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eclipse-strider:

tiffanarchy:

walkingoutintherain:

jmindigo:

letloosethekraken:

ultrafacts:

Whittier, Alaska, is a town of about 200 people, almost all of whom live in a 14-story former Army barracks built in 1956. The building, called Begich Towers, holds a police station, a health clinic, a church, and a laundromat. Its hallways resemble those of a school . One can often find residents shuffling around in slippers and pajamas.

Because the winters are so ferocious, the town’s only playground is indoors.

(Fact Sources+more info+pics: 1 2) Follow Ultrafacts for more facts

This is some dystopian young adult novel bull.

To be fair pretty much all of Alaska is some dystopian young adult novel bull in one way or another. 

I have only been to the outside of Whittier, that one time I took the ferry from Valdez, and it’s grim-looking as hell.

This also neglects to mention that the only ways to reach Whittier are either the aforementioned ferry, bush plane, or a 2.5 mile-long, approximately 15′x15′ tunnel through a mountain that looks like this inside:

The AKDOT website reassures us that “During the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake (the greatest magnitude earthquake ever recorded in North America) the tunnel suffered no significant structural damage and no cave-ins.”

Also please note that though most of the population now lives in the Begich Towers, the townspeople used to reside in the Buckner Building, which is now abandoned and just. Sitting there. Empty. The building that used to be a whole town. Looking super fucking haunted:

“The constant sound of cascading water echoes throughout the complex. Bears have been reported both wandering the upper floors in the spring and hibernating on the lower floors during winter.” 

that last building isn’t abandoned, it literally says the bears live there now.

This is some Metro 2033 shit. I love it.
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poc-creators:

Fifteen years ago, Glenda Yañez put on the clothes of her ancestors.She had always admired how her grandmother dressed—her wide, layered skirt; a thick embroidered shawl; and a top hat leaning just so, two long and dark braids coming down her back. Yañez, who grew up in the bustling city of La Paz, Bolivia, had come of age in jeans and T-shirts.

That’s because her grandmother’s indigenous dress — known as the chola style — had for centuries been a target of acute discrimination. For most of Bolivia’s history, a Spanish-descended, white minority lorded over the country’s native majority in a system akin to apartheid. The chola wardrobe is a fashion distinctive to Bolivia’s second largest indigenous group, the Aymara people. And it’s one that has endured since the 1700s, even though it has brought with it heightened segregation.

MORE

The photos accompanying this article are SO wonderful. 
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sophiaslittleblog:

chrissongzzz:

I AM SCREAMING! #manniquenchallenge

WHERES THERE OSCAR FOR BEST PERFORMANCE AND VIDEO EDITING!
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itscolossal:

WATCH: A Giant Pair of Pneumatic Articulating Feather Wings (video)
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bilt2tumble:

refinery29:

Watch: This awesome restaurant in Staten Island had the idea to employ grandmothers from all over the world to make its food

There’s nothing better than your grandma’s cooking…except maybe a bunch of grandmas’ cooking all in one restaurant. That’s exactly what Enoteca Maria in Staten Island, New York is offering.

Gifs: Gothamist

WATCH THE VIDEO

Holy Shit! Different dishes cooked by Nana’s from around the World? I would eat here every, damn, DAY.
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camwyn:

niamhermind:

keepyourhandsbusy:

hyena-butts:

everybodyilovedies:

thepioden:

roachpatrol:

joshnewberry:

people who complain about dinosaurs “not being scary anymore” because its been discovered they have feathers and are closely related to/ancestors of birds are so bizarre like

its not about how scary they are, they are/were real life animals and what matters is learning more about them, not how well they fit into your science fiction horror film lol

can you imagine a 13 foot chicken running at you with full intent to eat you??? thats fucking terrifying holy shit

peacocks are synonymous with vain, frivolous beauty and they will attack cars. they will attack you while you try to get to your car. they’re like six feet of useless feathers and they will destroy you. imagine if they were carnivorous and had functional spurs. 

a t-rex could look like a gay disco ball and i guarantee that you would fucking book it if it had a problem with you

listen

listen

have you ever met a swan

if anything the birdier they get the scarier they are

Australia literally fought a war against giant birds AND FUCKING LOST

@kidwithheadphones

Overheard in the student lounge:

“Oh man, I can’t deal with birds ‘cause they’re dinosaurs and sometimes it’s like they get this glint in their eyes and they remember.”

