‘I can’t wait to hear myself speak’

I must have told you about..? It seems not.

Last week the translating Son had a short piece on Strindberg, written by Inga-Stina Ewbank, to translate in the wrong direction. It would appear that translating from your native language also has its merits. (You know of course that I would like to call it Son’s mother tongue, but that’s where we get complicated. So I won’t.) What made it all the more odd as far as direction is concerned is that the piece was written in English by a Swede about a Swede.

I had grumbled the week before that if I am to proof read stuff, it would help to see the original, so this time he emailed it to me. He has had so many outlandish texts to work from that it was a pleasure to see one that was a pleasure to read.

Being one of those people who love to repeat themselves (well, I don’t love it, but I have tendencies in that direction, and I’m working hard to give it up), I have developed this way of asking ‘I must have told you this loads of times already?’ and that’s what I did when I emailed Son back.

When Professor Ewbank came ‘home’ to Gothenburg to give a talk at the English department in 1978, we students of average mediocrity were excited by the idea of ‘one of our own’ having made it to Professor of English in London. A specialist on the Brontës, even. It was her glowing introduction which caused Inga-Stina to look forward to hearing herself speak.

It wasn’t until this week, however, that I found out that she only learned English at the age of 19. And her name, it’s just so Swedish!

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