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Articles tagged "Education"

WWB Campus: Call for Educators

Are you a teacher of English, world literature, global history, or a related subject? Do you enjoy the literature published in Words without Borders and want to use it in your classroom? Sign up to be part of a new round of pilots for Words Without Borders Campus, WWB's online education initiative. Words Without Borders Campus presents exciting texts from WWB's monthly magazine, organized by country and by theme; alongside each piece of literature are multimedia contextual...

Rasha

Red welts had appeared on Rasha’s palm from Razzak Sir's caning, which meant she had to be very careful for the next few days to keep her grandmother from seeing them. Of course, her grandmother didn't take anything very seriously, so it’s possible she would not have asked about it even if it had caught her eye. Still, Rasha wasn't taking any chances. If her grandmother asked, Rasha would have to disclose everything, which she simply did not want to do. All her...

The Advanced Language Class as Translation Workshop

A wonderful, and perhaps underappreciated, way to bring international literature into the classroom is through transforming advanced language classes into translation workshops. While language classes might seem an obvious home for news from afar, some people associate translation in language classes with a very old-fashioned approach—images conjured of Latin and Greek learned by musty old rote. But the workshop approach has many advantages, including facilitating a deep study of a...

Words without Borders announces Eduardo Halfon’s upcoming visit to the June Jordan School for Equity

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact Information Contact: Joshua Mandelbaum, Executive Director Organization Name: Words without Borders E-mail Address: [email protected] Web site Address: www.wordswithoutborders.org Words without Borders announces Eduardo Halfon’s upcoming visit to the June Jordan School for Equity New York City, New York, February 7, 2012—Words without Borders (WWB) is pleased to announce a school visit and a public reading by Guatemalan...

Words without Borders announces Bei Dao’s upcoming visit to the Northside College Prep High School

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact Information Contact: Joshua Mandelbaum, Executive Director Organization Name: Words without Borders Telephone Number:  E-mail Address: [email protected] Web site Address: www.wordswithoutborders.org Words without Borders announces Bei Dao’s upcoming visit to the Northside College Prep High School New York City, New York, February 7, 2012—Words without Borders (WWB) is pleased to announce a school visit and a public...

Declining Freedom

Translator’s Note:  In Wajdi al-Ahdal’s novel Donkey in the Choir, Tha’ira, the rebellious wife of a Yemeni politician, has neglected work on her master’s degree since her marriage to Ali Jibran.  Morning excursions through Sanaa provide her some relief from the boredom of her sequestered life. Meanwhile a serial killer has moved into the Hulqum neighborhood of Sanaa. Once the killing spree begins, the subsequent police investigation quickly identifies a...

from “Kumait”

He couldn’t help but see the school; from the time he had left the bus at the township’s station, he had never thought of going any other way. His feet felt at home on the township’s roads. So be it. Why should he take any other route? When he drew near the school, he paused opposite it, turning his back to the river. A giant willow tree rose from the center of the school’s courtyard. He really didn’t want any of the township’s residents to spot him,...

from “Ru”

I came into the world early in the Year of the Monkey, during the Tet Offensive, when long strings of fireworks hanging from the houses exploded in polyphony with the sound of machine guns. Saigon was my birthplace, and thousands of bits of old firecrackers covered the soil in red as if they were petals from a cherry tree, or the blood of two million soldiers, scattered through the towns and villages of a Vietnam torn in two. I was born in the shadows of skies embroidered with...

Translation and the Teaching of Literature

In my first post, I suggested that translators' efforts in the sphere of education might have a transformative effect on the understanding and appreciation of the work of translation. In my second, I focused on the domain of foreign language teaching as one place where such efforts might bear fruit. Several people commented and asked questions about these posts, and I promise to respond to their questions in a subsequent post. But first I would like to turn to another educational sphere...