“Have you ever interacted with a goose? ‘Cause those things are dicks.”

If chickens were still the size of a T-Rex we’d all be dead. No question.

Feathered creatures that give some serious lie to the idea that feathered dinosaurs ain’t scary:

This is a bearded vulture, or lammergeier. It’s four feet long and has a nine foot wingspan and it eats bones.

This is a shoebill stork. It dropped the duck without biting down shortly after the picture was taken, but if it had decided not to-

… it could have been the end of the road for that duck.

This is the last thing a fish sees before a macaroni penguin eats it.

This is a secretary bird in the act of demonstrating to Lord Voldemort that he came to the wrong neighborhood, ese.

This is a goose.

This is a vulture.

This is a cassowary on the attack. 

Be glad I couldn’t find the actual gif of a pelican swallowing a fish, because it’s freakin’ Lovecraftian in its HEADS SHOULD NOT BEND THAT WAY factor. You’ll have to settle for the idea of a feathered dinosaur suddenly going GLORP and devouring its victims whole just like this lady here.

Steven Spielberg didn’t create these. These are the feet of an emu.

And this is what happens when a swan (this one is named Asboy; his father was Mr. Asbo, the first swan in the UK to get named after an anti-social behavior order in ‘honor’ of his tendency to attack boaters) decides it doesn’t like you. I should probably note that this one attacked a cow.

Respect the feathered dinosaur, yo.
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edwardspoonhands:

brucesterling:

climateadaptation:

New pictures from Mars. Via: http://ift.tt/2c7ebTZ

*Look at all those flakey sediment layers.  Man, that must have been a lot of Martian water for a long time 

Hubba Hubba!
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tcfkag:

tcfkag:

So, we’re having the bathroom in our 100 year old house renovated and the contractor found these in the ceiling. They are letters to an American GI who was serving in France in 1955 and he has at least three women (at current count, we haven’t finished reading them) writing him love letters from London. Even once he’s back in the States. Monotasker and I are taking sides. I’m #TeamWendy while he’s #TeamHelen. I’m hoping I can get them scanned and put up in the cloud and then maybe track down some surviving relatives. 

TL;DR, this is so cool.

(Oh, and I will reblog this with updates as we learn more. This is going to be such a fun project, I can feel it.) 

First update after reading them all…this was the 1950s version of Tinder and this guy always swiped right. He had at least six women from both sides of the Atlantic. They exchanged pictures constantly. And a couple of the letters were downright smutty (lets just say Patsy would definitely be writing fan fiction in the modern times.)
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cultofweird:

lookatthislittlething:

Cabinet of Curiosities Oddities Box Art Shadowbox Collage Miniatures Miniature Box wunderkammer Box Display Bottles Skulls Shells curiosity by poppenkraal (70.00 EUR) http://ift.tt/1SILzfJ

Submit weird things here
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actuallythomyorke:

maliwanhellfires:

cassandrashipsit:

sixpenceee:

An archaeological dig on the Menemonee Reservation in Wisconsin yielded a clay pot. The pot was dated to 800 years ago and contained seeds. Some of the seeds were planted to see if 800 year old seeds were viable. An ancient squash was the result. 

This is the coolest fucking thing, and don’t try and tell me otherwise.

Oh my god I have people who need to know this

Life is so fucking cool
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xansaesthetic:

black-exchange:

Just Like Me! Box

http://ift.tt/1WDbr04 // IG: justlikemebox

✨ A monthly subscription box with 2-3 children’s books featuring characters of color plus reading tools & accessories! ✨

$25/month

CLICK HERE for more black-owned businesses!

