Sunday, 31 January 2010

Volunteer translation links

Hi all,

I regularly get asked by students about volunteer and pro-bono translation. It can be a good way to supplement freelance work and build experience, e.g. for the purposes of applying for membership of a professional organisation. Some of you might be interested in Translators Without Borders. They ask for translators with at least a couple of years' experience. It is also possible to volunteer as a translator or interpreter through IC Volunteers. They run an internship scheme in Geneva but also need translators online. Both organisations seem reputable.

If you decide you would like to do pro-bono or volunteer translation, it doesn't mean that you don't approach the work like a professional. You should still be asking most of the thirty-nine questions you should ask when undertaking a translation. The ITI have a very good page on pro-bono translation which I recommend reading carefully before taking on translation work of this kind. The ITI page also links to some useful opportunities - including the Olympics! (Oh yes, they're a-comin'.)

There is a tag in the left-hand menu of this blog for 'volunteer translation' which links to previous posts as well.

Norwich: postgraduate translation conference on interdisciplinarity, March 2010

Hi all,

For those of you in or near East Anglia, I've been asked to pass this on. I've been to a couple of these conferences in the past and they've been very interesting. The keynote speakers look good too.

If you missed the Call for Papers for "Disordering the Disciplines" a Symposium in Translation and Interdisciplinarity to be held at UEA in the Arts Building on the 26th and 27th March 2010, all is not lost. There is still time to register for this symposium as a non-presenting attender and to be a lively member of the several panel discussions on topics as varied as Translation and the Gothic, Translation and Intermediality, Self-translation, Gender issues in translation, Genetics and Linguistics and much much more. The keynote speakers are Dr. Karin Littau (University of Essex), Dr. George Szirtes (UEA), Dr. Thomas Greaves (UEA) and Professor Jean Boase-Beier (UEA).

This is a great learning opportunity and a great opportunity to meet and get to know delegates from all over the world.

Registration is now open and remains open until the 12th March, but hurry up, places are limited and more than half the places on the Symposium are already allocated. For full details see our web-page or send us an e-mail at:

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Times Stephen Spender poetry translation competition

This year's Times Stephen Spender translation competition is now open. The competition is for a poem translated from any classical or modern language into English. There are Open, 18-and-under and 14-and-under categories. Prizes include cash and the possibility of publication in the Times.

More information here. The deadline for this year's competition is 28 May 2010.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

translations that are Not Good

Just came across this little tidbit from the website of a translation company in London. Examples of Translations that are wrong, wrong, so very wrong - what's not to love?

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

EU call for translators on Facebook

Hi all,

Those of you interested in the European Commission call for translators into English might be interested to know that a call for applications for permanent in-house English translators is expected in summer 2010. This is as good a gig as you can get in the world of translation. Entrance requirements are stringent, with two EU languages required, one of which must be French or German, good educational qualifications and impeccable written English. Candidates are also expected to have good general knowledge of the EU so you might want to bone up on this!

There is a Facebook group for those interested called We are waiting for the 2010 EU English-language translation competition!. Members of this group will get a message when the competition is launched which will save you haunting the EPSO website.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Translators on translation 2

Hi all,

The last post about translators on translation seems to have been useful, so I thought I would post a few more links.

I liked very much the recent issue of TranscUlturAl on 'The Translator as Theorist'. (In passing, yay for open-access peer-reviewed translation journals. Some of them really hide their light under a bushel.) One of the best open access translation journals and probably already familiar to you is the crunchy and delicious Journal of Specialised Translation. The January 2010 issue focuses on Chinese, including an interesting-looking article on what goes wrong with those badly translated signs which infest Flickr which I'm looking forward to reading. I have a feeling that I recklessly promised more links to non-literary translators on translation, and lots of them can be found on the JoSTrans website. The current issue features a useful interview with Yinghong Huang & Linda Liu on becoming a freelance translator in London and other riches.

There are hours of viewing pleasure to be had here, on the National Network for Translation website with practical presentations and interviews with translators on the profession.

In the literary translation field, Sarah Adams has pointed me to an excellent collection of videos on the London Review of Books website from the World Literature Weekend 2009. These include a lovely round table with well-known translators (oxymoron? Never say it!) including Anthea Bell, Anne McLean, Daniel Hahn and Frank Wynne talking about their work. I very much liked the talk with Faïza Guène and her translator Sarah Ardizzone too. You can find more clips of authors talking to their translators here.