Translation and Proficiency Language Teaching

In a previous post, I suggested that the covers of books make for rather poor soil in which to cultivate an appreciation for translated contemporary literature among the general English-reading public. Of course the essential work of translators should be recognized whenever possible, on covers and title pages, and in bios, prefaces, reviews, and interviews. But if highlighting the fact of a book's having been translated makes it less likely that readers will be interested in it, less...

Teaching in Translation

The general membership meeting of the American Literary Translators Association's annual conference in October of this year went smoothly until the final item of business. The members present were sharply divided over the newly imposed rule stipulating that only books with the translator's name printed on the cover should be eligible for the National Translation Award, which is administered by that organization. The rationale for the new rule is clear enough—publishers...

from “Seven Moral Failings”

Now was the time to ask for a recommendation from David. In fact, he had already intended to raise the subject at their morning meeting, but then that student had appeared, whose name, he discovered, he had forgotten again, and the whole matter had dissolved. He really had to find supplementary sources of income, now that he'd retired. He couldn't depend only on his pension. That was especially true in New York, where the cost of living had become intolerable. Fisher planned to...

The Man Who Killed the Writer

First things first: I didn't write the book everyone thinks I wrote, the one that has been showering me with fame and riches since its publication, just over one year go. Although many people might find that strange—while others might say, I knew it, he never fooled me—the work was entirely finished when I found it, scattered in scrawls all over the walls of an apartment just like my own: all I did was edit it. They Kill Writers, Don't They? was written by a fellow...

How I Went to School

My mother said to me: "You must go to school, or they will lock up your father." There were five of us children at home, four girls and one boy. The eldest was my sister, then me, one year behind her. But I was stronger than her. And naughtier. So my mother said: "You will be the one who goes to school, because at home you only make trouble." My sister was to stay at home with the little children. She carried them around on her back, washed their nappies, wiped their noses and their...

Egyptian Literature Today

As the largest Arabic-speaking country (at 70+ million inhabitants and counting), Egypt, with its teeming capital of Cairo, plays a disproportionately large role in the intellectual and cultural life of the Arab world. From the pan-Arab nationalism of the 1950s and 1960s to the Islamist movement of today, Egypt has always been at the forefront of new ideas in the region. But while Egypt is very much part of a greater Arabic-speaking literary and cultural milieu, Egyptians are also keenly...

Me and My Circumstance

Ortega y Gasset famously defined the individual by saying "Yo soy yo y mi circunstancia" (I am I and what's around me). Although I may have said that I sort of backed into translation without having thought about it or having set my sights on it, I do have within me certain ingredients, innate or circumstantial, that could be said to have tilted me in that direction. Many far-flung genes have come to rest in my being, given the fact that my grandparents were born in four different...

From The Belly of the Atlantic

Of course I remember him. Monsieur Ndétare, my former teacher, who was already getting old at the time. With a hatchet face, hands like pitchforks, and legs like stilts to bear him on his mission of public schoolteacher to the remotest corners of the land, places where the state is happy to be cast in a secondary role. Ndétare stood out from the other inhabitants of the island because of his silhouette, his manners, his citified look, his European attire, his academic French,...

Edward and the First Geography Lesson

I still remember him like it was yesterday: a small man, elegant in his own special way, entirely different from traditional men's elegance, such as is found in a suit and tie. He used to buy his clothes from secondhand shops-lenga, as we used to call them; he would choose them with care and a taste for beauty. In winter he would wrap a long red scarf around his neck, then, on days when the cold was harshest (in January for instance), he would wear a black leather jacket. I can...

Timid as a Mouse

1 There's an expression that describes me: timid as a mouse. That's what my teacher said, back when I was in primary school. It was one autumn, I remember, in Chinese class. Our teacher stood on the rostrum, wearing a dark blue cotton jacket over a clean white shirt. I was sitting in the middle of the front row, looking up at him. He held a textbook in his hand, and his fingers were coated with red, white, and yellow chalk dust. As he read the text aloud, his face and his hands and...
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