Thursday, 17 December 2009

Christmas translation

Dear friends,

It's almost Christmas, and I just wanted to wish everyone who reads this blog a very merry and harmonious Christmas and a peaceful and happy New Year.

To celebrate a long and busy year, how about a little translation game? The challenge is to translate a four-line poem by Harryette Mullen from her wonderful collection Sleeping With The Dictionary:

Ask Aden

Are aardvarks anxious?
Do dragons dream?
Ever see an eager elephant?
Newts are never nervous, are they?

If anyone would like to have a go, do post your version in the comments, in any language, or if you're the retiring type, email me in private with your version - you can find my email address on my website. I'd love to read them.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

light relief

Hi all,

It's late in the term, everyone's cold, tired and damp, so here are some snippets about translation and interpreting which should entertain as well as providing food for thought. (Apocryphal, schmocryphal!)


webinar on terminology management (Chartered Institute of Linguists

Another webinar organised by the tireless Lucy Brooks at the Chartered Institute of Linguists.

For any enquiries, please contact


A talk by Sonia Cutler, BSc (Hons), MSc on managing terminology. Whether
you are a freelance translator handling dozens of terminology lists from
different clients, an interpreter, or an editor, Sonia's presentation will
consider the importance of terminology and then provide useful information, hints,
and tips on how to manage terminology effectively. Sonia is a member of the Society
for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) and a member of the European Association
of Science Editors (EASE).

To register, please click on the link below. After registration you will be
directed to a web page containing further information about this and other

Title: "Terminology Management"
Date: Thursday, January 14, 2010
Time: 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM GMT

Register now by clicking here.

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing
information about joining the Webinar.

There will be a charge to attend the webinar: £8.00 (£8.50) for students,
£12 (£12.70) for members of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, and £15
(£15.90) for non-members. (Figures in brackets are the cost for payment by
Paypal - the first figure is the cost of payment by cheque). Payment should
be completed by 48 hours before the event. Your link to attend will be
released on receipt of payment.
This webinar is arranged by the Translating Division of the Chartered
Institute of Linguists

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows(R) 2000, XP Home, XP Pro, 2003 Server, Vista

Macintosh(R)-based attendees
Required: Mac OS(R) X 10.4 (Tiger(R)) or newer

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

literary translation workshop, Cairo, January 2010

This looks really good - and is fully funded for the first year of its operation. It is based on the summer school format piloted by the British Centre for Literary Translation. Talented translators from and into Arabic with literary interests should find it extremely rewarding. Do draw it to the attention of anyone you think might be interested.

Call for participants: Arabic Literary Translation Workshop
Cairo, 24-30 January 2010

The Arabic Literary Translation Workshop is an intensive one week residential literary translation training programme that will provide the opportunity for hands-on translation practice, alongside exploration of literary translation as a bridge between the Arabic and English language publishing industries. It is organised by the British Council, the British Centre for Literary Translation, Arts Council England and Penguin Arabia, with the support of Banipal Magazine.

The longer term aims:
· To create and maintain a network of talented new generation translators who are plugged into the international publishing and theatre network
· Combat the shortage of translators from English to Arabic and Arabic to English in order to encourage the quality and quantity of contemporary Arab and British fiction and plays in translation.
· To support industry professionals looking to work with English and Arabic translators
· Engage industry professionals and partners to support and influence the local infrastructure

Format: The basic model involves a week-long, residential programme of hands-on translation practice, supplemented with seminars and lectures addressing various aspects of the theory, practice and business of literary translation. The hands-on practice is offered in the form of language-specific workshops, led by an experienced, practicing translator.

Each workshop group comprises no more than 8 participants, who are generally early- to mid-career translators, led by an expert translator who possesses a great deal of experience and a significant reputation in the field. The author of the piece of text to be translated is also a vital part of the workshop group. Participants are organized into Arabic-to-English and English-to-Arabic language groups, depending on their mother tongue or language of habitual use. The group works together to produce a consensus translation of the selected piece of text, which may be a play, a short story or a chapter from a novel.

The translation workshops are supplemented throughout the week by seminars on the business of translation and the relationship with all facets of the publishing industry, given by leading representatives in the field.

Networking is also a key part of the week. Participants have the opportunity to interact with publishers, editors, agents and authors, and to establish a community of translators for future collaboration and support.

Participants are required to take part for the entire duration of the course, arriving in Cairo on Sunday 24 January, and departing on the morning of Saturday 30 January. There will be allotted free sessions for sightseeing/exploring the city during the course of the week, but as part of this residential intensive programme, participants will be expected to attend every session.

Participant profile: Participants are expected to be at differing stages in their careers, but will all have a proven enthusiasm for and some background in literary translation. The most experienced participants will already have full-length works of translation published in the target language, but will be looking for skills input and publishing know-how to raise their abilities to the next level. The less experienced students will have a demonstrable interest in literary translation, and a desire to become more professionally active in this field. Academic qualifications will bolster an application, but will not be the sole criteria upon which decisions are made. They will have experience of translating either novels or for the theatre. For this course we will not be including the translation of poetry.

Participants are likely to be solicited from:
· Formal and informal groupings of literary translators (online communities, academic associations and institutes, and others)
· Editors and translators known to local contacts and stakeholders as enthusiastic and committed literary translators with a bright future

Potentially suitable participants should be contacted as soon as possible and encouraged to apply. In the case of this pilot, we are inviting applications through a wide network of contacts, which will be selected by a steering committee made up of British Council, Arts Council, Penguin Arabia and the British Centre for Literary Translation. In this first year, the return airfare, accommodation and cost of the one-week course will be free of charge to participants.

How to apply: Participants should submit the following to Rachel Stevens before 26 November 2009:
· CV/Resume in English, including professional and academic qualifications
· Cover letter in English, indicating their area of interest, their current involvement with literary translation, and their reasons for joining the course
· A sample translation of up to 1000 words of a piece of literature (attaching both the original text and the translation)

For more information, please call Rachel Stevens on +44 (0)20 7389 3165, or email

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Event for Barbara Wright, London, March 2010

Barbara Wright, who died last year, was one of the best-known literary translators in Britain. In her honour, a conference is being organised in the spring to discuss her work. It should be very interesting for anyone interested in twentieth-century French literature and translation.

TRANSLATION AS ART: Barbara Wright, Literary Translation and Creation
Friday 26th March 2010

Birkbeck University of London
Clore Building, 25-27 Torrington Square, London WC1E 7JL
Room CLO GO1
10 am – 4 pm
Institut Français
17 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2DT
6 – 7.30pm

Speakers include: David Bellos; Celia Britton; Breon Mitchell; John Calder; Nathalie-Piégay-Gros; Régis Salado; Paul Fournel; Jill Fell; Ros Schwartz; Arlette-Albert-Birot

Focusing on the work of Barbara Wright (1915-2009), musician, art critic and translator from French into English, this one-day international colloquium will have two main aims. It will firstly investigate several aspects of the literary translator’s work, from the choice of the text to be translated and published to the archival treatment of the work involved in the process of translating. In analysing the translator’s work as mediator and creator, the colloquium will investigate the relationships between music, literary criticism, interpretation and textual production.

It will also examine some of the challenges faced by the translator as well as by the reader of avant-garde, non-canonical texts. In so doing, the colloquium will secondly discuss the work of a selection of the writers translated by Barbara Wright (Jarry, Albert-Birot, Tzara, Arrabal, Queneau, Sarraute, Pinget… among others*). Given some of these choices of texts and authors, a particular feature will be the translation of humour. It is also hoped that this colloquium will provide a less familiar map of twentieth-century French Literature, including Pataphysics and the OULIPO.

The conference is organised with the support of Birkbeck University of London’s Centre for Multilingual & Multicultural Research (CMMR) and Department of European Cultures and Languages; the University of Westminster’s Department of Modern and Applied Languages; and the Service Culturel de l’Ambassade de France in London in partnership with Indiana University Bloomington.

Conference organisers: Debra Kelly, Professor of French and Francophone Literary and Cultural Studies, University of Westminster; Jean-Marc Dewaele, Professor of French and Multilingualism, Birkbeck University of London; and Madeleine Renouard, Emeritus Reader in French, Birkbeck University of London.
Conference fee: (includes tea/coffee and sandwich lunch) £15; students £10.
Free to Birkbeck and University of Westminster students, past and present.

