The Estonian argument for English translations
Arvamus 30 Nov 2009  EWR
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The Guardian
The advantage of English's cultural dominance means that it can provide a means of opening up literary culture across Europe

The Apollo Solaris bookstore in Tallinn is Estonia's largest bookseller: modern, including a coffee area, and by all appearances much like any good bookshop in the UK or US, with the significant difference that its shelves are filled with books that most of us can never hope to read, because they are written in Estonian. Until someone invents a special pair of translation goggles that will convert every foreign word we look at, English-language readers are stuck on the outside of this particular bookshop experience, left to admire the decor, lounge in the coffee area, but all the while self-conscious and, if you're anything like me, depressed, irkingly aware that these shelves represent an enormous number of intellectual and artistic experiences that you, sad sack, will never have.

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