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David Bellos’s book on translation

Seeing as linguistics is on the agenda, I thought I’d mention this excellent book I just finished, “Is That a Fish in Your Ear,” by David Bellos. Bellos is a translator and scholar of French literature, and in his book he covers all sorts of topics. Nothing deep, but, as a non-expert on the topic, I learned a lot. Over the years I’ve read a few things on translation, and this was my favorite.


  1. This looks great. I look forward to reading it. Thank you for mentioning it here.

  2. Keith O'Rourke says:

    I remember liking “Sky my husband!” and now there is a board game –

    (When I met my wife she was in the French-English translation business and we often socialized with the translators. That was always very pleasant except the time she had to lay off roughly 20 the afternoon before the party.)

  3. Brian Reilly says:

    +1 It’s a terrific book. My students always love how it covers not just language but other aspects of translation, like which languages get translated into which other languages and why, etc. Short, digestible chapters — yet the book is not short (~300 pgs), so you get a lot!

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