*For a list of Barbara Wright’s translations, and conference registration details, please contact: H.Scott at

Literary translation conference, New Zealand

Lots of goodies around at the moment for those of us interested in literary translation. I have just seen the following advertisement for a conference organised at the New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation which looks very worthwhile (including translation workshops). Plus, Venuti AND Spivak!


International Conference on Literary Translation

Te Tumu Whakawhiti Tuhinga o Aotearoa / The New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

December 11-13, 2010


Lawrence Venuti
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

Metge and Kinloch (Talking Past Each Other: Problems in Cross-Cultural Communication, 1978), explore the ways in which those from diverse backgrounds misread important cultural differences in everyday life. At this conference we hope to explore how literary translation promotes awareness and appreciation of such differences, while simultaneously creating a sense of community across local and international boundaries, or how a lack of such exchange can contribute to the isolation of literary cultures: how is globalisation affecting international literary exchange? how might translation contribute more to literary communities?

While papers on how these issues are articulated in the Asia-Pacific region are especially welcome, we also encourage paper proposals on a wide range of topics related to practical and theoretical aspects of literary translation and covering cross-cultural linguistic interaction from across the globe. Panel proposals (3 to 4 speakers) are especially welcome. Conference papers are to be delivered in English, but may relate to any of the world's languages.

As a special feature of the conference, we are also organising translation workshop sessions with noted New Zealand poets (participants should pre-register; details to come). There will also be an evening reading session.

Please send abstracts (title of paper, name of presenter, 250 word outline and a short (50 word) bio-bibliographical note) by 31st March 2010 to We hope to publish selected papers from the conference in a refereed volume.

Further information about the conference will be posted in early 2010 at

Saturday, 21 November 2009

CIoL webinar

Since some of you seem to have found the Chartered Institute of Linguists webinars of interest in the past, here's the next in the series.

Title: "CAREER DEVELOPMENT FOR TRANSLATORS: a route map to success"
Date: Thursday, December 3, 2009
Time: 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM GMT

Organised by the Translating Division of the Chartered Institute of Linguists
Presenter Karen Stokes, MCIL, MITI,CL (Translator)

Karen Stokes explains the benefits of taking a structured approach to your professional development, with plenty of practical examples of what to do to get your career moving in the direction you want."

Register now by clicking this link.

NOTE: On registration you will be directed to a page giving you information as to how to pay for this event and some frequently asked questions. Fees: Students £8, Members £12.00, non-members £15. Payment by sterling cheque or Paypal (a handling charge is made for Paypal payments- for full details see the web site after registration).

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements:

PC-based attendees
Required: Windows(R) 2000, XP Home, XP Pro, 2003 Server, Vista
Macintosh(R)-based attendees
Required: Mac OS(R) X 10.4 (Tiger(R)) or newer

Enquiries to Simon Dalgleish (

Friday, 20 November 2009

online literary translation course and publication opportunity

Hi all,

For those of you interested in literary translation, I have just seen this, which looks like a really exciting, innovative course.

New online course: Certificate in Applied Literary Translation
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Beginning in January of 2010, Dalkey Archive Press at the University of
Illinois in Urbana-Champaign will initiate a new and ambitious
certificate program designed to help translators at any point in their
early careers, and that will result in the publication of their first
book-length translation. This program represents a unique opportunity
for young translators to gain invaluable experience as well as produce a
translation that will aid them in gaining future work with Dalkey
Archive and other publishers.

Program Goals
1. Provide practical, invaluable translation and editorial experience
to beginning translators who have not yet published a book-length
2. Result in one book-length translation per enrollee to be published
by Dalkey Archive Press.
3. Gain broad-based experience in various areas of translation and
Who is this program intended for? The program is intended for
translators who are at a point in their careers where they are ready to
undertake professional translation work but do not know where to go
next, and especially for those who need a flexible schedule because of
geographical limitations and other commitments.

Program Description: During the course of the yearlong program,
translators will:
* Do sample translations of books that Dalkey should consider
acquiring, and learn how to write readers’ reports, cover letters to
editors, queries to publishers and agents, grant proposals, and other
secondary documents necessary to professional translators.
* Have the opportunity to complete one book-length literary
translation to be published by Dalkey Archive Press, with an emphasis on
literary fiction; books to be translated will be selected by Dalkey
Archive Press in consultation with the translator.
* Receive frequent and individualized feedback from Dalkey editors
on translation work.
* Gain experience in editing translations.
* Will work directly with authors as well as other translators.

Editors at Dalkey Archive Press will be assigned to train applicants via
email on a one-to-one basis. Occasional meetings at Dalkey Archive
Press’s offices or videoconferences may also be organized. The program
is highly competitive and is intended for promising translators who are
at an early point in their careers, but who have already achieved the
skill level to undertake professional translation work. Ten students
will be selected based on the strength of their application materials,
and the relevance of their background to the kind of literature that
Dalkey Archive publishes.

Application process
1) Translators interested in applying should send the following to as early as possible; though start-dates may
be flexible, no more than ten students will be accepted:
* Curriculum Vitae, including employment history
* A letter of intent detailing:
- Qualifications, with an eye toward demonstrating that the
applicant has the necessary translation skills to benefit from this program
- An in-depth knowledge of the historical roots of the literary
aesthetic represented in Dalkey Archive book
- A brief list of the applicants favorite authors and authors
most interested in translatin
- Evidence of a substantial reading background in the
applicants’ chosen language(s)
* 3 sample translations of fiction from the applicant’s language(s)
of specialization (translations of poetry or nonfiction may not be
included in place of a fiction sample)

2) Applicants should follow the guidelines below very carefully:
* Samples should consist of the first pages of a published novel or
short story only.
* Samples should not be from books that have already been translated
and published in English.
* Each sample should be 5 to 10 pages long.
* Do not include the original-language versions of your samples.
* Complete applications, including all abovementioned materials,
should be sent via email as a single .pdf file only (no other formats
will be read) labeled with the applicant’s name (i.e.,
* Within this file, application materials should be ordered as
follows: CV, letter of intent, 3 samples, 3 letters of recommendation.
* Letters of intent should not be sent in the body of the email, but
should be part of the application file. No substantial information
should be included in the body of the email.

The admissions process will quite likely include an interview. Emphasis
will be placed on readiness to benefit from this online program rather
than on academic experience or degrees. Applicants who have in-depth
knowledge of Dalkey Archive’s books and general aesthetic will be given
preference. Fees: $5,000 at the time of acceptance. This fee will be
partially or fully offset by grants awarded by funding agencies for
enrollees who complete a publishable translation. Announcement of
Results: Admissions announcements will be made within two weeks of
receipt of applications. Any questions or requests concerning the
application process and program should be sent to Jeremy Davies at

Thursday, 19 November 2009

OuLiPo on Radio 4

Dear all,

Many thanks to Fay Guerry who pointed out this excellent Radio 4 programme by Ben Schott about OuLiPo, one of the world's most fun and thought-provoking experimental literary groups. It's available for the next few days on the BBC iPlayer service. If translation of experimental literature and translation as experimental literature interests you, this is your evening's entertainment!

Literary translation events in Bristol

There's a very interesting-looking lecture and colloquium on in Bristol in a couple of weeks which may appeal to anyone interested in literature, including classical literature. For Portsmouth DL students it also may be of interest to those of you taking the Translating History unit. As far as I know the events are free of charge and open to all.

Plenary lecture and colloquium

School of Modern Languages; Department of Drama; BIRTHA; Bristol Institute for the study of Greece, Rome and the Classical Tradition; AHRC Penguin Archive Project

Tuesday 8 December

BIRTHA plenary lecture
BIRTHA Distinguished Lecturer Scheme award
Lecture Theatre 1, School of Humanities, 11 Woodland Road

17.15 – 18.15 Peter France – ‘Why retranslate?’

Peter France is editor of the Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation (2000) and the Oxford History of Literary Translation in English (2005-, 5 vols), both of which are seminal contributions to translation studies. He has translated extensively from French and Russian and has, in particular, published several volumes of poetry by the Chuvash poet, Gennady Aygi.

Peter France is an Emeritus Professor of the University of Edinburgh, a Fellow of the British Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His exceptional contribution to European literature and the international literary scene has also been recognised by award of Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour and his election as a Foreign Member if the Chuvash National Academy.