This is amazing
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plantyhamchuk:

currentsinbiology:

Horses can use symbols to talk to us

There will never be a horse like Mr. Ed, the talking equine TV star. But scientists have discovered that the animals can learn to use another human tool for communicating: pointing to symbols. They join a short list of other species, including some primates, dolphins, and pigeons, with this talent. Scientists taught 23 riding horses of various breeds to look at a display board with three icons, representing wearing or not wearing a blanket. Horses could choose between a “no change” symbol or symbols for “blanket on” or “blanket off.” Previously, their owners made this decision for them. Horses are adept at learning and following signals people give them, and it took these equines an average of 10 days to learn to approach and touch the board and to understand the meaning of the symbols. All 23 horses learned the entire task within 14 days. They were then tested in various weather conditions to see whether they could use the board to tell their trainers about their blanket preferences. The scientists report online in Applied Animal Behaviour Science that the horses did not touch the symbols randomly, but made their choices based on the weather.

I’ve seen some controversy about if/when to give horses blankets, I wonder if the opinions of the actual horses will have any impact on that discussion?
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dduane:

Nearly half a century ago, archaeologists found a charred ancient scroll in the ark of a synagogue on the western shore of the Dead Sea.

The lump of carbonized parchment could not be opened or read. Its curators did nothing but conserve it, hoping that new technology might one day emerge to make the scroll legible.

Just such a technology has now been perfected by computer scientists at the University of Kentucky. Working with biblical scholars in Jerusalem, they have used a computer to unfurl a digital image of the scroll.

It turns out to hold a fragment identical to the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Bible and, at nearly 2,000 years old, is the earliest instance of the text.

The writing retrieved by the computer from the digital image of the unopened scroll is amazingly clear and legible, in contrast to the scroll’s blackened and beaten-up exterior. “Never in our wildest dreams did we think anything would come of it,” said Pnina Shor, the head of the Dead Sea Scrolls Project at the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Scholars say this remarkable new technique may make it possible to read other scrolls too brittle to be unrolled.
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kesus:

h0odrich:

principemexicano:

controlledeuphoria:

jumex:

blackdenimjeans:

this reminds me of a cult

I’m the one in blue

Is he fucking flying? How can I? Do? This?

This is freaking me out

rip to the one in blue

Dicks out for the one in blue
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shwetanarayan:

taraljc:

wuglife:

superlinguo:

People who are blind from birth will gesture when they speak. I always like pointing out this fact when I teach classes on gesture, because it gives us an an interesting perspective on how we learn and use gestures. Until now I’ve mostly cited a 1998 paper from Jana Iverson and Susan Goldin-Meadow that analysed the gestures and speech of young blind people. Not only do blind people gesture, but the frequency and types of gestures they use does not appear to differ greatly from how sighted people gesture. If people learn gesture without ever seeing a gesture (and, most likely, never being shown), then there must be something about learning a language that means you get gestures as a bonus.

Blind people will even gesture when talking to other blind people, and sighted people will gesture when speaking on the phone - so we know that people don’t only gesture when they speak to someone who can see their gestures.

Earlier this year a new paper came out that adds to this story. Şeyda Özçalışkan, Ché Lucero and Susan Goldin-Meadow looked at the gestures of blind speakers of Turkish and English, to see if the *way* they gestured was different to sighted speakers of those languages. Some of the sighted speakers were blindfolded and others left able to see their conversation partner.

Turkish and English were chosen, because it has already been established that speakers of those languages consistently gesture differently when talking about videos of items moving. English speakers will be more likely to show the manner (e.g. ‘rolling’ or bouncing’) and trajectory (e.g. ‘left to right’, ‘downwards’) together in one gesture, and Turkish speakers will show these features as two separate gestures. This reflects the fact that English ‘roll down’ is one verbal clause, while in Turkish the equivalent would be yuvarlanarak iniyor, which translates as two verbs ‘rolling descending’.

