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Writing about Italian, Haruki Murakami

I have been talking about the books I’m reading, and now I have hit upon a plan.

Now that I have my CELI exams drawing near, I will pick up passages from books at random, simple ones, and the ones I like, naturalmente, and translate them into Italian.

An Italian friend or two with whom I already do language exchange programs would then correct me as and when they have time, and I will post it here.

I know the translation is amateur, but it combines two of my fave activities, reading and learning Italian, so here I go. I choose Murakami for my first post because he is one of the few authors I have read who can combine tragedy and farce without missing a beat. And I choose Hard Boiled Wonderland to mark the way he is able to combine the worlds of the fantastic and the real.

Writing about translating Murakami into Italian

Writing about Translating Murakami into Italian

This one is for all Murakami fans, some of whom I have met, bibliobibuli, Ted’s Thoughts, Ovidia …..


Request to my Italian friends who visit this blog: Please help make the passage better….aiuto!!!

Haruki Murakami: Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.

The elevator continued its impossibly slow ascent. Or at least I imagined it was ascent. There was no telling for sure: it was so slow that all sense of direction simply vanished. It could have been going down for all I knew, or maybe it wasn’t moving at all. But let’s just assume it was going up. Merely a guess. Maybe I’d gone up twelve stories, then down three. Maybe I’d circled the globe. How would I know?

L’ascensore continuava la sua ascesa estremamente lenta. O almeno immaginavo che era fosse l’ascesa. Non potevo essere sicuro: era cosi lento che il senso dell’orientamento era semplicemente sparito. Avrebbe potuto scendere per quanto ne sapevo, o forse non si muoveva neanche. Pero’ assumiamo che stava salendo. Solamente un’ipotesi. Forse sono salito dodici piani, e poi sceso di tre. Forse ho girato il mondo. Come potrei sapere?

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her next literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and was published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

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  • Ovidia says:

    non molto italiana in me–Ritornerò per le linee quotidiane!

  • indigobunting says:

    Thank you! Grazie!

  • Ovidia says:

    affascinare! aspett con impazienzaare to leggere più

    Grazie:) visto che ti piace l’italiano, scrivo almeno qualche riga ogni giorno:)

  • Cool. I envy you the ability. I have a hopeless accent and mangles the only language I ever attempted. When the girl-child starts French next year in grade school, I will have a go again. My husband can speak French and Girl-child will never be fluent if we don’t speak it around and to her.

    All the best with your French….your daughter is fortunate to have been born to a multilingual family.

  • indigobunting says:

    More than once in the past few weeks (and in the past decade), I have wished that I spoke Italian. Visiting here in Portland, Maine, visiting with a friend who is taking Italian at an institute here…sigh. If I lived here, I would take lessons. This is a downside of living in the middle of nowhere.

    You do not need to take lessons to learn Italian. I found this one very useful:

    Ely here (my friend who has corrected my translation) has been my teacher for the last two years, and I met her online through this site:

  • elybessy says:

    L’ascensore continuava la sua lenta salita all’inverosimile. O almeno immaginavo fosse l’ascesa(la salita). Non posso dire di esere sicuro: era così lento che il senso dell’orientamento era semplicemente svanito.
    Avrebbe potuto scendere per quanto ne sapevo o forse non si muoveva neppure. Però supponiamo che stava salendo.
    Solo una ipotesi( supposizione). Forse sono salito di 12 piani, e poi sono sceso di tre. Forse ho girato il mondo.
    Come potrei saperlo?

    Grazie cara, e’ meglio di prima. Sto facendo un’altro adesso.

  • Ted Mahsun says:

    haha! what an interesting project. good luck!

    Well, Ted, this was a good way of doing both the things I love doing…and anyway any Italian I study is going to help me for the exams in November

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