18.15 Reception

Wednesday 9 December

Colloquium and performance
Wickham Theatre, Drama Department, Cantock’s Close

10.00 – 10.30 Registration

10.30 – 12.20 Session 1
Chair: John Lyon

10.30 – 10.50 Sian Reynolds – ‘Adventures in the book trade: translators and their publishers’

10.50 – 11.10 Robert Crowe – ‘Translating Titles in Penguin Classics’

11.10 – 11.50 Tom Boll – ‘”Discussing Poems into English”: Penguin and César Vallejo’

11.50 – 12.20 Response and discussion

12.20 – 13.30 Lunch

13.30 – 15.15 Session 2
Chair: Neville Morley

13.30 – 13.50 Richard Mansell – ‘From China to Spain: the long way round’

13.50 – 14.10 Genevieve Lively – 'Translation as Transformation: Tales from Ovid'

14.10 – 14.30 Mark Thompson – ‘The Other Side of Globalisation’

14.30 – 15.15 Response and discussion

15.15 – 15.45 Break

15.45 Grand-Guignol performance
Introduction: Katja Krebs

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Poetry of Exile event Southsea 29 November

Those of you round Portsmouth and interested in literature might be interested in a poetry reading later in the month. 'Poetry of Exile' features, among others, the Iraqi poet Adnan al-Sayegh and his English translator Stephen Watts. Adnan and Stephen have just published a short volume of English translations called The Deleted Part. You might like more information about Adnan here, more information about Stephen here, and/or more information about the reading here. The event takes place at the Florence Arms in Southsea on Sunday 29 November (not 27 November as advertised on the Poetry Society website).

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

The Translator as Writer

For those of you who couldn't be at the conference (and even those who could!) I thought this blog post by Jody Byrne, one of our excellent plenary speakers, might be of interest.

Monday, 2 November 2009

some careers links

Hi guys, here are a few careers links that I came across recently and thought might be useful.

For school leavers thinking about how to prepare for a career as a linguist, there is basic information about translation career pathways at the CILT – Languages Work website. School leavers might also like to look at the Prospects website.

For anyone attracted by the idea of a career in the European institutions, you can find out more here. One way to start a career as a linguist with the European institutions is to apply to the (highly competitive) ‘Blue Book’ traineeship scheme which can lead to placements for suitably qualified candidates at the Directorate-General for Translation at the European Commission.

Or try your University careers service. Purple Door at the University of Portsmouth often has vacancies for translators. Interested UoP students and graduates should send a CV to The University of Nottingham has a useful-looking page of translation careers stuff here.

Again for graduates or graduating students, the Tips for Translators blog recently published a mega list of translation agencies worldwide which you might find useful when sending out CVs. The post is dated 27 September 2009. Remember to target CVs carefully – it’s worth looking up agencies and finding out as much as you can about them before making contact. And, of course, make sure that your CV and covering email are lovingly burnished, polished, spellchecked, formatted and proofread to within an inch of their life. Portsmouth students and graduates can take advantage of Purple Door’s CV surgery.

If you decide to go the route of looking for an internship or placement, you could try suitable agencies in your region, or read back over this blog for companies which have advertised placements in the past. You might also like to try the translation placement page at the National Network for Translation site. Even if you don’t find an advertised placement to suit you, you may find the handbook of use in negotiating a placement with a company directly.

Lastly, a couple of blogs that I found interesting recently:
this blog has podcasts on practical issues relating to the industry in the US, and I really liked this page with common misconceptions about translation.

PhD studentships at Aston

For anyone considering PhD study in translation, full bursaries are available at Aston University in the School of Languages and Social Sciences:

The School of Languages and Social Sciences at Aston University is offering TWO three-year fees-only bursaries to students who already have, or who will have completed at the latest by October 2009, a Masters degree in a relevant subject area. The bursaries will enable students to undertake research in any of the School's areas of academic endeavour, of which Translation Studies is one. The School's vibrant research culture and the rapidly expanding cohort of full-time research students provide a stimulating intellectual environment. The value of each bursary is sufficient to cover for three years the fees of a student who has a European Union passport.

In addition there is A THIRD bursary which will not only cover the fees of a European Union student but will also pay up to £5,000 per annum in return for 6 hours weekly of academic support work as requested by their Supervisor and/or Head of the subject area to which s/he is attached.

If you wish to apply for one of these bursaries, please complete and submit by midday on the 30th November 2009 an electronic PhD application form, which can be downloaded from the School's Research Degree website.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

lecture on audiodescription, London, 9 December

Dear all,

The next in the series of annual plenary lectures in translation at City University will be:

Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words? The basic principles of Audio Description
Yota Georgakopoulou
European Captioning Institute

Audiodescription is fascinating and I expect the lecture to be very interesting for those of you interested in audiovisual translation.

The lecture is free but must be booked online here.

Monday, 26 October 2009

residencies for literary translators from FR to EN

Hi all,

Just came across this on the French Book News site and thought it might be of interest to colleagues with literary experience and/or interests. There are several residency and grant schemes available to translators from French to English, both British and American.
If memory serves, there are also residencies for translators from French at the CITL in Arles (see here and at the Banff International Literary Translation Centre here.

Maybe of interest to someone with a translation of a great and underappreciated writer in their drawer/head/future?

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Translation events Foyles, London, November

Many thanks to Jon Evans, who has just drawn my attention to these translation events happening next month as part of Foyles Bookshop's Festival of Ibero-American Literature. The whole festival looks great, but for translation students events of most interest include:

Saturday 14 November

13.45 – 15.00 The Art of Translation
Translation is an essential part of the literary market in a globalised world, opening the gates to foreign narratives in the luxury of our own language. But what are the challenges behind translation, and what ethical questions does it pose? Join us for an exciting session with the UK’s leading figures in literary translation, Dr Stefan Tobler, Professor Amanda Hopkinson and Professor Peter Bush, as they discuss their crucial role in bringing Latin American and Hispanic literature to the UK.
Tickets: Free, email to reserve a place

15.15 – 16.30 The Art of Translation: A Closer Look
Get up close to the particulars of translation as Colombian author Juan Gabriel Vásquez and translator Anne McLean discuss their work on The Informers, 9780747596516 shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and one of the most successful Latin American novels to be published in the UK in recent years.
Tickets: Free, email to reserve a place

Monday, 19 October 2009

translating for the stage

I thought it might be nice to put together a quick summary and a few links about theatre translation, for my own amusement and maybe other people's too.

Translation for the stage is unlike any other form of literary translation, because of the dimension of performance. Translations for the stage are recreated with each new production and even with each new performance. When translating a play, it’s crucial to know what the purpose of the translation is. There is a big difference between translation for performance and translation for publication. Translations for publication are intended to be read, rather than performed, so you might well find footnotes in a reading translation of a play – but you can’t have footnotes on stage, so jokes, puns, cultural references and wordplay must be recreated in a way which works for the new audience. Performable translations must also be ‘speakable’ by the actors, and may be adapted by director and actors in the rehearsal process.

Like other forms of literary translation, translation for the stage is a niche specialisation. One of the more remarkable traditions in British theatre today is the use of ‘literal’ translations to support ‘new versions’ by well-known writers. A translator is commissioned to provide a close translation of the text with supporting documentation, which is then used by the writer to develop his or her ‘own’ version of the text. This is the case, for instance, with many newly commissioned translations of Russian plays. Literal translators are usually poorly paid and unrecognised for their work, though some reward may be found in the opportunity to work with big names in the theatre world. In an ideal scenario, the translator, the director and the actors work closely together in rehearsal but in the 'real world' this often doesn't happen.

There’s a good article about translation of classical French comedy for the British stage here. You might also like to read this interesting panel discussion organised by the National Theatre a few years ago.

