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Dena

“It is inconceivable that something is lost forever.”
— Advice from Šuruppag to his son, Zi-ud-sura, ca. 2500 BCE
 When I was studying Sumerian wisdom literature for my  Goddard College  culminating project,  I came across some advice, given to the Sumerian flood-survivor (their equivalent of the Biblical Noah) by his father, Šurupag. He wrote the words that appear at the top of this page in a language that would soon disappear under the sands of time and be covered by physical sand.  "It is inconceivable," he said, "that something should be lost forever."   Centuries passed after this was written, and became millennia. A military man rappelled down the Behistun Stone and made rubbings of the words that would someday make it possible to understand those words.  In my mind's eye I can see Šuruppag, with a twinkle in his sage eye, saying a sort of Sumerian "I told you so." His words were not lost forever. That would be inconceivable. And I came across this while looking for fiber, textile, poetry, and words.

When I was studying Sumerian wisdom literature for my Goddard College culminating project,  I came across some advice, given to the Sumerian flood-survivor (their equivalent of the Biblical Noah) by his father, Šurupag. He wrote the words that appear at the top of this page in a language that would soon disappear under the sands of time and be covered by physical sand. "It is inconceivable," he said, "that something should be lost forever."

Centuries passed after this was written, and became millennia. A military man rappelled down the Behistun Stone and made rubbings of the words that would someday make it possible to understand those words.

In my mind's eye I can see Šuruppag, with a twinkle in his sage eye, saying a sort of Sumerian "I told you so." His words were not lost forever. That would be inconceivable. And I came across this while looking for fiber, textile, poetry, and words.

One of my roles at Shunra Media is as techie. I get to make things work, if computers are involved. So far, so good! If you're looking for a complex quote or hefty discount, check in with Daniel. He's much nicer! 

Dena Bugel-Shunra

Translator | Interpreter | Hebrew | English | Writing | Art

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I love finding the exactly right word, doubly so when the word reflects the culture and meaning of another language. 

This flows through poetry, translation, and word-play, where I am a partisan of the pun and tuner of fine phrases. 

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Patterns in wood, metal, and textile intrigue me. The above door, from Prague, seemed like a good candidate for adventure, at least in make-believe. 

Patterns in words are similar, in my mind, and I seek them everywhere I go.


Bilingual in Hebrew and English since early childhood, I have spent my life chasing words and meaning. Translating officially since 1989, and unofficially since childhood, I have translated more than twenty-five books, reams of evidence for civil and criminal trials, and what seems like an unending stream of medical files and informed consent documents.

When I'm working for clients, I prefer the technical, legal, medical fields. They're clearer and more straightforward. For fun, though, I like to translate poetry, with a special emphasis on 11th century North African love poems. I balance out my workload with an ongoing commitment to pro bono translation, helping journalists and individuals for whom a Hebrew/English translation makes a difference. 

 


 I'm fond of cuddly lions. This one did not object to a belly rub.

I'm fond of cuddly lions. This one did not object to a belly rub.