Word for Word #13 Translations & foreign words

Sep 26, 2017
Every language plays by its own rules. So how do you faithfully represent the stories of one language in another? Novelist Hannah Kent remembers how it felt to see her bestselling book Burial Rites translated into 29 languages; literary translator Meredith McKinney inducts us in the secrets of her profession; and Sue Butler explains the allure of untranslatable words.
Join us as we explore our language: the ways we use it, the ways we abuse it, and the ways we ultimately change it.
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Favourite words

Family, lovely, arvo, confidence, encourage, graduation day

Additional links

Read more on the topics and people featured in this week's episode:

The Pillow Talk

Meredith McKinney's website

Hannah Kent's website


On the Macquarie Dictionary blog:

Reshaping borrowed words in English



Word for Word is produced by Kate Sherington for Macquarie Dictionary and Pan Macmillan Australia. 

Many thanks to Meredith McKinney. Read more about Meredith's work at meredithmckinney.com

Also, huge thanks to Hannah Kent, whose novels Burial Rites and The Good People (Pan Macmillan Australia) are available where all good books are sold. 

Haiku by Alan Watts, courtesy of alanwatts.org.

All sound effects and clips are public domain, royalty-free, or used by permission, with the exception of Thunder and Rain from Digital Fish via Freesound; Icelandic Surf from Scott Sherk via the Free Music Archive; and Myvatn viewed from Hverfell caldera, and October from The Gateless Gate via the Free Music Archive.

Music used in this episode is by Broke For Free, available from the Free Music Archive and used by permission of the artist. Find more music by Broke for Free including The Gold Lining; and If.

Our logo is by Amy Sherington.

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