-end items after Swedish places and lowly items (doormats, toilet seats) after Danish places is viewed by many as an obvious way of tweaking ...more
Oct 30, 2012 Dan marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
heard a discussion with author on Lexicon Valley podcast - she was interesting - hope the book is, too.
Aug 23, 2013 Bridget rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
The underlying, constant refrain of this book is, "have you ever noticed how the world runs on translation?" If your answer to that question is, "well, actually, yes," then this book will be of only mild interest to you. This was the case for me since I used to work at a translation company and I have a degree in linguistics and we've lived overseas for a while. Almost nothing this book had to say was new to me, down to the particulars of some of the central anecdotes. And that's ok, because:

Yun Zhen
Feb 10, 2013 Yun Zhen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really readable book that brought a rather interesting topic to light. The anecdotes included are really interesting and varied. And since the entire book is made up of anecdotes, that makes the entire book pretty interesting.

The book covers areas where translation affects our lives and by the end of the book, you realise that it's everywhere. Though the authors do tell you exactly that at the start of the book, it's only at the end do you see the scale at which translation impacts our lives.
If this is a book for the general public, I am sure that at one point or another it will become boring. If this is for potential professionals in translation, then it is a great book for them to get a very good set of good and bad experiences of future colleagues, as well as many ideas for potential work. I, as a professional of the translation and interpretation industry, found myself identified with many of the stories from my fellow colleagues. Unfortunately, by the end of the book I found my ...more
Dec 27, 2012 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
LIke others who've commented here, I looked for this book after hearing an interview with one of the authors (Nataly Kelly) on the podcast "The World in Words" with Patrick Cox. It's an interesting collection of anecdotes and trivia with cultural, historical, or linguistic explanations when needed. I'm a language and literature professor, so I'm sure I'll recount some of these tidbits in my classes when the need arises, and it will: much of what we do is convince students (and sometimes even col ...more
James Smith
Most of the content of this book could be summarised as: "Translation is important". A worthy and necessary lesson, aimed mostly at English-speakers who almost never have to navigate content in other languages. It's not such a necessary lesson if you happen to live in a non-English speaking country, and speak or write in a foreign language and English practically every hour of every day. Other parts of the book contained lessons like: 'Translation is interesting" or "Translation is difficult", " ...more
Oct 08, 2015 Brendan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brendan by: NYPL
This is book is a bunch of shorts collected into themed chapters and bound a s book. Under the theme of "Translator stories and experts" it's random has hell, it's like the Authors figured "translation" would be good enough to glue these random tid-bits together and they wouldn't have to do anything else. Even if the Author's had prepared us by subtitling the book "Random Sh** Translators have to do" it would be funny, but is still no excuse for lazy presentation.

That's not to say this wasn't a
Aleksandrs Baklanovs
'Found in Translation: How Language Shapes Our Lives and Transforms the World' was an interesting read, kind of. At least once you figure out what this book is and isn't about. The "how language shapes our lives" part of the title deceptively suggests that there might be some semantic analysis of different languages going on in the book, but that never really happens. Sure, there are a few subsections of the book where the authors mention the difference between the way different language speaker ...more
Jun 15, 2014 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read David Bellos' "Is that a fish in your ear?" right before this, so I feel like I have to compare. While Bellos seems to be addressing himself more to translators themselves, writes in more of an essay style, and is more focused on the history and philosophy of translation, this book is for everyone who ever wondered why we need translators and interpreters at all. In a more approachable, more accessible way than the other book, this gives lots of short, fascinating or amusing contemporary ...more
Piotr Kalinowski
I've got this book as a Christmas present at the office for helping them out with translations. I really liked all the anecdotes, and the examples showing, how important it may be to get a translation right, even though I have personally only worked as a technical translator. Now every time I will again come across a lousy translation I will be hoping some managers read this book. It still happens. It is actually quite frightening that even Apple gets it wrong from time to time.
Jan 21, 2013 William rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Satisfying, yes -- but I was hoping for more analysis about translation issues (not academic studies, by any means, but rather more insight). The anecdotes are enlightening and entertaining. But what, for example, is the most difficult language to translate into English, and why? Can we chart the number of characters Roman-based alphabet languages need on average to say the same thing (i.e., is French almost always longer than its English equivalent)? Etc.
Esben Groendal
Jul 28, 2014 Esben Groendal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translation, language
I agree with most reviews that it is a very approachable book. The language is fluent and the chapters, or rather the individual stories, are divided into bite-sized segments so it's very easy to pick up the book and continue from where you left it. That being said, it was a wee-bit repetitive with the praise for translation and the work translators and interpreters do. I truly appreciate any kind of translation effort, and I understand that it is underappreciated in many layers of society, but ...more
Oct 28, 2015 Ann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: language-books
An easy-to-read book about the many roles that translation and translators play in our world. Whether it's translating 911 calls, court cases, medical discussions, diplomatic exchanges or sports commentary, translators and interpreters are ubiquitous and essential. This book is essentially a compilation of short vignettes describing such functions. There are interviews with famous interpreters (or interpreters for famous people), stories of botched translations that triggered much hullaballoo, o ...more
Thomas Andrikus
Dec 28, 2012 Thomas Andrikus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the best book I've read in 2012.

