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 rachel.stevens@britishcouncil.org 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 Rachel.stevens@britishcouncil.org

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 westminster.ac.uk

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 NZCLT@vuw.ac.nz. 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 http://www.victoria.ac.nz/victoria-conferences/default.aspx

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 (simon.dalgleish1@ukonline.co.uk)

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
onlineapp@dalkeyarchive.com 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 purpledoor.recruitment@port.ac.uk. 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.