The Center for the Art of Translation has a series of audio discussions on their website including discussions with some well-known American translators. Lots of goodies here. I really enjoyed José Manuel Prieto's chat with his translator Esther Allen where they discuss the complicated relationships between translation and writing. Still in the US, Three Percent, based in Rochester, had a fizzy and charming round table on translation which has been immortalised on film here. Lastly, the online journal Cipher contains marvels, both translations and essays by translators.

interpreters for Haiti

The following email has come round on the EST mailing list:

Volunteer Interpreters and Translators needed for the Haiti Relief Effort

By now we are all painfully aware of the situation in Haiti following the devastating earthquake last week. The National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators and the American Red Cross are seeking Haitian Creole and French interpreters and translators to assist in this time of great need.

Interpreters are needed for two types of assignments - either at the American Red Cross Headquarters in Washington DC (immediate need) or on the hospital ship USNS Comfort off the coast of Haiti (anticipated future need).

Immediate Need

The American Red Cross wishes to identify and recruit a Haitian Creole and French interpreter and translator to work at its National Headquarters Office in Washington for periods of between one to three weeks. The volunteer will support the International Services Department (ISD) in response to the earthquake in Haiti by sharing information with Haitian Creole speakers in the United States, translating documents from various ISD offices and/or American Red Cross chapters around the country, may be called upon to record messages in Haitian Creole or respond to inquiries from Haitian Creole speakers by telephone or in writing. The qualifications for this assignment are below:

International Services Department/ International Humanitarian Law and Chapter Support

Location: 2025 E Street NW; 3rd Floor; Washington, DC 20006

Position Title: Haitian Creole Translator/Interpreter
Purpose: Support International Services Department (ISD) in response to the earthquake in Haiti by sharing information with Haitian Creole speakers in the United States. The writer will translate documents from various ISD offices and/or American Red Cross chapters across the country. May be called upon to record messages in Haitian Creole or to respond to inquiries from Haitian Creole speakers by telephone or in writing.

Key Responsibilities:

Willingness to support Red Cross Mission
Translate written information into Haitian Creole
Respond to inquiries from Haitian Creole speakers

§ At least three (3) years of demonstrated experience as a professional translator and/or interpreter
§ Excellent writing, good interpersonal and some cross-cultural communication skills and experience.
Advanced use of Microsoft Office for word processing.

Orientation to American Red Cross:
Reports to or Partners with:

ISD/ International Communications Department
Length of Appointment: Open
Time Commitment:

20 - 40 hours a week -- flexible

Anticipated Future Need

Last week a request was sent out for the recruitment for interpreters for the USNS Comfort, a hospital ship that is scheduled to arrive in Haiti Tuesday night January 20 and will remain docked off the coast. Thanks to the American Red Cross chapter network, that need was filled quickly. NAJIT and the American Red Cross anticipate there will be a continued need for interpreters for the USNS Comfort over the weeks and months to come. Currently, the projection is that USNS Comfort will be deployed on this mission for 6-12 months.

At this time, in an effort to anticipate the ongoing and future need for interpreters, NAJIT and the American Red Cross are standing ready by identifying available volunteers for the next possible 30 day rotations. Volunteers will remain on the ship throughout the duration of the assignment and will not deploy to the mainland of Haiti.

Both assignments are on a volunteer basis and the American Red Cross will cover all travel expenses.

Because of the special American Red Cross and NAJIT partnership and our joint collaboration in recent years during major disaster response operations, NAJIT has been asked to coordinate the recruitment of interpreters for the Red Cross Haiti Relief Effort. NAJIT continues to serve as the direct link between interpreters and the Red Cross emergency response. In order to participate in the Haiti Relief Effort, interpreters must either be members of NAJIT or members of one of NAJIT's organizational or institutional members.

We know that many interpreters and translators want to help in this time of great need, either by volunteering or making donations. Please be as generous with your time and resources as you can be. Thank you.

Please send all responses to or phone 202-293-0342 for further information.

European Commission seeks translators into French

Dear all,

It turns out they are looking for translators into French as well - anyone out there interested? Note that this seems to be for an earlier deadline of 1 February 2010.

La Direction générale de la Traduction de la Commission européenne recrute des traducteurs de langue française en qualité d'agents temporaires sur la base de contrats à terme d'une durée maximale de trois ans.