A play that’s been retranslated for the stage several times is Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac. Compare this scene from a 2006 Comédie Française production:

with the same scene from Derek Jacobi’s 1985 Royal Shakespeare Company production of the play (this is from the TV version so is a bit like cheating). Jacobi uses a newly commissioned translation by Anthony Burgess, though he could, in theory, have used any one of a number of existing translations. The Gertrude Hall translation, which appeared in 1898, might be a bit old-fashioned, but the 1923 version by the American translator Brian Hooker was a big success in its day. The 1972 Lowell Bair translation is for publication rather than for performance, but Jacobi might well have chosen the Christopher Fry translation from 1975, which I saw revived earlier this year at Chichester with Joseph Fiennes in the title role, and thoroughly enjoyable it was too! Of course, in 1985 Jacobi didn’t have access to Edwin Morgan’s 1992 Scots version of Cyrano, Ranjit Bolt and Jatinda Verma’s Indian adaptation, or Irish poet Derek Mahon’s 2004 version (which received rather mixed reviews, like this one. This is how Jacobi imagines the scene:

(Anyone who follows this blog regularly may recognise this scene from a previous post which included a clip of the same scene, subtitled in English, from Rappeneau’s 1990 film of the play.)

A specialised type of translating for the stage is surtitling, or the writing of short titles to translate dialogue or song lyrics. These titles may be displayed on a screen over or beside the stage, or in a little airline-style screen on the back of the seat in front – there are some images here of what it looks like. Surtitling is now fairly common for performances of opera in the original languages, and is also used for stage musicals. There’s a long interview with Jonathan Burton and Judi Palmer of the Royal Opera House here (it’s a big file so it might take a while to download).

Of course, it’s also possible to make ‘singable’ translations of opera, musicals and songs, though it’s extremely challenging. Here’s an aria from Handel’s opera Giulio Cesare, originally written in Italian:

and the same aria sung in English (this also gives a good picture of how different stage productions of the same ‘work’ can vary):

On a cheesier note, here’s a well-known song from the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Jesus Christ Superstar:

and the same song in Italian (sorry I couldn’t find performance footage for this):

There are several good academic books out there on translating for the stage, of which one of the most accessible and interesting is David Johnston’s (alas, apparently out of print) Stages of Translation: Translators on Translating for the Stage.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

webinar on building relationships with translation agencies

Dear all,

The indefatigable Chartered Institute of Linguists is holding another webinar, this time on building relationships with translation agencies. 'How to Approach, Impress and Retain Agencies' is delivered by Anne de Freyman. For more details see the Chartered Institute of Linguists' website.


Wednesday, 14 October 2009

translation seminars in Edinburgh

Those of you (very lucky people) within hail of the beautiful city of Edinburgh may be interested in the joint Translation Studies research seminar run by Heriot Watt and the University of Edinburgh. The programme for the autumn follows. Seminars are open to the public and students and staff from across the universities.

Svenja Adolphs, University of Nottingham
Record, Represent, Replay: Construction + Analysis of Multi-Modal Language Corpora
Wed., 21 Oct. 2009, 4.00-5.30pm, Heriot-Watt University

Amanda Hopkinson, Centre for Lit. Trans., University of East Anglia
The politics and polices of literary translation
Wed., 4 Nov. 2009, 4.00-5.30pm, University of Edinburgh

Christina Schäffner, Aston University and Cecilia Wadensjö, Linköping University
Press conferences and recontextualisation
Fri., 20 Nov. 2009, 3-6 pm, Venue: David Brewster Building 1.13, Heriot-Watt University

Sharon Deane, University of Edinburgh
In Quest of a PhD: Methods for exploring and shaping a research project in TS
Wed., 3 Feb. 2010, 4.00-5.30pm, University of Edinburgh

Sameh Hanna, University of Salford
Negotiating Shakespeare in Arabic: The Socio-cultural Dynamics of Drama Translation in Egypt
Wed., 17 Feb. 2010, 4.00-5.30pm, Heriot-Watt University

Dimitris Asimakoulas, University of Surrey
Translating 'Self' and 'Others': Translation and Protest under the Greek Junta
Wed., 10 March 2010, 4.00-5.30pm, University of Edinburgh

Sara Laviosa, University of Bari
Intercultural Language Learning & Translation: A thing of the present for our future
Wed., 24 March 2010, 4.00-5.30pm, Heriot-Watt University

Venues, unless indicated otherwise
At University of Edinburgh: David Hume Tower, Faculty Room South:
At Heriot Watt University: Postgraduate Centre, lecture theatre G.01 (unless indicated otherwise)
map at:

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Conference and guest lecture, 6-7 November, Portsmouth

A quick reminder that the one-day conference 'The Translator as Writer' takes place in Park Building, Portsmouth PO1 2DZ (just by the Guildhall and Portsmouth and Southsea train station) on Saturday 7 November 2009.

We have a packed programme of papers and workshops including plenary lectures by novelist, theatre translator and director Neil Bartlett and Jody Byrne, author of Technical Translation. For details and online registration go to (sorry for lack of link but html is going all squirrelly on me).

On the afternoon of Friday 6 November we also have a research seminar given by Dr Michaela Wolf of the University of Graz. Dr Wolf will speak on the topic

“A sociological eye on research in translation history”

The talk will take place at 4.00 pm in Park Building, Room 2.05. The event is free and all are welcome.

Friday, 9 October 2009

being a translator at the UN

It's not easy to find films about translation - usually the interpreters get most of the attention! ;) - but this film below is quite nice and has good advice about how to go about furthering a career as an in-house translator at the UN in New York. The film was produced by the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California, but lots of what Sabela has to say is relevant to translator training in general.

For those of you who are particularly interested in careers at the UN, go here to find past UN exam papers and details of their entrance exam process.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Susan Sontag prize for translation

Dear friends,
This looks like an exciting opportunity for any of you working in appropriate language combinations:

$5,000 grant for a literary translation from Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
or Icelandic into English

This $5,000 grant will be awarded to a proposed work of literary
translation from Swedish, Norwegian, Danish or Icelandic into English
and is open to anyone under the age of 30. The translation must fall
under the category of fiction or letters, and the applicant will propose
his or her own translation project. The project should be manageable for
a five-month period of work, as the grant will be awarded in May 2010,
and the translation must be completed by October 2010. Acceptable
proposals include a novella, a play, a collection of short stories or
poems, or a collection of letters that have literary import. Preference
will be given to works that have not been previously translated.
(Previously translated works will be considered, however applicants
should include an explanation for why they are proposing a new
translation.) Applicants wishing to translate significantly longer works
should contact the Foundation before sending in their applications so
that supplementary materials can be included. The prizewinner will be
notified on May 14, 2010 and results will be announced online at The recipient will be expected to participate in
symposia on literary translation with established writers and
translators, as well as public readings of their work once the
translation has been completed.

Application Requirements (Please download the official application
online at All applications must include three
copies of the following:
• Application Cover Sheet (available online at
• Personal Statement (2 pages maximum) explaining your interest and
background in literature and the source language (Swedish, Norwegian,
Danish or Icelandic)
• Project proposal (2 pages maximum) outlining the work and describing
its importance
• 5 page sample translation of the proposed work from the source
language into English
• The same passage in the original language
• A bio-bibliography of the author (including information on previous
translations of his or her work into English)
• One academic letter of recommendation
• Official transcript from your current or most recent academic institution

All applications must be submitted via regular mail to the Foundation’s
P.O. Box address, which will be posted online at on
December 15, 2009. All application materials must be received by
February 13, 2010. The fine print: Applicants must be under the age of
30 on the date the prizewinner will be announced: May 14, 2010. By
submitting work to the Susan Sontag Foundation, the applicant
acknowledges the right of the Foundation to use the accepted work in its
publications, on its website, and for educational and promotional
purposes related to the Foundation. Please note that application
materials cannot be returned to applicants.

For more information, please go to or

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Translation memory webinars

Dear all,

The Chartered Institute of Linguists is organising a series of webinars on translation memory which may be of interest to some of you - note that they are webinars so you can participate from anywhere in the world! I haven't participated in such events in the past but would expect them to be of interest, especially for those of you with limited experience of CAT tools. There is a discount for students.


The Translating Division of the Chartered Institute of Linguists is delighted to invite you to a series of workshops on computer-aided translation tools. Join us to view demonstrations of three different systems, Déjà vu, MemoQ and Wordfast. You need to register for EACH of the workshop webinars that you wish to attend.

