Google Translate Is People

David Bellos already wrote this op-ed for The New York Times (admittedly, with less details), but, anyway, it bears repeating:

Google Translate could not work without a very large pre-existing corpus of translations. It is built upon the millions of hours of labour of human translators who produced the texts that GT scours.

This is as good as time as any to remind you all that Bellow, translator (and biographer) of Perec and many other incredibly challenging authors to translate, has a book on tranlsation forthcoming: Is That a Fish In Your Ear?



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Bellos turned to Bellow within a matter of paragraphs. Did you run his name through Google translate a couple of times?

THE SURRENDER

The Surrender is Scott Esposito’s “collection of facts” concerning his lifelong desire to be a woman.


LADY CHATTERLEY'S BROTHER

Two long essays of 10,000 words each on sex in—and out of—literature . . .

The first essay dives in to Nicholson Baker’s “sex trilogy,” explaining just what Baker is up to here and why these books ultimately fail to be as sexy as Baker might wish.

From there the book moves on to the second essay, which explains just why Spaniard Javier Marías does right what Baker does wrong . . .


THE LATIN AMERICAN MIXTAPE

5 essays. 2 interviews.

All in all, over 25,000 words of Latin American literary goodness.

3 never-before-published essays, including “The Digression”—a 4,000-word piece on the most important digression in César Aira’s career.

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