Things have been quiet on this blog, mainly because I have been working on a the manuscript of Mongolian National Library Director Dr. Akim in order to have it ready for publication next week. The book will be published in English thanks to funds from the Asia Foundation, and the book signing ceremony to be held here sometime this spring will coincide with developments on the Mongolian-PEN-Center-formation front.
The task of "editing" a really bad, sometimes nonsensical, very un-literary English translation has amounted to rewriting the entire book manuscript sentence for sentence. It has its fun moments, though. Sometimes the translation has moments of unintended, but still brilliant, comedy. Here's a sampling of the manuscript that fell in my lap:
"Wolves catch marmots very adroitly. It was on Five hills mountain (in the near of Ulaanbaatar) in autumn. I was watching a wolf through binocular. On this side of slope five or six marmots were grazing. The wolf sniffed their traces and run towards them from behind a hillock. The marmots didn’t notice it. But the wolf was running and waiving with its tale. It was waving with tales as hunters wave to provoke marmots. Marmots got provoked and were whizzing."
Whizzing marmots! Brilliant.