Say What?


on audiovisual and literary translation, subtitling, and the French & American film industries

Personal sidebar: ‘Midnight in Paris’

Anyone who’s followed Woody Allen’s trajectory inevitably bemoans he don’t make ’em like he used to.  Perhaps so much the better!

His new film which makes allusions to both his earlier films (Marshall McLuhan in Annie Hall) and other contemporary ones (Inception), is a wonderful testament to both Paris and France, as well as the power and allure of history.  The ideas of being out of time, from a different one, and an expert (or not) are all batted around with comic tenderness.

While I wasn’t crazy about the ending, the film reminded me that repetition for its own sake isn’t a particularly creative endeavor.  But doing what one loves versus the “same-old-same old” is key, whether it’s in Malibu or Paris.

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Five minutes at the Museum of Language

I recently had the pleasure of a personal, guided tour of this embrionic attraction located on the outskirts of the Nation’s Capital.

Starting inside their offices, there is a fascinating look at how Noah Webster, for all intents the father of American dictionaries, came up with his original spellings, most of which were contrary to our monarchist progenitors, but ironically not all of which were in fact adopted by his compatriots (see his proposed spelling of “women” above)!

Inside the actual exhibit area, there are large interactive displays covering primary “Alphabetic Writing Systems”, i.e. Greek, Roman, , Hebrew, etc., along with Japanese and Chinese.  Their stated goal is quite daunting, and something that audiovisual translators like me confront with each new project:  making the literary visual.

Language enthusiasts and museum lovers alike would all do well by checking out their website, and getting involved in whatever way so that their scholarship and curatorial endeavors become part of our national heritage in Washington!

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