David Bellos is a translator, biographer and professor currently teaching French and Comparative Literature at Princeton University. Additionally, he has published several books including 'Is That a Fish in Your Ear? Translation and The Meaning of Everything,' an introduction to translation studies, in 2011.
In this brief talk, David Bellos touches upon the nature of translation as being at the heart of civilization and of what it means to have a language. Bellos argues that the myth of Babel, while entertaining, tells the wrong story, and that "the original use of human speech was to be different, not the same."
David Bellos discusses his pertinent interest in translations at the same time or within the same generation as the originals, rather than re-translations. Bellos emphasizes the important role the state of cultural knowledge, which was prevalent at the time the work was written.