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Elena Patarini Slawinski

Question and Answer

  • What is your name?
    • Elena Patarini Slawinski
  • Where do you live?
    • Canada/Italy
  • What made you decide to become a translator or interpreter?
    • Love for language, desire for precision in transposition, freedom, love for literature, natural ability with languages
  • List one strength that you think sets you apart from your colleagues.
    • Wide culture
  • Name the one thing that you most enjoy in your translating or interpreting career.
    • Precision
  • We all have worked on those not-so-perfect assignments. Write about one such assignment that was not ideal and what you learned from it.
    • I always learn from all translations. Bad texts stimulates me even more, as I try not to betray them but at the same time attempt make the translation acceptable and interesting for the readers. It takes out the perfectionist in me
  • If you could go back in time to when you were just starting out as a translator or interpreter, what advice would you give to your younger self?
    • I am still quite at the beginning so I would really welcome advice from more "seasoned" translators
  • Name one resource – such as a phone app, CAT tool, website, and so forth – that you find especially helpful in your translating or interpreting work.
    • Online dictionaries
  • What's the best book you've read this year?
    • After Babel, G. Steiner



When it first appeared in 1975, After Babel created a sensation, quickly establishing itself as both a controversial and seminal study of literary theory. In the original edition, Steiner provided readers with the first systematic investigation since the eighteenth century of the phenomenology and processes of translation both inside and between languages. Taking issue with the principal emphasis of modern linguistics, he finds the root of the "Babel problem" in our deep instinct for privacy and territory, noting that every people has in its language a unique body of shared secrecy. With this provocative thesis he analyzes every aspect of translation from fundamental conditions of interpretation to the most intricate of linguistic constructions.
For the long-awaited second edition, Steiner entirely revised the text, added new and expanded notes, and wrote a new preface setting the work in the present context of hermeneutics, poetics, and translation studies. This new edition brings the bibliography up to the present with substantially updated references, including much Russian and Eastern European material. Like the towering figures of Derrida, Lacan, and Foucault, Steiner's work is central to current literary thought. After Babel, Third Edition is essential reading for anyone hoping to understand the debates raging in the academy today.

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