When Is Revolution Untranslatable? When It’s Fast and Funny

Dr. Mona Elnamoury attended the Eleventh Cairo International Symposium: on “Creativity and the Revolution” and shared her observations about the translatability of the funny bone.  By Mona Elnamoury If the Egyptians are known for one thing, regionally, it's for their humor. The Egyptian is ibn nukta (the son of a joke) and dammu zayy il ‘asal (his blood … Continue reading When Is Revolution Untranslatable? When It’s Fast and Funny

Will Egyptian Satirist Belal Fadl Be Funny in English?

The United States has perhaps the most lucrative humor-production industry worldwide, "translateable" by virtue of US dominance. The world is ready to laugh at a funny George Bush/Lady Gaga quip while not necessarily being ready to catch a fastball about Danilo Türk. But can Egyptian humor -- which of course is light years funnier than the top-selling American brands -- be rendered in English?

Can Egyptian Humor Be Translated?

I wrote a bit about the difficulty of translating humor last week; the idea seemed worth pursuing, so I followed that with an essay for Al Masry Al Youm. One of the most obvious differences in the books I looked at was whether or not authors chose to use footnotes.