two talks at Heriot Watt

for the
Centre for Translation and Interpreting Studies in Scotland, Heriot Watt University & the
Translation Studies Graduate Programme, University of Edinburgh
Fishing for Culture and Missing Language:
Interpretation and Organizational Creativity

Culture(s) and discourse(s) are among the most unmanageable elements of international business. “You can’t model panic.” Patterns of cultural interaction and, especially, the range of interpretations of these … Read more...

transdisciplinary micro-macrology

The Fulbright Commission celebrated sixty years in Belgium and Luxembourg with a prestigious academic panel at the Palais de Academie in Bruxelles. I got to tag along with the more recent Schumann-Fulbright program that sponsors study of European Union institutions.
Professor Francis Balace complemented the education I gleaned a few days earlier at the Atomium’s fiftieth anniversary exhibition by describing … Read more...


I cannot disclose the location, nor can I say under what auspices I came to be here (with a small group having lunch with the CEO of an important multinational corporation). I can say the meal was delectable all the way through, from aperitif to braised scallops to the main dish and dessert.
main dish.jpg
The conversation was lively, from a comparison …


Yesterday will be remembered fondly by many. I received the wonderful news from Maria Claudia:

8:24 AM maria: alf was released

Today there are photos on Facebook. Joy in the morning! I would say Alf does not appear any worse for the wear, but no doubt changes have been etched into his character after nearly five months in captivity. Although … Read more...

juxtaposition: riding walls

Within minutes of each other I watched and listened to Steve’s rousing (northern) seasonal greeting from (as he says) “a happier time, before Vietnam, the Civil Rights, and all the “horrors” of our “modern” world,” and Tamer’s reminder of other realities: snapshot of a modern horror.
Meanwhile, the economic news is better in Bethelem this year, tourism has increased … Read more...


Spark posted a great summary of a book I think I’d like to read. It critiques the role/rule of experts, a phenomena which caught my attention when a history professor whose class I interpreted frequently mentioned the rise of experts with disdain.
I tried to post a comment but my Korean is insufficient for decoding the directions:
“Great summary! I’m …


Uttered in at least five languages (Arabic, Spanish, English, Japanese Sign Language, and Japanese), this film plays with the stereotype that different languages are a problem. As we follow the stories of four families, one realizes the source of confusion is not “in” the language; rather, it is the challenge of interpreting language in the context of a given … Read more...

voices and home

“A voice belongs first to a body, then to a language” (52).

Negar told me about an Iranian saying, that learning another language adds a new person to your self. Yes, new capacities, new zones of expression and perception, yet what Berger says is also true, the voice—in its emotion-inducing physicality [my qualification]—remains the same. This use of the word … Read more...