Since we know that blind people do gesture, Özçalışkan’s team wanted to figure out if they gestured like other speakers of their language. Did the blind Turkish speakers separate the manner and trajectory of their gestures like their verbs? Did English speakers combine them? Of course, the standard methodology of showing videos wouldn’t work with blind participants, so the researchers built three dimensional models of events for people to feel before they discussed them.

The results showed that blind Turkish speakers gesture like their sighted counterparts, and the same for English speakers. All Turkish speakers gestured significantly differently from all English speakers, regardless of sightedness. This means that these particular gestural patterns are something that’s deeply linked to the grammatical properties of a language, and not something that we learn from looking at other speakers.

References

Jana M. Iverson & Susan Goldin-Meadow. 1998. Why people gesture when they speak. Nature, 396(6708), 228-228.

Şeyda Özçalışkan, Ché Lucero and Susan Goldin-Meadow. 2016. Is Seeing Gesture Necessary to Gesture Like a Native Speaker? Psychological Science 27(5) 737–747.

Asli Ozyurek & Sotaro Kita. 1999. Expressing manner and path in English and Turkish: Differences in speech, gesture, and conceptualization. In Twenty-first Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 507-512). Erlbaum.

Incredible! I have nothing to add because I had no idea, but may I just say **WOW**!!!

this is crazy interesting to me. brainz are weird.

I think what this shows, esp when you pull in the fact that signers gesture in meaningful, non-grammatically coded ways - much like speakers do - is that gesture is a fundamental part of language.

It’s only because linguists started off using written data / data we could write down in a notebook, and went from there to audio tapes, it just got left out of the study of the field. (Note that intonation also p much got left out of the field even though it has meaningful coded patterns that vary between languages. Because there wasn’t technology for recording it or easily coded ways to write it down.) It’s not a coincidence that gesture studies took off as video became an easier medium to work with.
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wolveswolves:

We usually see “elephants”—or “wolves” or “killer whales” or “chimps” or “ravens” and so on—as interchangeable representatives of their kind. But the instant we focus on individuals, we see an elephant named Echo with exceptional leadership qualities; we see wolf 755 struggling to survive the death of his mate and exile from his family; we see a lost and lonely killer whale named Luna who is humorous and stunningly gentle. We see individuality. It’s a fact of life. And it runs deep. Very deep.

Individuality is the frontier of understanding non-human animals. But for decades, the idea was forbidden territory. Scientists who stepped out of bounds faced withering scorn from colleagues. Jane Goodall experienced just that. After her first studies of chimpanzees, she enrolled as a doctoral student at Cambridge. There, as she later recalled in National Geographic, “It was a bit shocking to be told I’d done everything wrong. Everything. I shouldn’t have given them names. I couldn’t talk about their personalities, their minds or their feelings.” The orthodoxy was: those qualities are unique to humans.

But these decades later we are realizing that Goodall was right; humans are not unique in having personalities, minds and feelings. And if she’d given the chimpanzees numbers instead of names?—their individual personalities would still have shined.

“If ever there was a perfect wolf,” says Yellowstone biologist Rick McIntyre, “It was Twenty-one. He was like a fictional character. But real.” McIntyre has watched free-living wolves for more hours than anyone, ever.

Even from a distance Twenty-one’s big-shouldered profile was recognizable. Utterly fearless in defense of his family, Twenty-one had the size, strength, and agility to win against overwhelming odds. “On two occasions, I saw Twenty-one take on six attacking wolves—and rout them all,” Rick says. “Watching him felt like seeing something that looked supernatural. Like watching a Bruce Lee movie. I’d be thinking, ‘A wolf can’t do what I am watching this wolf do.’” Watching Twenty-one, Rick elaborates, “was like watching Muhammad Ali or Michael Jordan—a one-of-a-kind talent outside of ‘normal.’”

