Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Skumbilar = Chewy Candy Cars


When I first started translating Norwegian, decades ago, I frequently found myself stumped by certain words in fiction, and spent hours either writing to people in Norway or talking to native speakers in Seattle. Sometimes the difficult words belonged to past history, sometimes they were slang words, sometimes they referred to kinds of food or clothing I hadn't encountered before. 

The Internet didn't exist then; I couldn't just type in  a word or a person's name.

Recently I've been translating a Norwegian novel with a character who loves candy. There are frequent mentions of what she eats and how it makes her feel (remorseful). I'm not a candy eater myself except for the occasional dark chocolate truffle, so when I'm in Scandinavia I never visit the many candy shops or pay much attention to the bags of candy for sale in convenience stores.  

This morning I stumbled when I came to a description of the character half-choking on the "shock absorber" of a skumbil. Since I knew she was eating that weird, marshmallow-stiff candy called skumgoderi, literally "foam goodies," I figured it must be in the shape of cars. I decided to see if I could find an image of a skumbil on the Internet. 

Who knew that there are forums dedicated to discussing this kind and shape of candy, apparently a Swedish specialty? Also Twitter feeds, Flickr and Instagram and Pinterest pictures. At least now I know what to call them in my translation: Chewy candy cars.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Sweden's 16-year-olds to receive We Should All Be Feminists by Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Every 16-year-old in Sweden is being given a copy of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s call to arms, We Should All Be Feminists.

The essay, adapted from Adichie’s award-winning TED talk of the same name, is being distributed in Swedish to high-school students by the Swedish Women’s Lobby and publisher Albert Bonniers. Launching the project at Norra Real high school in Stockholm this week, they said they hoped the book would “work as a stepping stone for a discussion about gender equality and feminism”.

 For the full article see The Guardian.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Ruth Smith and Júlíana Sveinsdóttir, two painters from the Faroes and Iceland, now in Copenhagen Exhibit


  Ruth Smith and Júlíana Sveinsdóttir

100 years ago, women were given the right to vote in Iceland, on the Faroe Islands and in Denmark. To mark the occasion, Reykjavík Art Museum, the National Art Gallery of the Faroe Islands and Nordatlantens Brygge have collaborated to present an exhibition of the works of two female artists: Júlíana Sveinsdóttir from Iceland (1889-1966) and Ruth Smith from the Faroe Islands (1913-1958).
Both artists grew up in bleak, windswept island environments: in Heimaey in the Vestmannaeyjar Islands and Suderø in the Faroe Islands. They were two of the first professional female artists in their respective home countries, where painting in the early 20th century was in its infancy. Both studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Art in Copenhagen.

Both of them portrayed the nature of their home countries with a profound sense of colour and of the enormous power of nature in the eternal struggle between land and sea. Even though they lived from time to time in Denmark, they still preferred to paint island landscapes.

The exhibition provides an insight into the capacity of these two artists, not only to interpret landscape, but also to paint portraits both of themselves and of their contemporaries. What both artists had in common was their devotion to the self-portrait, where they hid nothing: neither melancholy nor old age.
The exhibition has been organised in collaboration with Reykjavík Art Museum, the National Gallery of the Faroe Islands and supported by the Nordic Culture Fund.

Curator: Hrafnhildur Schram.

14 November 2015 - 10 January 2016

North Atlantic House (Nordatlantans Brygge)