Please find here a review of _composite.diplomacy_, by Tuntha-obas:
Tinfish Press has published a number of translations from the Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and other languages. See tinfishpress.com
We have also published work in which languages other than English are NOT translated, including the Tagalog and Baybayin of Barbara Jane Reyes's _Poeta en San Francisco_, the Samoan of Jacinta Galea`i's _Aching for Mango Friends_, and our several titles in Pidgin (Hawaiian Creole English).
The Pidgin titles are--mostly--accessible to a standard English reader (though we included a cd with Joe Hadley's _2 poems bai bradajo_, because his "calligraphy" is difficult to assimilate. But try to translate these works into standard English and you get a largely working class content and diction sounding as if it's been run through a King's English strainer. The Pymalion effect, perhaps.
So what I'm wondering, based also on a heated discussion I had recently with Linh Dinh, is the question of when it might be best NOT to translate? Are there occasions when for thematic reasons, as with the Reyes project, that the resistance of Tagalog to the rather more imperial English is effective as a symbolic act (even when most readers do not comprehend the word by word meaning of the language), or is it best to try always to convey meaning directly? What do you make of Jacinta Galea`i's contention that, while she uses Samoan in her mainly English language work, she does so in a "friendly" way, providing enough context for a non-Samoan speaker to understand what is going on? Would it be preferable for her to write about her experience using one language that most of us know and another that most of us do not?
PS coming soon, _Tinfish_ #17 and _Corpse Watching_, an English language text by Sarith Peou, who survived the Cambodian genocide.