Sivun näyttöjä yhteensä

22. syyskuuta 2005

Blog means writing badly.

This is the third way of writing I try.

First I wrote in longhand. I still do. Writing poetry seems to eliminate all machines. A pencil and an envelope is excellent. A sheet of paper is still better.

Then it was typewriter. When I started using them, it was pure mechanics. In a provincial city - Oulu - I first saw an electric typewriter, Underwood. It seemed much easieer than the linotype machines used for typsetting. The brands were Olivetti, Remington, sometimes Adler. That time in Finland somebody told,which typewriters to buy and where. Therefore Olivettiwas omnipresent in offices.

After that it has been PC. I was a very late starter. In 1989 I still thought that the contraption is unnecessary for ordinary people. My father had started using one already when the operating system was CP/M. He had later some real trouble converting his files into DOS. On March 7th 1990 I brought home a machine called "micro" and started trying my hand with Word Perfect 4.1.

I typed a tremendous amount of basically stupid memos, drafts for court decisions and translations. I used to be a judge and before that a law clerk and before that an attorney.

Typing a book may sound like quite a handful. Actually you get used. I have not counted them exactly but I believe I have translated something like 50 full-length novels - Bashevis Singer, George Orwell, John Updike, Kurt Vonnegut. It means more than 100 000 pages later printed, published and scrutinized by critics. And probably far more than 100 shorter items like comic-books, illustrated books for children, songs, poems and so on. I believe my only permanent achievement will be translations of Tintin by Hergé from French into Finnish in early 70ies. The curses of the captain were really difficult, because most of them are basically nonsense.

Do you know, what is Dead Man's Chest? - Once I had to make a new translation of The Treasure Island by R. L. Stevenson. In the book there is the ditty sung by drunken pirates beginning "Fifteen men on the dead man's chest / yahoo-ho and a bottle of rum..."

Both chest (breast) and chest (casket) felt far too odd. Finally in the Library of Univesity I found an atlas and yes - Dead Man's Chest is a tiny reef in Caribbean.

By the way - having had very much to do with languages I cannot really feel like writing in a language that is not my own. Therefore I have the feeling that I may write this mostly in Finnish, sometimes in English and if needed, in Swedish, German or French or some other language.

I am a professor. My official url is

HIIT is short for Helsinki Institute for Information Technology. However, I am not an engineer, but J.D. and Ph.D (jurisprudence; history of civilizations). In HIIT and Lappeenranta University of Technology I mostly work with IPR (copyright, patents).

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