Letters to the editor


Deputy PM Ivan Mikloš: Pied Piper or rat catcher?
illustration: Igor Lyskov

Dear Editor,
At the end of the year 1999 I would like to extend my best New Year wishes to The Slovak Spectator. I am proud that we have an English-language weekly of such high quality in Slovakia. I especially appreciate a by-product of your activity: as a university teacher of English I often find interesting material for my students to work with.
You are an excellent source of language for discussing Slovak things in English, especially in business, finances, law and culture. Occasionally I would use translations different from yours, for example your translation of Krysař as "Rat Catcher" seems to me inadequate since English has the name "Pied Piper" introduced by Elizabeth B. Browning in her version of the story. (There was also a popular song, "I'm the Pied Piper" a few decades ago which some people still remember).
I do not mind "Rat Catcher" too much, as it serves me (alongside with examples such as "Dust Bastion" which you once used for "Prašná Bašta" instead of the "Powder Bastion" - the place was used for storing gunpowder and not "gundust") as an example for my students of how not to translate things into English. (Fortunately, I find very few such examples.)
Anyway, thank you for everything including the fact that you have kept your word in sending free copies of your paper to the people who have filled in your questionnaire. I greatly appreciate your effort to make your paper even better and keep my fingers crossed for you. I am impatient to learn the results of your survey.
Miroslav Bazlik
Bratislava

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