Hay Festival 2018 is now over – thanks for joining us.
You can watch again or catch up on events you missed on Hay Player.
How does automatic translation work and will machines ever be able to replace a ‘human’ translator? A panel of experts from University of Cambridge discuss latest developments. Sanson is a Reader in Italian Language, Literature and Culture, Byrne is Professor of Information Engineering and Tomalin is Research Associate in the Speech Research Group of the University Engineering Department.
This is the first of two sessions introducing the most exciting voices of Latin American fiction, stars of the 2018 selection for Bogotà 39 and launching the English-language edition of a globally published anthology. Colanzi is a Bolivian short story writer and editor whose work includes the collection Our Dead World. Restrepo Pombo is the editor of Gatopardo magazine and of the anthology The Sorrows of Mexico. His fiction appears in the Bogotà 39 Anthology. Fonseca was born in Costa Rica and grew up in Puerto Rico. His novel Colonel Lagrimas is available in English. They read and talk to Daniel Hahn.
If you’ve ever felt the shock of listening to a recording of your own voice, you realise how important your voice is to your personal identity. We judge others not just by their words but by the way they talk: their intonation, their pitch, their accent. The Professor of Acoustic Engineering explores the full range of our voice – how we speak and how we sing; how our vocal anatomy works; what happens when things go wrong and how technology enables us to imitate and manipulate the human voice.
The second of two sessions introducing the most exciting voices of Latin American fiction, award-winning stars of the 2018 selection for Bogota 39, and launching the English-language edition of a globally published anthology. Ulloa is a short story writer from Peru, whose collection Little Birds beautifully combines cruelty and tenderness. Monge’s The Arid Sky has seen him hailed as a Mexican Cormac McCarthy. Jufresa’s masterpiece Umami is a darkly comic portrayal of contemporary life in Mexico City. They talk to Daniel Hahn.
The French winner of the 2017 Wellcome Book Prize introduces her magnificent novel Mend the Living, a story that is both intimate and epic, that goes to the heart of what it means to be human.
The novelist discusses contemporary American culture, so presciently imagined in his latest novel The Golden House, freedom of speech, language, literature, love and death. Few writers have such a keen sense of human absurdity, and such a spectacular gift for telling its stories.
What is an ennog? A jitty? A twitten? In fact, they are all the same thing. These are all regional names for ‘a narrow walkway running between or alongside buildings’. The English language has scores of different regional names for such an alleyway including drangway, ginnel, snicket and vennel. The English language throughout its history has been full of regional diversity – it is a language made up of dialects. The author of Studying Dialect will take us on an absorbing journey down the everyday drangways of the English language.
It's the most simple, unassuming, innocent-looking verb: 'to be'. Yet it is jam-packed with more different meanings, forms and uses than any other English word. As he reveals ‘be's’ multiple incarnations, Prof Crystal takes us to the heart of our flexible and changing language. We meet circumstantial be ("how are you?"), numerical be ("two and two is four"), quotative be ("so I was like, 'wow'"), and ludic be ("oh no he isn't!"), and a whole swarm of other meanings.
An hour of glorious grammar as the fabulously entertaining language and linguistics guru plays with two-minute lectures. A is for Alphabet – why this order? O may well be Oxford Comma, but it might be Original Pronunciation... (ellipsis). What would you like to hear him explain?
Is monolingualism harming us, both as individuals and as a society? We look at the value of languages for health and well-being, social cohesion, diplomacy and conflict resolution, defence and national security. Wendy Ayres-Bennett is Professor of French Philology and Linguistics.