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This Week in Translation History March 25-31

March 25, 2018

March 25, 1510

Guillaume Postel was born.

Postel was a French linguist, astronomer, Cabbalist, diplomat, scholar, and religious universalist.

He was in Normandy, and moved to Paris to study at the College Saint-Barbe where he became affiliated with the Society of Jesus, including founding member, Ignatius of Loyola.

Postel was well versed in Semitic languages, such as Syriac, Arabic, and Hebre, and with classical languagee, e.g. Ancienct Greek and Latin. In 1536 he served as interpreter of the French embassy to the Turkish Sultan.

In 1538 he identified inscriptions on Judean coins from the Great Jewish Revolt as Hebrew. A few years later he published various polemical religious works. At that time he also developed an interest in cosmography and cartography and published several treatieses on those subjects.

His translations include Latin translations of Cabbalistic books, includign the Zohar, Sefer Yetzirah, Safer ha-Nahir. He also published annotated version of Arabic math and astronomy works, and introduced, and in some cases re-introduced, then to European intelletual discrouse. Including an Arabic version of Euclid's Elements.

March 26, 1484

William Caxton published his translation of Aeosop's Fables - the first English translation of these stories.

March 27, 347

Jerome, (Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus),a priest, thelogian and historian, was born.

He is best known for his translation of the Bible into Latin - the Vulgate translation.

March 27, 1887

Väinö Villiam Siikaniemi was born.

Siikaniemi was a Finnish javelin thrower, poet and translator who competed in the 1912 Summer Olympics

March 27, 1909

Valery Marakou, a Belarusian poet and translator was born.

Marakou was arrested in 1935, and then again in 1936. He was tortured for a year and then executed for "being a member of a counter-revolutionary anti-fascist organisation." He was posthumously rehabilitated by the Supreme Court of the USSR in 1957.

March 27, 1923

Louis Simpson, an American poet, translator and academic, was born in Jamaica.

Among his translation: Modern Poets of France: a bilingual anthology, published in 1997.

March 30, 1805

Ferdinand Johann Wiedemann, an Estonian linguist and botanist,, was born.

Wiedmann was of German-Swedish origin. In 1869 he published an Estonian-German dictionary Ehstnisch-deutsches Wörterbuch