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Language Isn't A Firehose: James Joyce And The Future of Computerized Translation (Bloomsday Edition)

Nearly 100 years after Joyce wrote his seminal polyglot work, are we any closer to a technological solution to breaking down the barriers of language? Not if the recent scuffle over Google Translate is any indication.

Joyce and the Limits of the Twentieth Century

In celebration of Bloomsday (June 16, the 107th anniversary of the fictional events that occur in his Ulysses), I'll reach beyond time, death, and the limits of my own or anyone else's knowledge to affirm that James Joyce would have adored Google Translate.

The Irish novelist was first a translator, a student, and teacher of modern languages. He composed Ulysses over eight years in exile, on the run from World War One, supporting himself teaching English to the Italian, German, and French speakers of Trieste, Zürich, and Paris. Part of Ulysses's celebrated difficulty is its untranslated bits of these three languages, plus snatches of Latin, Greek, Hebrew,

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