Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Reminder: commenting in About Translation

I've just deleted a comment that didn't even pretend to be about the post it purportedly commented: it was just a crappy ad for some crappy product or other.

Just to be clear: everyone is free to comment here. I won't delete comments because they contradict or even attack something I write. I don't mind strong language, and if you are not politically correct, fine with me. If your (cogent) comment contains a link to your web page, so be it: I have no problem with it.

However, if your comment is of the "Nice post! For a really excellent whatever check our website" variety, either try to articulate why your whatever should interest the readers of that specific post, or don't comment: your comment will be deleted as soon as I see it.

Also, if you are a translation company, you are very welcome to comment here, but if it looks like the sole purpose of your comment is to drive readers to your website, I will probably delete your comment (again, I won't delete your comment if it has something to say about the post to which it is attached).

On the other hand, sometimes comments are not displayed immediately. That might happen for two reasons: if the comment is to an older post, I need to approve it before it is displayed (the reason for this is that I found that most comment spam goes to older posts, not newer ones); the second reason is if Blogger's spam filter judges it as spam: the filter is not perfect, and sometimes it quarantines legitimate comments; in that case I will have to rescue the comment from the filter and approve it, before it is published.

Some news about this blog

On May 31st, while I was abroad, this blog reached a new nice round number: 250,000 page views served.


On the next day, the results of the annual Lexiophiles’ poll of best language blogs and sites came in: About Translation placed both among the Top 100 Language Lovers 2011 sites (in 93rd place) and among the Top 25 Language Professional Blogs (in 16th place).

Top 25 Language Professionals Blogs 2011 Top 100 Language Lovers 2011Make sure to check the other sites chosen by the poll: you are sure to find some new interesting language sites.

A big “thank you!” to all you readers – without you (and without you comments) this blog would long ago have dwindled to nothing, but knowing there are people interested in reading what I have to say gives me the energy to keep on writing here and trying new ways to improve the site.

Thank you!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Denver Public Library v. foreign language readers

We are just back in Denver, in time for a weekend that included the Denver Public Library’s annual book sale.We normally enjoy the book sale: a chance to contribute to the library and, at the same time, find some interesting books.

There was an unusual quantity of foreign language books this year, including many Italian ones. Unlike last year, when the Italian books available mostly came from a couple of private donors, this year all of the books came from the library’s own shelves.

I had a bad feeling about that: I thought the library had decided to reduce its Italian collection. I asked a librarian, but it was even worse than I thought: the Denver Public Library has decided to get rid of most foreign language collections in their entirety.

Considering the painful cost-cutting measures the library has to implement (including the planned closure of up to half its branches) I could understand a decision not to purchase foreign language books any longer. But why not keep those they already had, at least until they were in fit conditions for borrowing (and the stamps on the books clearly showed most of them had been borrowed many times from the library)?

So, if you want to read Petrarca, Dante, Goldoni, Calvino, Pavese or Levi in the original, you are out of luck at the Denver Public Library.