Attend one, two or all three. We are giving a discount for attending more than one – see below. Please register for each webinar you wish to attend. On registration you will be directed to a page giving you information as to how to pay for this event. Fees: Students £8, Members £12.00, non-members £15. Payment by sterling cheque or Paypal (a handling charge is made for Paypal payments). If you register for 2 sessions, the fee will be £12/£20/£26 and for 3 sessions, it will be £16/£28/£37 respectively. Please send your payment (cheque or Paypal) to the address shown on the web page. On receipt of your payment, the organiser will send you the link(s) to join the webinars. Queries to the organiser please:


Thursday 29 October 2009 11:00 a.m. GMT (time in London)

Presenter David Turner, SFT

David Turner is an experienced user of and trainer in Deja Vu and will be demonstrating the tool's major features, using some real-life examples as illustration. There will be an opportunity to ask questions, and, where possible, these will be answered by means of further on-line demonstrations.

The session is aimed at translators who have been using Deja Vu, but who wish to intensify their knowledge of this CAT tool.

To register, click here:


Friday 30th October 2009, 11:00 a.m. GMT (time in London)


Presenter Lucy Brooks, MCIL, CL (Translator)

This workshop is an introduction to MemoQ (published by Kilgray) aimed at newcomers to the software. Lucy will demonstrate tool's major features, using some real-life examples as illustration. There will be an opportunity to ask questions, and, where possible, these will be answered by means of further on-line demonstrations.

To register, click here:


Tuesday 3 November 2009 at 11:00 a.m. GMT (time in London)


Presenter Dominique Pivard

Dominique is a professional Wordfast trainer and will be demonstrating aspects of the software. There will be an opportunity to ask questions, and, where possible, these will be answered by means of further on-line demonstrations.

The session is aimed at translators who have some experience of Wordfast, but who wish to intensify their knowledge of this CAT tool.

To register, click here:


What equipment do I need to attend a webinar?

You need a PC with a reasonably fast broadband connection and speakers. A microphone is not necessary unless you are invited to speak. You can ask questions by typing them.

Who is organising the webinars?

The Translating Division Committee of the Chartered Institute of Linguists. The Institute itself is not responsible for the webinars. The Translating Division Committee is made up of volunteer translators. We are mostly freelancers, and do this in our spare time.

If I have to cancel, can I get a refund?

Due to the high amount of administration involved we do not anticipate giving refunds for cancelled places except in exceptional circumstances. You may transfer your fee to another webinar in the future.

What is the deadline for payment?

Please try to make your payment 72 hours before the date of the webinar. Our systems are not fully automated and require manual input, so you need to allow time for this.

Why are you not including Trados in your workshops?

The answer is that Trados has recently brought out a new suite of software, Trados Suite 2009. We have not yet been able to find a trainer of our own to present a similar workshop to those above. Furthermore, demonstrations and training courses have recently been made widely available by the vendor.

Can I download the webinar to view later?

Unfortunately not at the present time.

How can I find out more?
Please address any queries to

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Translation research seminars at Salford nr Manchester

Dear all,

The University of Salford in Manchester also runs research seminars which look very very interesting this semester, for those of you in the North of England who are free on a Wednesday afternoon...

Centre for Research in Linguistics

Translation Studies

Interpreters in the Nuremberg trials
Dr Simona Tobia (University of Reading)
4.30pm, Wednesday 18 November 2009
Maxwell Building, Room 813

Translating Rhythm for Performance
Dr Roger Baines & Fred Dalmasso (University of East Anglia)
4.30pm, Wednesday 25 November 2009
Maxwell Building, Room 813

Translation and oblique censorship in the Italian Press
Dr Federico Federici (University of Durham)
4.30pm, Wednesday 2 December 2009
Maxwell Building, Room 813


Debbie Hughes
Executive Officer/Conference Assistant
European Studies Research Institute (ESRI)
Research Support Unit
G33/34, Crescent House
University of Salford
M5 4WT
Tel: +44 (0)161 295 5614
Fax: +44 (0)161 295 2818

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

translation research seminars in Manchester

Dear all,

The Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies at the University of Manchester runs an excellent translation research seminar series on Monday afternoons, for any of you in that general area. They are free and open to the public.

Translation Studies Seminar Series 2009/10

Centre for Translation & Intercultural Studies
School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures
University of Manchester, UK

Mondays 2-4 p.m., Samuel Alexander Building, Room A101

Semester 1

5 October 2009
Using online resources to enhance your translation portfolio
Alina Secara, University of Leeds, UK

12 October 2009
'That's all very well for you to say...’ Models and Modalities in Interpreting Studies
Graham Turner, Heriot-Watt University, UK

19 October 2009
Prose Truths versus Poetic Fictions: Sacred Translations, Competing Genres and Rival Religions in Colonial South India
Hephzibah Israel, University of Delhi, India

26 October 2009
The Many Lives of the Literary Translator
Nicky Harman, Imperial College London, UK

2 November, Reading week; no seminar

9 November 2009
Cross-media Translations
Karin Littau, University of Essex, UK

16 November 2009
Social Media in Public Organizations: the case of the European Commission
Kaisa Koskinen, University of Tampere, Finland

23 November 2009
Visualising Corpora
Nino Luz, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

30 November 2009
The Arab Quest for Europe
Rasheed El-Enany, University of Exeter, UK

7 December 2009
Non-professionals translating/interpreting
Sebnem Susam-Sarajeva, University of Edinburgh, UK

Semester 2

15 February 2010
Classics and Translation Studies: Contest or Conversation?
Lorna Hardwick, Open University, UK

22 February 2010
Properties of Registers and Properties of Translations: Corpus Architecture, Operationalizations and some Findings
Erich Steiner, Saarland University, Germany

1 March 2010
Fraternizing or not Fraternizing with the Enemy
Hilary Ann Footitt, University of Reading, UK

8 March 2010
Achieving Professional Quality in Translation
Jo Drugan, University of Leeds, UK

15 March 2010
Forms and functions of the translated book: the paratext as a critical index of intention and reception
Guyda Armstrong, University of Manchester, UK

22 March 2010
"The Muslim Woman" as Celebrity Author and the Politics of Translating Arabic
Marilyn Booth, University of Edinburgh, UK

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Subtitling returns

Dear all,

There was a positive response to the few tidbits I posted on subtitling earlier in the summer, so I thought the following might be of interest.

For those of you within hailing distance of London, the Translators Association of the Society of Authors is holding a subtitling workshop on 8 October called 'Found in Translation'. The language combination is French-English but I believe no knowledge of French is necessary to enjoy the workshop. More information on the event can be found here on the BCLT website (I couldn't find details on the Society's website but may, as usual, have been looking in the wrong place).

I also came across the following amusing short film which any of you who teach translation may like to use as an Awful Warning about the perils of machine translation:

Chartered Institute of Linguists webinar and seminar

Dear all,

Welcome back after the long, not-very-hot-at-all-in-England summer. Term's starting up soon (oh, the excitement!) and we're all looking forward to the translation conference 'The Translator as Writer' on 7 November. Meanwhile, two events that may be of interest to students and graduates, run by the Chartered Institute of Linguists. The first is a webinar on 13 October on 'Building a Strong Professional Presence Online':
Presenter Sarah Dillon, MCIL

The event covers:

• Why language professionals need to seriously consider developing their professional presence online
• How to target the right online communities by designing an appropriate internet strategy
• Actions you can take to increase your visibility and enhance your reputation
• Online etiquette and how to network safely and without risk to your offline identity
• How to avoid spending hours online with little or nothing to show for it
• Actions you can take to promote yourself online without being “salesy” or pushy

NOTE: On registration you will be directed to a page giving you information as to how to pay for this event. Fees: Students £8, Members of CIoL £12.00, non-members £15. Payment by sterling cheque or Paypal (a handling charge of 70p is made for Paypal payments).

