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Photo by Karina Vorozheeva on Unsplash

My Gratitude to Translators


Michael Kandel translated The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age by Stanisław Lem. It is more than a fluent translation, it is a wonderous translation including over-constrained robotic poetry and many seemingly untranslatable passages.

Because of Kandel’s translation, I was able to listen, be moved, and be inspired. Lem is most the widely translated science fiction in the world; the vast majority of his readership reads translated versions. Without the Kandel’s of the world, Lem’s great work would have few readers.

I do say listen because I heard Scott Aiello‘s exquisite narration that gave me a stronger experience than I personally ever could have had by reading. He’s an incredible voice actor.

I am grateful to Lem, Kandel, and Aiello; and especially to Kandel. In the first five places that I looked up the work, the translator wasn’t listed or any mention of the English version being a translation.

I wonder how many books I have read or heard in translation and never knew hadn’t been written in English.

So today’s baby animal picture goes to Michael Kandel and to all the translators that I don’t know to thank.


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Written by Russell Brand

Entrepreneur in residence at Founder Institute, he has mentored, performed due diligence on and invested in numerous early stage companies. Hundreds of these early stage companies have described Russell’s insights and advice as the most useful thing in the history of their companies. He has always had an inborn ability to find more valuable uses of new ideas and faster ways to achieve results.

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