Yves Stranger lives and works as an English/French/Spanish conference interpreter and translator in Uthiopia, where he helps run the family horse trekking business Equus Ethiopia.
Uthiopia will occasionally use Amharic script in its posts, especially when trying to define what Ethiopia is all about. As in the posts 10 words that define Ethiopia. If your browser has problems with this (if boxes and squiggles appear) you can install a free Amharic font from here.
When not brushing down the horses on the family stable, or setting up new equestrian trekking routes, Yves works as an French – English – Spanish interpreter and translator in Addis Ababa. He has worked on the books Portraits controversés d’un prince éthiopien, Baghdad Arts Deco, and on the recent Un Train Africain/የባቡር ወጎች/African Train by Hugues Fontaine, to which he also contributed a chapter. He is currently studying for the diploma of the EHESS and doing research about Ethiopian horses – and horse markets. Yves Stranger is the author of Ces Pas qui Trop Vite s’Effacent, about travelling in the Cévennes of the south of France.
What’s Uthiopia all about? Uthiopia is about Ethiopian cultures and languages – and also fat tailed sheep, horses and culture shock – of the Abyssinian variety. You can read the first post if you like, which tries to set out what it’s all going to be about.
Utopia (Yo͞oˈtōpēə). An imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect. The word was first used in the book Utopia (1516) by Sir Thomas More. synonyms: paradise, heaven (on earth), Eden, Garden of Eden, Shangri-La, Elysium.
Ethiopia (Ītyōṗṗyā). A republic in northeastern Africa on the Red Sea; formerly called Abyssinia. In classical antiquity the term vaguely referred to all of the lands beyond southern Egypt.
Uthiopia (yo͞oˈthiōpēə). A portmanteau word, a toponyme for the land of Prester John, John de Mandeville, of the blood line of Solomon where the lion of Juda roams and Herodotus’ troglodytes now dwell in condominiums.
That said, as a work in progress, don’t expect Uthiopia to adhere too strictly to the guidelines that are set out in that first post – and if you sometimes things Mr Stranger takes a slightly cavalier attitude to cultural analysis, I’m afraid you’d be right – short cuts in the highlands work rather well in the absence of fences. And besides, how could he be accused of getting on a high horse when our Abyssinian ponies are just so, so short? But believe you me, they’re hardy, and they still do provide excellent perspectives.