I Heart Demerits

Even in an academic context that gives lip service to diversity and interdisciplinarity, there is little to no reward—and perhaps even demerit—for learning a language one has not already “mastered” by age 22 in order to become a slightly more attuned citizen of the world. There is little to no reward for bringing under discussion, let alone translating, books hailing from cultures that are not already broadly thought to possess copious amounts of cultural capital. There is suspicion of work in translation, as if the very basis of Western culture had not come down to us at third (or fourth, etc.) hand. A slowly mutating shortlist of foreign authors that one ought to know circulates through polite conversation (sometimes without acknowledgment that they have been translated), but one can pass as culturally literate more fluidly if one doesn’t make interlocutors uncomfortable by invoking foreign authors with unpronounceable names. This provincialism is as much historical as it is cultural.

- Jennifer Scappettone in this Roundtable on Translation
This is so helpful:

[T]hree different criteria [...] can work to create race: lineage, appearance and cultural assimilation.

- Lisa Martín Alcoff
Mom, racially you're human, culturally you're black.

- Rachel Dolezal quoting her son on the Today Show

(And I don't mean to say I support this equation. I find the idea of her son saying this to her, or the idea of her saying on national television that her son told her this, to be so deeply strange, delusional, touchingly off.)
Some people are just "eager for the fray."


La canción del día empieza a los 48:24:

Si me quieres, dímelo, 
si te gusto, dímelo, 
y si me odias, también dímelo.

¡Quiéreme más, quiéreme más!
No tengo nada 
que decir
y lo estoy posteando 
en mi blog
en español.

Pasará desapercibido
como es mi gusto.

Reventadero, Veracruz, México

Quebec finds itself too exotic to be easily digested by the Canadian and U.S. market, but not exotic enough to compete with the appeal of something new from Indonesia or Iceland. To North American readers, especially, I think it’s at once too different and too familiar. 

 - Peter McCambridge in this article from the New Yorker on Quebecois lit
Yep, read the ones you haven't read.
LEP.gov promotes a positive and cooperative understanding of the importance of language access to federally conducted and federally assisted programs. This website supports fair, reasoned and consistent implementation of Executive Order 13166, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), and the Title VI regulations regarding language access. This site also acts as a clearinghouse, providing and linking to information, tools, and technical assistance regarding limited English proficiency and language services for federal agencies, recipients of federal funds, users of federal programs and federally assisted programs, and other stakeholders.

Hmmm.
Translators, as cultural and economic intermediaries, are often members of marginalized groups. Historically, they occupy fragile positions, on the fringes of power. When they are, in addition, members of colonial or neocolonial societies, their work is saturated with the knowledge which comes from daily exposure to the conflictual aspects of language exchange. They are attentive to the fact that cultural traffic does not circulate freely about the globe, that its flow is regulated by the existence and condition of trade routes, the availability of willing vehicles and the needs and pleasures which cultural commerce caters to. In that words, they know that the circulation of translations is not to be equated with the logic of the gift, but with the rules of commodity exchange.

- Sherry Simon, Changing the Terms
Est-ce un secret? Non, fait-elle, c'est intime. 

- Dany Laferrière, Tout bouge autor de moi
On ne parle que de politique, le pain quotidien de ceux qui préfèrent l'opinion a l'information.

- Dany Laferrière, Tout bouge autor de moi
Consejo del día: No te vayas de ese rinconcito que habitas. Lo que has podido juntar alrededor tuyo te está protegiendo, es una cuna donde te acurrucas solo o con la ayuda de tus seres queridos, te mecen cuando te enfermas. Fuera, todo es robo. Fuera, las calles pululan de rateros. Fuera, hay gente desconocida que te mira con enojo. Les falta paciencia, no te van a esperar. Te empujan a codazos. Molestas.
Los textos eran muy inteligentes y fríos.

- Eduardo Costa