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Passages Nr. 52: The Power of Babel: On the Art of Translation

Passages Nr. 52

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For Fuminari Niimoto, work on the Japanese translation of various texts by Robert Walser is at once hellish and magnificent, while Eugène, the Swiss writer with roots in Romania, takes mischievous pleasure in recounting his career as a “bilingualist” in multilingual Switzerland. We owe our world literature “made in Switzerland” to translators. Passages offers a glimpse at the multifaceted transfer of linguistic culture as we report on the difficulties of translating children’s book illustrations and theatrical productions, explain the economic and political forces at work in the market for translations, and challenge our readers to try their hand at the trade: guess the figures of speech staged by photographic duo Adrian Sonderegger and Jojakim Cortis as this issue’s illustrations!