Aaaaaand — we’re back, with the most interesting news stories from the world of translation. Here’s what’s been going on:

Google Translate turns 10 years old

Does this make you feel old? The search giant’s translation platform has been around for ten years, boasting 500 million users and translating 100 billion words a day. During the last decade, the service has grown from support for two language to 103, and it can now translate text in photographs, facilitate live conversations, and supports offline translation.

The service has the most heavy users in Brazil, and the most common translations are between English and Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Portuguese and Indonesian.



Translation from the High Valyrian for Game of Thrones fans


One language Google Translate doesn’t yet support is High Valyrian from HBO’s hit TV series Game of Thrones, based on George R. R. Martin‘s series of novels, A Song of Ice and Fire. Luckily for fans of the show, the Internet has taken it upon itself to provide its own English translation of important passages from the show, such as the Red Priestress Melisandre’s prayer on the most recent episode, in which — well, if you haven’t seen it yet, we won’t spoil it…

After one intrepid Reddit user had attempted his own translation, the creator of the language, David J. Peterson, offered his official version. If you’re studying Valyerian, here is the translation of Melisandre’s prayer:

Zȳhys ōñoso jehikagon Āeksiot epi, se gīs hen sȳndrorro jemagon.
“We ask the Lord to shine his light, and lead a soul out of darkness.”

Zȳhys perzys stepagon Āeksio Ōño jorepi, se morghūltas lȳs qēlītsos sikagon.
“We beg the Lord to share his fire, and light a candle that has gone out.”

Hen sȳndrorro, ōños. Hen ñuqīr, perzys. Hen morghot, glaeson.
“From darkness, light. From ashes, fire. From death, life.”

Translations from Spanish and Portuguese Win Best Translated Book Awards

Yuri Herrera’s novel Signs Preceding the End of the World, about a young woman crossing the Mexican border into the US, and Angélica Freitas’s collection of poems Rilke Shake have won the ninth annual Best Translated Book Awards last Wednesday in New York.

The four winning authors and translators will receive $5,000 cash prizes thanks to funding from the Amazon Literary Partnership program. Lisa Dillman translated Herrera’s book from Spanish into English and Hilary Kaplan translated Freitas’s from Portuguese into English.

See the University of Rochester’s Three Percent blog and The Guardian for more.


Translation News Roundup, May 6
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