HAPPY, HEALTHY, PROSPEROUS
AND PROLIFIC NEW YEAR!
Since I'm writing this during the night of December 31 to January 1, you can regard it as either the last post of 2013 or the first of 2014. But in either case, it has particular significance for me, because, by pure coincidence, it's the 300th post to this blog. Not that I've counted them; Blogspot does that for me. I'm surprised myself that I've made it this far. Anyway, it's a moment to draw a line and think about how to continue.
In the past year, Old Age has caught up with me with a thud. Physically more than mentally, so that few of you are aware of it. No complaint; at 84 I've had, as they say, 'a good run for my money.' But I need to slow down. I've noticed other blogs disappearing or remaining in a state of suspended animation, still displaying last year's news on fossilised pages. There must be as much blog debris whirling around us as there is space debris. The cause of it is usually blogger fatigue. So please be patient if I blog less often.
Yet I can't put Unprofessional Translation to sleep. Not yet. Its missionary purpose is still unfulfilled. True, some things have taken a turn for the better since the days when I started it. In 2009, the child language brokering field was already well studied in the United States. Since then, in academic circles, the advent of the conferences on Non-Professional Interpreting and Translation has made at least a dent in the age-old assumption that only Expert Translation is worth discussion. For the general public, Found in Translation, published in 2013, has made a notable contribution to awareness of the scope of translation both in time and in place. What continues to be most lacking is interest in the fundamental human ability or abilities that make the mental operations of translating possible. What it is – to paraphrase a well-known linguist – that enables little children to translate so much with so little example or instruction. In 2013 it was just a century since the French linguist Jules Ronjat first noticed it and published his observations of his bilingual son.
The other publication of 2013 that most impressed me as a researcher, though it's not directly about translating, was an interview with the father of the Higgs boson, Peter Higgs. Very anti-establishment. You can find it here.
Hope you'll stay with me.