Friday, December 14, 2012

Review: Found in Translation by Nataly Kelly and Jost Zetzsche

Title: Found in Translation
Author: Nataly Kelly and Jost Zetzsche
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Perigree Trade
Publish Date: October 2, 2012
Format: I received a copy from the PR; however, this did not affect my review.

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You have a love for language.
What's the Story?:

From "Translation. It’s everywhere we look, but seldom seen—until now. Found in Translation reveals the surprising and complex ways that translation shapes the world. Covering everything from holy books to hurricane warnings and poetry to peace treaties, Nataly Kelly and Jost Zetzsche offer language lovers and pop culture fans alike an insider’s view of the ways in which translation spreads culture, fuels the global economy, prevents wars, and stops the outbreak of disease. Examples include how translation plays a key role at Google, Facebook, NASA, the United Nations, the Olympics, and more."

My Two Cents:

To me, translation is absolutely fascinating. You take one idea in one language and turn it into something that someone else with a different language, a different culture, and perhaps a different life experience can fully understand and digest. In a way, it is sort of a real-life magic trick, which is a very cool way to think about it.

"Found in Translation" is really a book about the importance of translation in a place where we don't all share the same language, culture, or experiences. Translation is how we understand each other. The book is full of real life examples and anecdotes of why translation itself as well as the way one translates is so important. Some of the examples are sort of funny and some even made me actually laugh out loud.

This book thoroughly covers why translation is important but it does not really go further than that, which makes the book a little basic but still very enjoyable. I thought the book was fairly well written but I felt like the author could have done a little more to explain some of the foreign language in the book (for example, it's not easy for an English speaker with little knowledge of the Cyrillic alphabet to look at a Russian word and really "get" what it is saying. All I can say is that I am happy that I know how to at least sound out words written in Russian).

Bottom line: This a good book for anyone who enjoys the art of language.



  1. This book sounds fascinating, it is a very interesting subject!

  2. Language and translation is very interesting. In particular, I love foreign words with no English translation, like schadenfreude. (One of my favorite new-to-me words of the year!)


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