Language Imperialism

The translator of a certain bestselling science-fiction novel once said that he did not aim to normalize his work into English, that he wanted his translation to read a little weird, that he felt he was contributing to the English language by introducing Chinese translationese. This translator,  an award-winning writer in his own right, is Chinese-American. An important point. He grew up in America, lives in … Continue reading Language Imperialism

SFF Sonnet

A vastness of mind is set to heart Of narratives placed in distant stars The space of space, a door ajar A noun a portal into art.  Giants teased from micro parts Dinosaurs bloom from drops of tar A species in a single scar A universe’s end writ in its start. The alpha and omega in a line Each line decides the ending yet to … Continue reading SFF Sonnet

The Perfect Bilingual Problem

*This problem isn’t exclusive to perfect bilinguals, but I’ve found that perfect bilinguals are the most susceptible to it. The Perfect Bilingual Problem is when a translator is so thoroughly aware of each nuance of the source text, and is so adept in the target language that they end up carrying over every semantic unit of the source into their translation. Which may sound like … Continue reading The Perfect Bilingual Problem

The Face of Love

“He’s unfathomable.” “Of course he is.” He made as if to light a cigarette, remembered the new anti-smoking law, and tossed his lighter back on the café table. “He’s another human being, of course he’s unfathomable.” “Is this what being in a relationship is like?” “What is it like, then?” “It’s like we’re both planets and we’re merging. Merging oceans. Slowly, not colliding into each … Continue reading The Face of Love

Notes for Young Writers

*I once briefly tutored a thirteen year-old in creative writing. This is what I learned. 1. Learning how to finish a draft is an important skill in itself. 1.2 This skill mostly involves finding and developing a story by “writing out” of the first scenes or impressions you have of your narrative. 1.2.1 This takes a lot of deliberate, vigorously logical thinking. 1.2.1.1 Many people … Continue reading Notes for Young Writers