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 2000, XP Home, XP Pro, 2003 Server, Vista
Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.4 (Tiger®) or newer

Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

The second event is an offline event in London on 'Getting into Translation & Specialisation'

Saturday, 17 October 2009 at 10:30 am
Venue: Novotel, London City South
53-61 Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1 9HH
(nearest tube: London Bridge, Borough High St exit)


10:30 – 11:00 Coffee and networking
11:00 – 12:00 GETTING INTO TRANSLATION: Presentation by Philippa Hammond especially aimed at newcomers to the profession, although it will also be of interest to established translators.
12:00 – 12:30 Q&A
12:30 – 13:45 Lunch and networking
13:45 – 15:30 SPECIALISED TRANSLATION: Presentations by two experienced specialised translators, Ricardo Martínez Perales (Legal) and Noemí Rey (Mechanical Engineering)
15:30 – 16:00 Q&A, Ricardo and Noemí will form a joint panel
16:00 - 16:10 Concluding remarks and close
Enquiries to Julie Hobbs at

More information can be found here on the CIoL site.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

translation tutors - positions available

Dear all,

We are currently seeking to expand our bank of part-time translation tutors in the languages Arabic, Russian and Polish. For further details and an application form see the website at,100998,en.html. For informal discussion about the tutor posts contact the MA Programmes coordinator, Ian Kemble on ian.kemble at

Friday, 31 July 2009

Proceedings of last year's translation conference

Dear all,

This is just to let you know that the proceedings of the 2008 Portsmouth Translation Conference have now been printed. The theme was "The Changing Face of Translation" and the proceedings include contributions by translation scholars, trainers and industry professionals. Copies are available for a special introductory price of £4 plus 50p postage. Please send a cheque made out to the University of Portsmouth for £4.50 to:

Naomi Britton
Translation Conference Secretary
School of Languages
University of Portsmouth
Park Building
King henry I Street
Portsmouth PO1 2DZ
United Kingdom

Thursday, 30 July 2009

translation job opportunity

Dear all,

I have been contacted by a UK-based translation and interpreting company looking to add suitably qualified (graduate) linguists to their database. They are particularly looking for native speakers of English. They cover telephone interpreting, face-to-face interpreting and translation. If you are interested, please contact me at for a registration form.


Friday, 24 July 2009

Introduction to subtitling

Periodically I get asked for basic reading material on subtitling, so I thought this might be an opportunity to collect together some good sites for any interested parties. These will be about interlingual subtitling (from one language to another) rather than intralingual subtitling (for the deaf and hard of hearing, also known as captioning). Subtitling has been defined in a recently published textbook as

"a translation practice that consists of presenting a written text, generally on the lower part of the screen, that endeavours to recount the original dialogue of the speakers, as well as the discursive elements that appear in the image (letters, inserts, graffiti, inscriptions, placards, and the like), and the information that is contained on the soundtrack (songs, voices off)" (Díaz Cintas & Remael, Audiovisual Translation: Subtitling, 2007, p.8).

Swedish subtitler Jan Ivarsson keeps a useful page of subtitling resources here. There's a nice piece by the filmmaker Peter Thompson on subtitles here. There's a great mini-workshop on subtitling by Jorge Díaz Cintas here which I thoroughly recommend (and feel free to drop me a line here if you want to know the answers to the last bit of the workshop!).

Subtitlers, like translators, don't tend to get famous, but there are a few who are well-known. Linda Hoaglund has subtitled films by Kurosawa and others, and has an interesting website here with subtitled film clips. There's a nice piece from the 1950s by David Gunston about the British subtitler Mai Harris on the blog of the Association des Traducteurs et Adaptateurs de l'Audiovisuel. The site is in French but the article and various supporting materials are in English. The novelist and translator Anthony Burgess, inventor of Nadsat and of the strange, proto-Indo-European language of La Guerre du Feu, subtitled Jean-Paul Rappeneau's film of Rostand's rhyming play Cyrano de Bergerac in rhyme:

Lastly, allow me to recommend this subtitled short film by the Italian filmmaker Maxi Dejoie, which I saw a couple of years ago at the London sf film festival. Check it out - it's bleak post-apocalyptic sf (so, my favourite) but the subtitles are also surprising. And try to guess what language the subtitles are translating... :)

Monday, 20 July 2009

conversation about ES-EN literary translation

Hi all,

I've just been listening to a very nice conversation between the translator Esther Allen and the novelist Jose Manuel Prieto at a literary lunch organised by the Centre for the Art of Translation. Have a listen to the audio recordings at their website. Of particular interest to those of you working with Spanish.

Monday, 13 July 2009

working as a linguist at the UN

Just came across this film produced for last year's International Year of Languages which gives a nice overview of what it's like to work for the UN as a linguist:

Sorry you'll have to copy and paste the link - must learn html one of these days... :(

Friday, 10 July 2009

PhD bursaries deadline 24 July

Dear all,

Any of you who may be considering contining your studies in translation to doctoral level may like to know that the Faculty has made available substantial support for doctoral research beginning in October 2009. There are two more full bursaries including fees and maintenance, and details can be found at These are for several fields, not just translation, but there are also several fees-only bursaries available (for this year only), so it's well worth applying! There is a brief list of supervision areas on the website, but feel free to get in touch if you you're not sure whether your possible topic is included.

DE-EN translation job in Germany

Dear all,
I have recently learned of the following opportunity which may be of interest to those of you who work from German into English and are available to move to Germany. As always, please note the requirements carefully.

My name is Lucian Dumitrescu and I am a managing partner with altalingua. Our company is specialized in automotive translations working for customers like VW and Audi.

We have now a request for de > en on site translators in Wolfsburg, Germany [...]
Here are more details:

- contract to be signed for 01.09.2009 – 31.12.2010, with the possibility of it being renewed

- translator to work at the VW premises, with desk & PC to be provided by the customer

- working hours are flexible; basis is a 40h / week, with potential 9h-10h days when specific jobs require it; a 180h / month will be our contractual basis

- texts to be translated are diverse: from owner's documentation to service literature and marketing presentations

- extensive de > en glossary and TMs will support the translation process, plus in-house customer support for queries


- our suggested payment is 4.000 Euros / month with potential overtime (weekends & co.) to be calculated separately

- translator to provide monthly invoices to altalingua


- university degree in translations or another university degree and at least 2 years hands-on experience in translations

- very good command of German and native proficiency in English (the exact words from VW: Englisch Muttersprache als Kultursprache)

- experience in working with CAT tools (Trados)

If you would be interested in this job, the steps we have been informed about are:

- sample translation

- interviews and a final test in Wolfsburg with the prospective candidates.

Just let me know if this position suits your interests.
I look forward to receiving your answer.

Best regards,
Lucian Dumitrescu
Managing Partner
Eastern European Solutions

tel: +40 21 326.80.83
fax: +40 21 326.80.82
mobile: +40 742 154.254

Monday, 6 July 2009

call for freelance translators

Hello all!
Where did the sun go?!? Oh well. Have just received this email via a colleague which may be of interest to some of you.

Good morning,
I am writing to let you know that we are currently recruiting freelance translators at Orb Translations. We are very keen to work with translators at an early stage in their career as we understand how difficult it can be to start out as a freelancer therefore I would be grateful if you could pass this message on to your MA Translation students who may be interested in applying.

We are currently looking to recruit for all language combinations but are particularly interested in Arabic, Chinese (Simplified/Traditional), Danish, Dutch, Greek, Korean, Portuguese and Urdu. I have attached an application form which can be returned directly to me at this email address or there is also an online application form on the website ( Obviously as your students will just be starting out, they do not need to worry too much about giving 2 referees.
Thank you in advance for your help.
Kind regards,
Louise Clegg

Orb Translations
29 Otley Old Road, Leeds, LS16 6HB, UK
T: +44(0)1138154149
M: +44(0)7929207675
F: +44(0)1132987966

Thursday, 25 June 2009

placement in Paris

Hello all,
We just received the following details of a placement in Paris which may be of interest to you or to colleagues...

Dear Sir/Madam,

We are a translation company in Paris seeking to take on a student in translation for a placement to last several months or even a year depending on their availability. The student would of course receive payment.

The position involves translation, proofreading and project management. We need a native English speaker to translate from French and preferably at least one of Spanish, Italian or German into English, as well as handling proofreading of translations in these languages. The work is very varied, ranging from computer manuals to fashion trends.

Knowledge of Trados would be greatly appreciated, as would a working knowledge of any other languages.

Candidates may send their CV and cover letter to or call me on my direct line: 00 33 1 42 62 82 18.

We will send tests to those with an interesting profile.

Would you be able to put us in touch with suitable students?

Thank you very much for your help.

Yours sincerely,

Kay Denney
Project Manager FR-EN
INTERWORD Traduction
18, rue Stéphenson
75018 PARIS
Tél. + 33 (0)1 42 62 80 94
Fax : + 33 (0)1 42 62 80 95
site Internet :

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Translators Association translation seminars

For those of you in within hailing distance of London, there are two seminars coming up run by the Translators Association of the Society of Authors. They will be on 29 July (translating sex in literary fiction) and 8 October (subtitling). Both will be run by experienced professional translators and should be very enjoyable. The events are open to members and non-members of the TA and advance booking is required.

