Born in the Blood


Born in the Blood

On Native American Translation

Edited and with an introduction by Brian Swann

Native Literatures of the Americas and Indigenous World Literatures Series

488 pages
4 illustrations, 4 maps, 6 tables


June 2011


$45.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

June 2011


$45.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

Since Europeans first encountered Native Americans, problems relating to language and text translation have been an issue. Translators needed to create the tools for translation, such as dictionaries, still a difficult undertaking today. Although the fact that many Native languages do not share even the same structures or classes of words as European languages has always made translation difficult, translating cultural values and perceptions into the idiom of another culture renders the process even more difficult.
In Born in the Blood, noted translator and writer Brian Swann gathers some of the foremost scholars in the field of Native American translation to address the many and varied problems and concerns surrounding the process of translating Native American languages and texts. The essays in this collection address such important questions as, what should be translated? how should it be translated? who should do translation? and even, should the translation of Native literature be done at all? This volume also includes translations of songs and stories.

Author Bio

Brian Swann is a professor of English at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City. His many publications include Algonquian Spirit: Contemporary Translations of the Algonquian Literatures of North America and Wearing the Morning Star: Native American Song-Poems, both available in Bison Books editions.
Contributors: John Bierhorst, Julie Brittain, Lynn Burley, Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh, William M. Clements, Nora Marks Dauenhauer, Richard L. Dauenhauer, Carrie Dyck, Marcia Haag, Kate Hennessy, Bill Jancewitz, Stewart B. Koyiyumptewa, David Kozak, Robert M. Leavitt, David I. Lopez, Marguerite MacKenzie, Patrick Moore, Richard J. Preston, Amber Ridington, Jillian Ridington, Robin Ridington, Blair A. Rudes, Brian Swann, Laurence C. Thompson, M. Terry Thompson, Frederick White, and Peter M. Whiteley.

Table of Contents

Brian Swann
Part One
1. Should Translation Work Take Place? Ethical Questions Concerning the Translation of First Nations Languages
Carrie Dyck
2. Reading a Dictionary: How Passamaquoddy Language Translates Concepts of Physical and Social Space
Robert M. Leavitt
3. Translating Time: A Dialogue on Hopi Experiences of the Past
Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh and Stewart B. Koyiyumptewa
4. Hopi Place Value: Translating a Landscape
Peter M. Whiteley
5. Related-Language Translation: Naskapi and East Cree
Bill Jancewicz
6. Performative Translation and Oral Curation: Ti-Jean/Chezan in Beaverland
Amber Ridington and Robin Ridington
7. Translation and Censorship of Native American Oral Literature
William M. Clements
8. In the Words of Powhatan: Translation across Space and Time for The New World
Blair A. Rudes
Part Two
9. Ethnopoetic Translation in Relation to Audio, Video, and New Media Representations
Robin Ridington, Jillian Ridington, Patrick Moore, Kate Hennessy, and Amber Ridington
10. Translating Algonquian Oral Texts
Julie Brittain and Marguerite MacKenzie
11. Translating the Boundary between Life and Death in O'odham Devil Songs
David L. Kozak with David I. Lopez
12. Revisiting Haida Cradle-Song 67
Frederick H. White
13. Translating Tense and Aspect in Tlingit Narratives
Richard L. Dauenhauer and Nora Marks Dauenhauer
14. Translating Performance in the Written Text: Verse Structure in Dakota and Hocák
Lynn Burley
15. Toward Literature: Preservation of Artistic Effects in Choctaw Texts
Marcia Haag
16. Translating an Esoteric Idiom: The Case of Aztec Poetry
John Bierhorst
17. Translating Context and Situation: William Strachey and Powhatan's "Scorneful Song"
William M. Clements
18. A Life in Translation
Richard J. Preston
19. Memories of Translation: Looking for the Right Words
M. Terry Thompson and Laurence C. Thompson

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