Twenty-one was a superwolf. Uniquely, he never lost a fight and he never killed any defeated opponent. And yet Twenty-one was “remarkably gentle” with the members of his pack. Immediately after making a kill he would often walk away and nap, allowing family members who’d had nothing to do with the hunt eat their fill.

One of Twenty-one’s favorite things was to wrestle little pups. “And what he really loved to do,” Rick adds, “was pretend to lose. He just got a huge kick out of it.” Here was this great big male wolf. And he’d let some little wolf jump on him and bite his fur. “He’d just fall on his back with his paws in the air,” Rick half-mimes. “And the triumphant-looking little one would be standing over him with his tail wagging.

“The ability to pretend,” Rick adds, “shows that you understand how your actions are perceived by others. I’m sure the pups knew what was going on, but it was a way for them to learn how it feels to conquer something much bigger than you. And that kind of confidence is what wolves need every day of their hunting lives.”

In Twenty-one’s life, there was a particular male, a sort of roving Casanova, a continual annoyance. He was strikingly good-looking, had a big personality, and was always doing something interesting. “The best single word is ‘charisma,’” says Rick. “Female wolves were happy to mate with him. People absolutely loved him. Women would take one look at him—they didn’t want you to say anything bad about him. His irresponsibility and infidelity; it didn’t matter.”

One day, Twenty-one discovered this Casanova among his daughters. Twenty-one ran in, caught him, biting and pinning him to the ground. Other pack members piled in, beating Casanova up. “Casanova was also big,” Rick says, “but he was a bad fighter.” Now he was totally overwhelmed; the pack was finally killing him.

“Suddenly Twenty-one steps back. Everything stops. The pack members are looking at Twenty-one as if saying, ‘Why has Dad stopped?’” The Casanova wolf jumped up and—as always—ran away.

After Twenty-one’s death, Casanova briefly became the Druid pack’s alpha male. But, Rick recalled: “He doesn’t know what to do, just not a leader personality.” And although it’s very rare, his year-younger brother deposed him. “His brother had a much more natural alpha personality.” Casanova didn’t mind; it meant he was free to wander and meet other females. Eventually Casanova and several young Druid males met some females and they all formed the Blacktail pack. “With them,” Rick remembers, “he finally became the model of a responsible alpha male and a great father.”

The personality of a wolf ‘matriarch’ also helps shape the whole pack. Wolf Seven was the dominant female in her pack. But you could watch Seven for days and say, ‘I think she’s in charge,’ because she led subtly, by example. Wolf Forty, totally different; she led with an iron fist. Exceptionally aggressive, Forty had done something unheard of: actually deposed her own mother.

For three years, Forty ruled the Druid pack tyrannically. A pack member who stared a moment too long would find herself slammed to the ground, Forty’s bared canines poised above her neck. Yellowstone research director Doug Smith recalls, “Throughout her life she was fiercely committed to always having the upper hand, far more so than any other wolf we’ve observed.”
Forty heaped her worst abuse on her same-age sister. Because this sister lived under Forty’s brutal oppression, she earned the name Cinderella.

One year Cinderella split from the main pack and dug a den to give birth. Shortly after she finished the den, her sister arrived and delivered one of her infamous beatings. Cinderella just took it, as always. No one ever saw any pups at that den.

The next year, Cinderella, Forty, and a low-ranking sister all gave birth in dens dug several miles apart. New wolf mothers nurse and guard constantly; they rely on pack members for food. That year, few pack members visited the bad-tempered alpha. Cinderella, though, found herself well assisted at her den by several sisters.

Six weeks after giving birth, Cinderella and several attending pack members headed out, away from her den—and stumbled into the queen herself. Forty immediately attacked Cinderella with was, even for her, exceptional ferocity. She then turned her fury onto another of her sisters who’d been accompanying Cinderella, giving her a beating too. Then as dusk settled in, Forty headed toward Cinderella’s den. Only the wolves saw what happened next, but Doug Smith and Rick McIntyre pieced together what went down.