29 July

Lewd Rude and Nude: the art of translating private parts

This workshop will explore the ins and outs of genital mention in the translation of literary fiction. In many languages, our private parts can be described in neutral language, for example the French 'le sexe', which is applicable to either gender. In English however we often find ourselves vacillating between medical, pornographic and downright crude vocabulary.

Translators from any language are invited to join Polly McLean in a facilitated discussion of the impact on register and tone of these less than perfect choices. If you would like to contribute some problems or examples in advance, please email her on pollymclean at



Society of Authors
84 Drayton Gardens
SW10 9SB

Enquiries to Sarah Burton, sburton at, 020 73736642 (last-minute applications by phone)


8 October

Found in Translation: writing subtitles for the movies

This workshop will examine the nuts and bolts of subtitling fiction and documentary films. After a brief introduction presenting the raw material (spotting list and dialogue list as well as image) from which a subtitler works, the constraints it imposes on the translation process, and the types of problems encountered, we will tackle some concrete examples drawn from feature films, shorts and documentaries shot in French and subtitled in English. A command of French is helpful but not essential.



Society of Authors
84 Drayton Gardens
SW10 9SB

Enquiries to Sarah Burton, sburton at, 020 73736642 (last-minute applications by phone)

Chartered Institute of Linguists webinar

Dear all,
The following came round in an email circular, and may be of interest to those of you considering applying for membership of a professional translation body.

An Introduction to the Chartered Institute of Linguists (Translating Division)

Join us for a Webinar on July 15

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

A webinar intended to provide new members with information about the Chartered Institute of LInguists, what it does, the benefits to allmembers, and in particular, to translators who have joined the Translating Division.

Join us for an illuminating on-line talk about where you can find advice, network with fellow members, find out about the latest technology, and pick up lots of hints and information invaluable to translators - who can often feel isolated, especially if working from home.

This webinar is provided to you at no charge.

Date: Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM BST

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 2000, XP Home, XP Pro, 2003 Server, Vista

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.4 (Tiger®) or newer

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

theatre translation talk, City University, London

Received from City University, London today:

We'd be delighted to see translators, and those interested in the field of translation, at our forthcoming public lecture on Wednesday 1 July 2009, 6.30pm.

In the lecture, titled "All the World's a Stage: translation for the theatre", translator and actor William Gregory will cover some of the specific challenges faced by the translator when translating theatre texts.

These include the highly collaborative nature of theatre, the many purposes for which translation of plays are commissioned, the problem of 'performability' and the polemic over so-called 'literal' translations.

William will also talk briefly about the theatre translation industry in the UK today and encourage translators who think theatre may not be a field for them to see it as an area worth exploring.

Find out more and book a place online at

Centre for Language Studies
City University London

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Translating/writing workshop, New York State

Dear all,
I have just heard about a very interesting-looking event called 'Translate in the Catskills', run by the American Translators' Association. See The workshop runs French to English and English to French. I am acquainted with one of the workshop leaders, who is an excellent translator and workshopper, and it looks like a really enjoyable event for those of you within hailing distance of the Catskills!

Writing skills really are fundamental to translation - which neatly brings me to the topic of this autumn's Portsmouth translation conference, The Translator as Writer, on 7 November in Portsmouth. For the first time, and in response to feedback from previous years, the programme will feature hands-on writing workshops with experienced translators in a range of languages and text types. If you can't get to the Catskills, how about Hampshire? We hope to see many of you there.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Event: Starting work as a translator or interpreter

An event for anyone who is wondering how you get past the no experience/no job Catch-22!

An event arranged jointly by ITI and the University of Westminster, with support from the National Networks for Translation and for Interpreting.

Advice from the professionals for would-be translators and interpreters

Are you interested in working as a translator or interpreter, but unsure how to start?
This one-day seminar will provide the answers.
You will hear about:
- the qualities and skills you need to work as a translator or interpreter;
- how to get organised – and where to find help;
- breaking through the ‘no experience = no work’ barrier;
- areas where your language skills are in demand, and new niches to explore.
There will be question-and-answer sessions and time for networking.

Date: Saturday 6 June 2009, 10.00 – 17.00

Contact the ITI Development Officer at the email address below for further details.

Full address

University of Westminster
309 Regent Street

See for more details and a booking forms

Saturday, 9 May 2009

volunteer translation

For early career translators with time to invest, volunteer translation can be one way to gain experience, build up terminological expertise and enhance your CV. There's a good post about this here which might be of interest to some of you.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Job opportunity with Japanese

Received recently from Purple Door:

Job Description: Reporting to the Search Marketing Manager, the Japanese Translator will be assisting the marketing, processing and customer service teams with all related translation and communication matters.

Key duties will include:
● Liaise with the Search Marketing Manager to improve sales and reduce costs from the Japanese language PPC campaigns by reviewing and amending the keywords and ad text.
● Provide a weekly report to the Directors on sales / web stats from Japanese visitors.
● Assist the customer service team with incoming email and phone queries from Japanese speaking customers.
● Liaise with Creative Marketing Manager to translate marketing material.
● Write the text and proof read a weekly Japanese specific e-newsletter.
● Keep the Search Marketing Manager updated on all Japanese market activity and opportunities.
● Any other Japanese translating and communication duties as required by Company.
Person Requirements: Essential criteria:
● Fluent in Japanese
● Minimum 4 G.C.S.E’s including Math’s & English or equivalent.
● Good knowledge of bicycles and accessories
● Keen interest and enjoyment of sport of cycling
● Excellent telephone and interpersonal skills
● Computer literate
● Positive attitude and flexible approach to set tasks

Desirable (but not necessary) criteria:
● Educated to A-level or degree level.
● Six months experience within a customer service or marketing / sales environment.

To apply: just send CV to purpledoor.recruitment at

interpreting opportunities

Received today:

I am a recruiter for thebigword which is one of the largest language service providers in the UK. Thebigword spans across 46 different countries and we work with 231 different languages. We are the primary language services provider to the UK government and have recently experienced significant growth.

In order to keep up with our demand we are looking to recruit telephone interpreters, face to face interpreters and translators. We are seeking interpreters for all languages – particularly Polish, Slovak, Portuguese, Russian and Urdu.

The primary role we are recruiting for currently is that of Freelance Telephone Interpreter. The flexibility of these roles would enable students to work from home, choose the frequency with which they work as well as the hours they will work. This role would suit students wanting to work only a few hours a week to fit in with their studies, to take time off whilst they prepare for exams, and increase their hours during school breaks.

For more information on thebigword please visit our website at and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind Regards

Felicity Jackson | Interpreting Recruiter, Interpreting Services | thebigword | global language services

Well Court, 14-16 Farringdon Lane, London, EC1R 3AU

Phone: 0207 012 6277 | Fax: +44 (0)870 748 8111

E-mail: | Web:

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

BCLT Summer School registration open

Dear all,
Just a quick reminder that registration is open for this summer's BCLT literary translation summer school in Norwich, language combinations Chinese, FR, PT, DE, ES into English and also an English-Italian workshop. Portsmouth students have found this event very rewarding in the past. Enquiries to Valerie Henitiuk at the address below.

19-25 JULY 2009

Registration is now open for BCLT's annual international Literary Translation Summer School.

The Summer School brings together renowned writers and translators for an intensive week of workshops, round tables, seminars and readings. In 2009, a translation workshop from Chinese into English will be offered for the first time. Other workshops are offered into English from French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and from English into Italian. In each workshop, participants work with a writer-in-residence under the guidance of an experienced literary translator.

Bursaries are available.

Details on our website:

Valerie Henitiuk (Dr.)

Associate Director, British Centre for Literary Translation
Lecturer in Literary Translation

“When people migrate, they take with them their seeds and their songs, and I think that essentially that’s pretty much all you’ll need when you get there…. (Um, well, I should amend that: there are other things that you’re going to need: a shaving kit and all that … a change of clothes would be important. But, you know, you get the point.)” - Tom Waits

School of Literature and Creative Writing
University of East Anglia
Norwich NR4 7TJ
Tel.: (44) (0)1603 592739
Fax: (44) (0)1603 592737

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

job in Paris

Received today:

We are a translation company in Paris seeking to hire a graduate from your MA Translation course. The position involves in-house translation, proofreading and project management, from German (or Spanish) and French into English. The work is very varied, ranging from computer manuals to fashion trends. Knowledge of Trados would be greatly appreciated.