Les candidats doivent
 être citoyens d'un des États membres de l'Union européenne;
 être titulaires d'un diplôme universitaire correspondant à un cycle complet d'études de trois années au moins;
 avoir une parfaite maîtrise du français, une connaissance approfondie de
l'anglais ou de l'allemand en tant que première langue source, ainsi qu' une très bonne connaissance d'une autre langue de l'Union européenne en tant que deuxième langue source.

Une expérience de la traduction constitue un atout.

European Commission seeks translators into English

Hi all,

The European Commission is looking for translators into English. Their requirements are quite specific (details below). This could be a great opportunity for qualified candidates. Deadline: 15 February.

English-language translators

The Directorate-General for Translation of the European Commission is seeking to recruit translators on the basis of temporary contracts of a maximum duration of three years.

Place of work: Brussels or Luxembourg.

Successful applicants will be required to translate documents into English from at least two official EU languages.

Candidates must
• be nationals of an EU Member State;
• be university graduates, having completed a first degree of at least three years' duration;
• have a perfect command of English as their main language, an excellent knowledge of either French or German and a very sound knowledge of a further EU official language;
• be prepared to relocate to Brussels or Luxembourg if they are recruited.

Documented experience in translation would be an asset.

After screening the CVs submitted, the selection board will invite the most suitable applicants to sit selection tests (scheduled for April).
The selection tests will comprise:

• a translation into English from German or French;
• a translation into English from a second EU official language offered by the candidate, and
• an oral test intended to assess the candidate’s professional skills and knowledge of EU affairs.

Candidates must state in their application letter their choice of first and second source languages for the written tests.

For the written tests, candidates may use their own non-electronic (paper format) dictionaries.

Candidates are advised to consult the EU Staff Regulations (Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Communities) for details of the conditions of employment.

Interested candidates are invited to e-mail an up-to-date CV (preferably using the Europass model), together with a covering letter, to by 18:00 on 15 February 2010.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

book piracy in Peru

I have been reading a very interesting piece in Granta about book piracy in Peru. Some vivid illustrations here. It's not translation-focused but there are lots of intriguing translational issues around the edges. Translations pinched while they are still in draft and released on the black market; books with plaintive stickers saying 'buy the original'. Why is there not more published research on translation piracy? Maybe an interesting essay topic for someone with contacts in Peru? (Possibly someone taking the Translating History unit this summer?)

Writing, warts and all

Brilliant blog post by A.L. Kennedy in the Guardian today on what it feels like to begin writing a new novel. I get so used to thinking of translation as writing (which it is of course) that it's salutary to have a glimpse of what writing is like when you're starting from scratch...

Clark Lectures: Translation and the Resurrection of Reading

Dear all,

Any of you lucky, lucky people in East Anglia might be interested in the remaining Clark Lectures to be given by Clive Scott, Professor of European Literature UEA. For details see here. Clive Scott, whom some of you may remember as a plenary speaker at one of the Portsmouth conferences a few years ago, is one of the most brilliant scholars writing at the moment on literature, translation and creative writing (see e.g. Translating Baudelaire, Translating Rimbaud's Illuminations). I would be going without a doubt if I didn't have a full diary for every Wednesday for the foreseeable. [sulks]

Saturday, 23 January 2010

translation jobs in the UK and elsewhere

Some sites which might be of interest to those of you looking for jobs in translation:

Lots of in-house posts for language professionals advertised here. Work placement and job opportunities here.
A variety of posts (at slightly better rates) advertised here.

Opportunities for more experienced translators here and here. Another company to whom it might be worth sending your CV is this one.

If you're not yet at the jobseeking stage it might still be worth looking at what's on offer to get a better idea of the skill sets needed.

Portsmouth Conference 2010: Translating Multimodalities

Dear all,

I have the pleasure to announce the call for papers for the 2010 Portsmouth translation conference. This year's conference is our tenth annual conference, and we are looking forward to a rich and full programme.

Conference Theme: Translating Multimodalities
Date: Saturday 6 November 2010
Place: Park Building, University of Portsmouth

Translation is usually about the printed word, but in today’s multimodal environment translators must take account of other signifying elements too. Words may interact with still and moving images, diagrams, music, typography or page layout. Multimodal meaningmaking is deployed for promotional, political, expressive and informative purposes which must be understood and accounted for by technical translators, literary translators, copywriters, subtitlers, localisers and other language professionals. The organisers of the tenth annual Portsmouth Translation Conference invite contributions from translation and interpreting professionals and scholars on the challenges posed to translators by multimodality. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

* Image and text: advertising, visual communication
* Technical writing, diagrams, layout and document design
* Illustration, bindings, typography and paratexts
* Comics, cartoons, graphic novels, intersemiotic translation
* Song, opera and music in translation
* (Poly)semiotic interferences and intertextualities
* Written to be spoken; the audiomedial text
* Performance, staging, movement; sign language interpreting
* Subtitling, dubbing, surtitling, mise-en-scène, audiodescription
* Translation, interpreting and non-verbal communication
* Multimodal spaces: museums, tourist sites, the World Wide Web

We welcome a broad range of approaches to translation (empirical, critical, pedagogical, technological, professional). Proposals for practical workshops are very welcome.

