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

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

David Bellos


An NBCC Award and la instances e-book Award finalist
A New York Times outstanding ebook for 2011
One of The Economist's 2011 Books of the 12 months

People communicate various languages, and consistently have. the traditional Greeks took no detect of whatever until it was once acknowledged in Greek; the Romans made every person converse Latin; and in India, humans discovered their friends' languages―as did many usual Europeans in instances prior (Christopher Columbus knew Italian, Portuguese, and Castilian Spanish in addition to the classical languages). yet this present day, all of us use translation to deal with the range of languages. with out translation there will be no global information, no longer a lot of a analyzing checklist in any topic at school, no fix manuals for vehicles or planes; we would not also be capable of prepare flat-pack furnishings.

Is Fish on your Ear? levels around the complete of human adventure, from overseas movies to philosophy, to teach why translation is on the middle of what we do and who we're. between many different issues, David Bellos asks: what is the distinction among translating unprepared common speech and translating Madame Bovary? How do you translate a comic story? what is the distinction among a local tongue and a realized one? are you able to translate among any pair of languages, or in simple terms among a few? What rather is going on while global leaders converse on the UN? Can machines ever exchange human translators, and if now not, why?

But the most important query Bellos asks is that this: How will we ever fairly recognize that we have now understood what anyone else says―in our personal language or in one other? extraordinary, witty, and written with nice joie de vivre, this publication is all approximately how we understand folks and exhibits us how, finally, translation is one other identify for the human condition.

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