Unlike the previous year, this time Cinderella wasn’t about to remain passive or let her sister reach her den and her six-week-old pups. Near the den a fight erupted. There were at least four wolves, and Forty had earned no allies among them.

At dawn, Forty was down by the road covered in blood, and her wounds included a neck bite so bad that her spine was visible. Her long-suffering sisters had, in effect, cut her throat. She died. It was the only time researchers have ever known a pack to kill its own alpha. Forty was an extraordinarily abusive individual. The sisters’ decision, outside the box of wolf norms, was: mutiny. Remarkable.

But Cinderella was just getting started. She adopted her dead sister’s entire brood. And she also welcomed her low-ranking sister and her pups. And so that was the summer that the Druid Peak pack raised an unheard-of twenty-one wolf pups together in a single den.

Out from under Forty’s brutal reign, Cinderella developed into the pack’s finest hunter. She later went on to become the benevolent matriarch of the Geode Creek pack. Goes to show: a wolf, as many a human, may have talents and abilities that wither or flower depending on which way their luck breaks.

“Cinderella was the finest kind of alpha female,” Rick McIntyre says. “Cooperative, returning favors by sharing with the other adult females, inviting her sister to bring her pups together with her own while also raising her vanquished sister’s pups—. She set a policy of acceptance and cohesion.” She was, Rick says, “perfect for helping everyone get along really well.”

(This piece is adapted from Carl Safina’s most recent book, Beyond Words; What Animals Think and Feel, which will is newly out in paperback)
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wildehacked:

fromtokyotokyoto:

gotou-kiichi:

marchionessofmustache:

kzinssie:

the thing you need to realize about localization is that japanese and english are such vastly different languages that a straight translation is always going to be worse than the original script. nuance is going to be lost and, if you give a shit about your job, you should fill the gaps left with equivalent nuance in english. take ff6, my personal favorite localization of all time: in the original japanese cefca was memorable primarily for his manic, childish speaking style - but since english speaking styles arent nearly as expressive, woolsey adapted that by making the localized english kefka much more prone to making outright jokes. cefca/kefka is beloved in both regions as a result - hell, hes even more popular here

yes this

a literal translation is an inaccurate translation.

localization’s job is to create a meaningful experience for a different audience which has a different language and different culture. they translate ideas and concepts, not words and sentences. often this means choosing new ideas that will be more meaningful and contribute to the experience more for a different audience.

There was an example during late Tokugawa period in Japan where the translator translated, "Я люблю Вас” (I love you), to “I could die for you,” while translating  Ася, ( Asya) a novel by Ivan Turgenev. This was because a woman saying, “I love you,” to a man was considered a very hard thing to do in Japanese society.

In a more well-known example,  Natsume Soseki, a great writer who wrote, I am a Cat, had his students translate “I love you,” to “the moon is beautiful [because of] having you beside tonight,” because Japanese men would not say such strong emotions right away. He said that it would be weird and Japanese men would have more elegance.

Both of these are great examples of localization that wasn’t a straight up translation and both of these are valid. I feel like a lot of people forget the nuances in language and culture and how damn hard a translator’s job is and how knowledgeable the person has to be about both cultures. [x]

Important stuff about translation!

Note that you can apply this to your own translations even if they aren’t big pieces of literature or something. Don’t feel bad about not translating word for word. An everyday sentence may sound odd translated literally - it’s okay to edit a little bit so it feels right!

