Collins' book is methodical and matter-of-fact, almost plodding at times. He lays out the principles of speech-making in a clear, structured way withoCollins' book is methodical and matter-of-fact, almost plodding at times. He lays out the principles of speech-making in a clear, structured way without much of a flourish; indeed, the first couple of chapters can be speed-read by simply reading the first sentence of each paragraph. But even if his prose isn't very inspiring, he's very good at analysing the different kinds of speeches and the methods a speaker can employ for maximum effectiveness.
He presents the essential elements of a good speech while providing clear advice on what will, and crucially, what won't work. All in all, it's a practical book that doesn't pretend to be life-changing, but offers clear, practical advice. Not fun, but useful. ...more
Bellos starts with a provocative question: what exactly is translation? The answer is more elusive than you might think, but in trying to answer it heBellos starts with a provocative question: what exactly is translation? The answer is more elusive than you might think, but in trying to answer it he takes us on a fascinating journey that is partly academic and partly anecdotal, with a light enough touch to make a fun read. Of course he is an advocate for the unsung, underpaid translator, but he makes a convincing case that translation is often just as creative and original creation itself.
But he's not just talking about novels: the problems of translation in international diplomacy are given a thorough airing, and he finishes with a fascinating discussion of how language evolved in the first place, not (as we usually presume) as a way of communicating but as a way of defining primitive groups. In other words, language was a way of restricting communication by excluding outsiders, so it was intended to limit communication rather than broaden it....more