Two interesting posts about language(s) today, first from blogger Lameen Souag, who is studying translation at SOAS, and keeps the blog Jabal al-Lughat blog, where a fascinating discussion is flowing about "French among Algeria's elite" and the place of Arabic and Berber in Algerian culture, politics and literature. It's an informed debate around a complex issue, showing how language is tied up with all sorts of identities: national, ethnic, classed, generational, and political.
The Washington Times, on the other hand, boobs in its review of Rafik Schami's The Dark Side of Love, claiming that Anthea Bell translated the book "from the Syrian." The Literary Review and Three Percent are all over this mistaken claim, with Chad Post pointing out that - among other things - Bell is probably one of the best-known translators from German: the language in which the book was first published in 2004. Schami's novel does cover an epic sweep of Syrian history, but he moved to Germany in 1971.
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