Oh my god, I’m about to go on a ramble, I’m sorry, I can’t help it, the inner translation nerd is coming out. I’m so sorry. The thing is–there is actually no such thing as an accurate translation.
 It’s literally an impossible endeavor. Word for word doesn’t cut it. Sense for sense doesn’t cut it, because then you’re potentially missing cool stuff like context and nuance and rhyme and humor. Even localization doesn’t really cut it, because that means you’re prioritizing the audience over the author, and you’re missing out on the original context, and the possibility of bringing something new and exciting to your host language. Foreignization, which aims to replicate the rhythms of the original language, or to use terminology that will be unfamiliar to the target culture–(for example: the first few American-published Harry Potter books domesticated the English, and traded “trousers” for “pants”, and “Mom” for “Mum”. Later on they stopped, and let the American children view such foreignizing words as “snog” and “porridge.”)–also doesn’t cut it, because you risk alienating the target readers, or obscuring meaning. 
Another cool example is Dante, and the words written above the gates of hell: Abandon hope, all ye who enter here. 
In the original Italian, that’s Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate. Speranza, like most nouns in latinate languages, has a gender: la. Hope, in Italian, is gendered female. Abandon hope, who is female. Abandon hope, who is a woman. When the original Dante enters hell, searching for Beatrice, he is doomed, subtly, from the start. That’s beautiful, subtle, the kind of delicate poetic move literature nerds gorge themselves on, and you can’t keep it in English. Literally, how do you preserve it? We don’t have a gendered hope. It doesn’t work, can’t work. So how do you compensate? Can you sneak in a reference to Beatrice in a different line? Or do you chalk her up as a loss and move onto the next problem?
You’re always going to miss something–the cool part is that, knowing you’re going to fail, you get to decide how to fail. Ortega y Gasset called this The Misery and Splendor of Translation. Basically, translation is impossible–so why not make it a beautiful failure? 
My point is that literary translation is creative writing, full of as many creative decisions as any original poem or short story. It has more limitations, rules, and structures to consider, for sure–but sometimes the best artistic decision is going to be the one that breaks the rules. 
My favorite breakdown of this is Le Ton Beau De Marot, a beautiful brick of a translator’s joke, in which the author tries over and over again to create a “perfect” translation of “A une Damoyselle Malade”, an itsy bitsy poem Clement Marot dashed off to his patron’s daughter, who was sick, in 1537. 
This is the poem: 
Ma mignonne,
Je vous donne
Le bon jour;
Le séjour
C’est prison.
Guérison
Recouvrez,
Puis ouvrez
Votre porte
Et qu’on sorte
Vitement,
Car Clément
Le vous mande.
Va, friande
De ta bouche,
Qui se couche
En danger
Pour manger
Confitures;
Si tu dures
Trop malade,
Couleur fade
Tu prendras,
Et perdras
L’embonpoint.
Dieu te doint
Santé bonne,
Ma mignonne.
Seems simple enough, right? But it’s got a huge host of challenges: the rhyme, the tone, the archaic language (if you’re translating something old, do you want it to sound old in the target language, too? or are you translating not just across language, but across time?) 
Le Ton Beau De Marot is a monster of a book that compiles all of Hofstader’s “failed” translations of Ma Mignonne, as well as the “failed” translations of his friends, and his students, and hundreds of strangers who were given the translation challenge (which you can play here, should you like!) 
The end result is a hilarious archive of Sweet Damosels, Malingering Ladies, Chickadees, Fairest Friends, and Cutie Pies. It’s the clearest, funniest, best example of what I think is true of all literary translations: that they’re a thing you make up, not a thing you discover. There is no magic bridge between languages, or magic window, or magic vessel to pour the poem from one language to another–translation is always subjective, it’s always individual, it’s always inaccurate, it’s always a failure. 
It’s always, in other words, art. 
Which, as a translator, I find incredibly reassuring! You’re definitely, one hundred percent absolutely, gonna fuck up. Which means you can’t fuck up. You can take risks! You can experiment! You can do cool stuff like bilingual translations, or footnote translations! You write your own code of honor, your own rules that your translations will hold inviolable, and fuck it if that code doesn’t match everyone else’s*. The translations they hold inviolable are also flawed, are failures at the core, from the King James Bible right on down to No Fear Shakespeare. So have fun! It’s all in your hands, miseries and splendors both. 

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strix alba

February 2017

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