CLOSING SOON: Paris Refashioned, 1957-1968 at the FIT Museum

April 15 is the last day to see the standout show “Paris Refashioned, 1957-1968” curated by Colleen Hill at the Museum at FIT (closed Sundays and Mondays; admission is free). It’s a fascinating look at how the birth of ready-to-wear in France changed the fashion industry in ways that are still being felt today. As the market for …

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6 Things I Learned at the Albertine Prize Launch Party

It was wonderful to celebrate the launch of the Albertine Prize last night, a new readers’ prize for French fiction published in English translation in 2016, and to discover the shortlist of 10 books. The event was rescheduled from March 14 due to the blizzard, and although there were still mountains of snow in the streets, …

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How Are Translators Like Illustrators?

The eight-episode Netflix documentary Abstract: The Art of Design launched on February 10, and the first episode profiles illustrator Christoph Niemann. The work of illustrators makes for better visuals than that of translators, no doubt, and, true to its subject, the show has captivating images and uses special effects and animated drawings to bring Niemann’s creative process …

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Met Museum Makes Trove of Images Available to Public

Thomas P. Campbell, director of the Met, announced yesterday that the museum will make images of public-domain artworks in its collection available for free and unrestricted use. This is a real boon to bloggers, journalists, artists, and Internet users in general. Called Open Access, this policy uses the Creative Commons Zero designation and makes over 375,000 …

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New Publication: Ethics and Cultural Heritage

I recently discovered on Nicholas O’Donnell’s Art Law Report blog that a new collection of essays has just been published by L’Harmattan in Paris on “Perspectives on Ethics and Cultural Heritage” (Ethique et Patrimoine Culturel: Regards Croisés). These are the proceedings of a conference held on October 20 and 21, 2015, at L’Ecole du Louvre …

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Thinking “Around” the Concept

I recently read a great blog post by Avi Kallenbach of Academic Language Experts on the greatest challenge facing translators. That challenge, as he sees it, is avoiding literalism. While the meaning of the source text should be expressed as accurately as possible, linguistic features such as vocabulary and sentence structure should sound absolutely natural in the …

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Taking It Literally

Keds is a classic brand known worldwide. It’s been around for exactly one hundred years, having been founded in 1916, and its original shoe design was the first mass-marketed canvas-top sneaker (see photo above). But their slogans in French could use a little work. Keds shoe boxes have these English-language phrases with corresponding French translations: Take on the …

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Word Choice 2: Thanksgiving Edition

With Thanksgiving coming up, I’ve been thinking about a confusing situation: the difference between yams and sweet potatoes. At the grocery store recently, I saw root vegetables with orange flesh and brown skin (which I’ve always known as sweet potatoes) identified as yams. Next to them, similar root vegetables with purple skin and white flesh were called …

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