Say What?


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

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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