Candidates may send their CV and cover letter to or call me on my direct line: 00 33 1 42 62 82 18. We will then send tests to those with an interesting profile.
Thank you very much for your help.

Best regards,
Kay Denney
Project Manager FR-EN

18 rue Stephenson
75018 Paris
Tél : +33 (0)1 42 62 80 94
Fax : +33 (0)1 42 62 80 95
E-mail général :
Site Web :

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Translation at Portsmouth website

Dear friends,
Just to remind you about the new website for translation-related activities at Portsmouth, Details of our MA programmes, our annual conference, events and seminars and other tidbits of translational interest. The site also links to this blog, which will continue to be updated.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

project management job

Peak Translations currently has a vacancy for a Translation Project Manager. Below is the job description:
Our Project Managers deal with clients and translators/interpreters world-wide, maintaining our reputation for a high quality friendly service. We are certificated to ISO9001:2000 and EN15038 and honour the Quality commitment 100% in our activities.

We need a colleague with:
- enthusiasm for languages
- attention to detail
- a responsible approach
- organisational skills
- flexibility & robust determination
- ability to ensure & meet deadlines
- professional and friendly telephone manner
- customer focus
- cheerful and friendly

Main tasks:
Liaising with clients & managing their translation/interpreting requirements
Assessing & liaising with Translators/interpreters
Placing jobs with the most appropriate provider
Editing/proofreading/occasional translating
Finalising & supplying work to quality criteria & on schedule
Maintaining databases/general admin
Salary negotiable depending on experience.

Would you be so kind as to pass this on to the course leaders of the various MA programmes in translation, so that they can forward it on to any graduates? Any languages are welcome!

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

Steffi Ettinger
Project Manager

Peak Translations
Shepherd's Bank
SK23 7QU
Tel: +44 (0)1663 732074
Fax: +44 (0)1663 735499

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

translation jobs available via Purple Door recruitment

Dear all,
You may or may not be aware of the University of Portsmouth's recruitment and careers services, which are located at Purple Door on Guildhall Walk. They currently have a number of translation vacancies on their books. To express interest, please register with The service is limited to Portsmouth graduates and future graduates only.

- Danish, English, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish Translators
A degree or postgraduate degree in Languages or Translation Studies is required, but all levels of experience will be considered.

Applicants must be native speakers of the language they translate into. Fluency in English is essential for Nordic nationals and a high level of IT skills and knowledge of CAT tools, particularly Trados, is an advantage.

We would also love to hear from well-organised professionals interested in project management positions.
Excellent IT skills and fluency in English are required. Applicants should ideally be linguists, and preferably with a degree in languages and/or translation studies involving at least one Scandinavian language.

- Scientific and Technical Translators
Technical Translation specialist company requires scientists and engineers with language skills for the following positions:
- Scientific and Engineering Translators: applicants must be additionally be completely conversant with German and/or French
- Patent and Technical Information Searchers: Applicants must have a good reading knowledge of German and French

- Translation opportunities
Opportunities for linguists with:
- English mother tongue and excellent German, preferably combined with another language, ideally Chinese, Dutch, French, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish or Swedish, or

- German mother tongue and excellent English wihich must be combined with French, or

- French mother tongue and excellent English which must be combined with German

Your work will involve word-by-word checking of translations prepared by in-house and external technical staff.
Person Requirements: Applicants must have degree-level qualifications, excellent language skills, well-developed critical faculties and good powers of concentration.
Degree Requirements: At least a IIi in Modern Languages.

Monday, 23 March 2009

job at European Central Bank

Hi all,
Anyone suitably qualified (B and C languages and requisite experience) may be interested in the following. The email for enquiries is

The Directorate General Secretariat and Language Services of the European Central Bank (ECB) is seeking experienced English Translators for short-term (up to 11 months) assignments in the English Translation and Editing Section of its Language Services Division in order to replace staff on leave.
The Language Services Division is responsible, inter alia, for preparing the ECB’s official publications and other materials in the 23 official EU languages in close collaboration with the national central banks. The selected candidate will join the Division’s team of English native-speaker linguists, who are responsible for editing texts written in English, proof-reading English typeset texts, producing translations into English, and second-checking in-house and outsourced editing and translation work. The materials handled by the team range from the ECB’s statutory publications (Annual Report, Monthly Bulletin, Convergence Report), to more technical materials for a specialist readership (Occasional Papers, articles and speeches), to general information addressed to the wider public (brochures on the ECB’s areas of competence, press releases, text for the ECB’s website, etc). In addition, the Division’s English native-speaker linguists translate materials received from external sources in languages other than English (such as correspondence or media reports on topical issues).

The specific tasks of the selected candidate will be:
• with a focus on effective communication, to edit ECB materials which have been drafted in English by native and non-native speakers, correcting errors of grammar, consistency and style (with reference to the ECB’s English Style Guide), and ensuring a high-quality finished product tailored to the target audience;
• to proof-read the English-language typeset versions of ECB materials which are destined for printed or electronic publication, in order to ensure the correct content and layout of the pre-print version;
• to produce high-quality translations into English of texts received from external sources which are of interest to the ECB (the selected candidate will be expected to be able to translate from one or more official EU languages);
• to second-check editing and translation work produced both externally and in-house;
• to contribute to the ongoing compilation and maintenance of the ECB’s terminology database;
• to contribute to the updating and developing of the English Style Guide;
• to help operate the Language Service Division’s annual internship scheme by assisting with the selection and mentoring of English mother-tongue intern translators.

Qualifications and experience
Minimum requirements
University degree or professional training:
• An advanced university degree (or equivalent qualification) in a relevant subject – preferably modern languages – or proven ability to perform the tasks commensurate with such a formal academic qualification is required.
• A Master's degree-level diploma in translation would be an advantage.
Professional experience:
• At least two years’ proven professional experience as a Translator working from one or more official EU languages into English, preferably in the economic or financial field, is required.
• Professional experience of editing and proofreading English-language materials would be an advantage.
• A sound background knowledge of economics and finance would be an asset.
• Familiarity with the central banking environment in general and the ECB in particular would be an advantage.

Skills needed:
Language skills:
• Perfect command of English, an excellent command of one official EU language and a very good command of at least one other is required.
• Knowledge of additional official EU languages would be an asset.
IT skills:
• Excellent PC skills and a very good knowledge of standard MS Office applications are essential.
• Familiarity with a terminology management package such as TRADOS MultiTerm and translation memory software such as TRADOS Translator’s Workbench would be an advantage.

Work Style: The proven ability to use time effectively, to pay attention to detail and to work to tight deadlines are essential.
Interpersonal: The proven ability to communicate effectively, to collaborate with others to achieve common goals, and to work as part of a team in a multicultural environment are very important.
Motivational: Self-motivation, initiative and the proven ability to keep pace with change by learning new approaches and responding flexibly to the demands of the moment, are all behaviours that are important in this position.

Duration of contract / Closing date
The assignment will be offered on the basis of a short-term contract of 11 months, starting as soon as possible.
Closing date for applications: 13 April 2009.

Further information
Applications should be submitted online in English. The online form can be accessed by clicking on the relevant link below. All sections should be completed. If you have never applied electronically for one of our positions, please read our Applicants' Guide, which can be downloaded from the FAQs & Help page.
The recruitment process will include a pre-screening exercise, a written exercise and a panel interview.
The ECB offers attractive employment conditions, including a competitive net salary, family and non-family-related allowances, benefits on appointment and termination of service, a comprehensive medical, dental and accident plan, and its own pension scheme. Further information on the ECB Conditions of Employment can be found at
Position band: F/G

Further Information
Further information about this position may be obtained from Ms Sarah Johns, Head of the Language Services Division, on extension 7451, and Ms Sarah Brophy, Head of the English Translation and Editing Section, on extension 7485.
The recruitment process will include a pre-screening exercise, a written exercise and a panel interview.
The status of ECB staff members holding permanent contracts will not be affected.
Position band: F/G

Closing date: 13 April 2009