It is of such a quality that I fear if I review it after reading it only once, I will not do this book justice.

Hence, I shall return with a review of the book the second time I read it.
Karen Rutland
I really enjoyed this light-hearted but fascinating book.
It ought to be on the reading list of all secondary school children (and careers advisors) to make more people aware of the benefits and joys of learning a language.
Louise Chambers
Heard an interview on PRI's The World in Words. Podcast. With the inimitable Patrick Cox. Requested that my library purchase.

Not really finished. Due back at library. Must finish later.
Kelli Lynn Dwyer
I just wanted to say that I'm very happy to have won and received this novel. A soon as I have a chance to read it I will be sure to write a proper review. Thank you!
Oct 20, 2014 Mysteryfan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I never think about the little instruction booklets that come with my new electronics. Thanks to this book I'll never look at them the same way again. Translators and interpreters affect out lives in subtle ways. They have a hand in many areas, from the religious books we follow to peace treaties to YouTube videos and beyond translators. I never considering the difficulties in translating porn or TED talks. Most of us know at least one funny mistranslation (all your base are belong to us, anyone ...more
Nov 15, 2012 Joy is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I just heard about this book on the Lexicon Valley podcast. So far, it is fascinating.
Brett Bydairk
Feb 06, 2014 Brett Bydairk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: language
Very good book that opened my eyes to the many way translators and interpreters are used/needed in today's world. Not just for reading and foreign visitors, but for conferences (attendees, agendas, signs), sports (players, trainers of foreign players, rules, international competition), lawyers (international agreements and treaties, mergers of companies whose HQs are in countries which do not use the same language), and much more.
Short sections, and little technical jargon make for a quick, int
Dec 29, 2013 Buzz rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is not much of what I thought it would be. I thought it would be more on the epistemic end of things but is more on the day to day stuff regarding different translation issues. Sometime interesting but mostly not I'm afraid. The author does not seem to be able to render useful information for the reader. One example they give an example of translation between two lovers. Of course there will be issues of the translator being in the middle of intimate conversations - tell us something w ...more
Feb 19, 2013 rabbitprincess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: word nerds especially!
Recommended to rabbitprincess by: newsletter run by co-author JZ
When translators and interpreters are doing their jobs well, they are invisible. That's the goal: to seamlessly transfer information from one language to another, adapting as necessary to fit the target language's grammar, syntax and cultural aspects. So it's easy to take translation for granted. This book does a very good job of highlighting just how prevalent translation and interpretation are in the world and just how many opportunities there are for budding language professionals. (Basically ...more
Dec 06, 2013 Eva rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some neat snippets, but for some reason the book's tone bothered me. Chirpy and all over the place. Anyway, kindle quotes:

As an interpreter for the Nuremberg trials, the international war tribunals organized by the Americans, British, and French, he interpreted for all twenty-four of the captured leaders of Nazi Germany. But what is remarkable about Peter is not just that he enabled this pivotal moment in human history to actually happen. What is nearly incomprehensible is that the men whose voi
Apr 08, 2015 Sam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this book hoping that it would be a more in-depth account of translation and a dissection of the topic; however, I was rather disappointed to find that this book rather focuses on the role of translation on a global scale.

Being a linguist and a translator myself, I was not confronted with any new information and found the information in some areas to be lacking - especially pertaining to the translation of the bible.

I have also co-taught translation courses at a university and currently
Aug 12, 2014 Allison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a light read, but fascinating. Basically a series of anecdotes that elucidate the breadth of the translation/interpretation industry... and also the pitfalls translators and interpreters have fallen into. I especially enjoyed the debunking of myths (e.g. the Chevy Nova was not actually difficult to sell in Mexico - Nova and no va have different emphases) and the new info (e.g. what I usually refer to as false cognates are actually "false friends;" false cognates are words in two differe ...more
May 04, 2014 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Highly interesting. I never thought about the amount of translation and interpretation that happens everyday. The great part is knowing the book is only a few years old. The authors do a good job of relating stories and suggestions to modern day TV shows, political events, etc.
Max Nemtsov
Dec 21, 2014 Max Nemtsov rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Милый журнальный инфотейнтмент на приятную тему, с обилием фактоидов, которые пригодятся адме-потребителям для каких-нибудь презентаций или чтоб сойти умными в частной беседе. Триумф СЯУ-знания в его не самом отвратительном виде. Но вообще, конечно, - порожняк и мозговая жвачка.
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Nataly Kelly is a former Fulbright scholar in sociolinguistics, a certified court interpreter for Spanish, and a researcher with the Boston-based research firm Common Sense Advisory. She writes about translation and other multilingual matters for the Huffington Post and Harvard Business Review. Her research and views have been cited in the New York Times, Washington Post, Fast Company, Forbes, and ...more
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“As long as human beings speak different languages, the need for translation will continue.” 5 likes
“Poetry translation is like playing a piano sonata on a trombone.” 5 likes
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