Friday, April 09, 2021

Translating the names of deep-sea fish in 1995

In summer 1995, I received my first translation commission: a Durs Grünbein essay on deep-sea fish – whose names proved tricky. Today, the names of species with Wikipedia pages in German and English are easy to translate; otherwise, internet searches can lead from German names to Latin names to English names. But in 1995, in Germany without English reference books, I asked Durs for the Latin names from his source, and then I asked my marine-biologist brother in Virginia if he could find the English names. It turned out the Latin names from the German source were out of date, but in the end we had the fish named correctly in English. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 9 April 2021)

Linophryne lucifer.png
Leftvent, Linophryne lucifer

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