What does Fischergemeinden even mean?

From Dancing on Ropes: Translators and the Balance of History by Anna Aslanyan: The question of multilingual communication became especially poignant when Britain voted to leave Europe.  The 2018 Brexit white paper, published in twenty-two EU languages, was in parts translated spectacularly badly — or appeared ‘very mythical’, as one German-speaker politely put it.  AnotherContinue reading “What does Fischergemeinden even mean?”

Fighting words

Once accusations, justified or not, are made against someone’s language skills by someone who has none, respect is hard to regain. Anna Aslanyan, Dancing on Ropes: Translators & the Balance of History 

A strangeness in my mind

Epigraph from Orhan Pamuk’s Kafamda bir Tuhaflık / A Strangeness in my Mind: Vatandaşlarımızın şahsi görüşleri arasındaki farkın derinliği devletimizin gücünün kanıtdır. The gulf between the private and public views of our countrymen is evidence of the power of the state. Celâl Salik, Milliyet Illustrations by Orhan Pamuk

Attento allo scalino

Excerpted from Dancing on Ropes: Translators & the Balance of History by Anna Aslanyan: Umberto Eco asks what would happen if ‘Bonne journée’ at the end of a conversation was translated as ‘I hope you will have good and enjoyable experiences for the rest of the day’, or if the exclamation ‘Attento allo scalino’ was turned intoContinue reading “Attento allo scalino”


Rights are susceptible to subversion, as even granite is susceptible to erosion.  …In a cycle as old as tribalism, ignorance of the Other engenders fear; fear engenders hatred; hatred engenders violence; violence engenders further violence until the only “rights,” the only law, are whatever is willed by the most powerful. Nasıl granit bile erozyona karşıContinue reading “Subversion”

Unfortunately, it was paradise

We Journey Towards a Home by Mahmoud Darwish We journey towards a home not of our flesh. Its chestnut trees are not of our bones. Its rocks are not like goats in the mountain hymn. The pebbles’ eyes are not lilies. We journey towards a home that does not halo our heads with a specialContinue reading “Unfortunately, it was paradise”

Prospective Immigrants (Göçmen Adaylar)

Prospective Immigrants Please Note – Göçmen Adaylar, Lütfen Dikkat by Adrienne Rich Either you willgo through this dooror you will not go through. Bu kapıdanya geçeceksinizya da geçmeyeceksiniz. If you go throughthere is always the riskof remembering your name. Geçerseniz,her zaman adınızı hatırlamanıztehlikesi olduğunu unutmayın. Things look at you doublyand you must look backand letContinue reading “Prospective Immigrants (Göçmen Adaylar)”

Özgürlük bir rokettir, değil mi

Fourth of July by John Brehm Freedom is a rocket, isn’t it, Özgürlük bir rokettir, değil mi, burstingorgasmically overparkloads of hotdog devouringhuman beingsor into the citiesof our enemieswithout whom wewould surelykill ourselves though they areourselves andAmerica I see nowis the soldierwho said I sawsomethingburning on mychest and triedto brush it off withmy right handbut myContinue reading “Özgürlük bir rokettir, değil mi”

George Orwell’s moral support

Zihnimde George Orwell, bana moral aşılıyordu: “Evrensel yalanlar çağında gerçeği söylemek, devrimci bir eylemdir.” I drew on George Orwell’s moral support: “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” — Can Dündar, Tutuklandık / We Are Arrested