Enquiries and/or abstracts of 300 words should be sent to Carol O’Sullivan at carol.osullivan at by 30 June 2010. For updates on the conference see Selected proceedings from the conference will be published.

Whether you're a translator, a translation scholar or a Portsmouth student I hope you'll put the date in your diary and join us in November!

International Postgraduate Conference in Translation and Interpreting 2010

Dear all,

This just came round and I thought it might be of interest:

IPCTI 2010
International Postgraduate Conference in Translation and Interpreting
From Reflection to Refraction: new perspectives, new settings and new impacts


Following the success of the 5th International Postgraduate Conference in Translation and Interpreting Studies (IPCITI) held at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, we are pleased to announce that the 6th conference in this series will be hosted by the University of Manchester on 29-31 October, 2010.

The IPCITI series, organised collaboratively between the University of Edinburgh, Dublin City University, Heriot-Watt University and the University of Manchester, is intended to give young researchers an opportunity to share their research in a supportive environment among peers and to participate in a significant international networking event for postgraduates in T&I studies.


This conference aspires to address some of the issues raised in the previous conference, and will particularly focus on new perspectives within the discipline, the application of such research in new settings, and the impact of these new developments.

The move away from the view of Translation, in its broadest sense, as mere linguistic transference to a more complex and multifaceted activity has introduced a myriad of research avenues within T&I studies. This blurring of disciplinary boundaries has not only precipitated shifts in academia but in translational practice as well. This conference therefore aims to provide a forum for discussing new perspectives in research, with special emphasis on those that adopt new approaches, investigate new settings and have potential socio-political, ideological and commercial impact.

Abstract submission deadline: Tuesday 30th March 2010


§ Enquiries concerning the conference should be directed to:
More information on the conference website at

Friday, 22 January 2010

SEMINAIRE DOCTORAL - Plurilinguisme, traduction et autotraduction

Dear all,

This looks like a very interesting event for students in or around Leuven and Ghent, and an excellent opportunity to hear Rainer Grutman, a pioneering scholar in the area of multilingualism and translation. N.B. French is the main language of the event.

SEMINAIRE DOCTORAL - Plurilinguisme, traduction et autotraduction
Leuven-Gent, Belgium

Du 16 au 19 février 2010, le centre d'études sur la traduction CETRA (KU Leuven) et le groupe de recherche Littérature en traduction (HoGent-UGent) organisent un séminaire doctoral « Plurilinguisme, traduction et autotraduction » avec le professeur Rainier Grutman (Université d'Ottawa, Canada) en tant que conférencier central.

Dans un premier volet (du 16 au 18 février 2010), prof. Grutman donnera un séminaire de trois jours. Le séminaire s'adresse en premier lieu aux doctorants de l'Université de Gand et de l'Université de Louvain, mais tous les intéressés sont les bienvenus. Les cours seront en français; pendant les discussions les langues de travail seront le français, l'anglais et le néerlandais. Le tout sera clôturé par une conférence à Leuven, « Writing and reading diglossia », le 19 février 2010.


Séminaire doctoral

Mardi 16 février 2010 - Gand
10h-13h: "Le plurilinguisme et la traduction dans la galaxie des langues"
14h-17h: présentations par les doctorants et tutorat

Mercredi 17 février 2010 - Gand
10h-13h: "Traduire le plurilinguisme: défis, solutions, compromis"

Jeudi 18 février 2010 - Louvain
10h-13h: "L'autotraduction, une arme à double tranchant"
14h-17h: présentations par les doctorants et tutorat

Conférence de clôture

Vendredi 19 février 2010 - Louvain
10h-12h: "Writing and Reading Diglossia"


À Gand, le séminaire aura lieu dans le local A1.04 de la Hogeschool Gent (Departement Vertaalkunde, Abdisstraat 1). Le bâtiment se trouve à distance piétonne de la gare Gand Saint-Pierre (Gent Sint-Pieters) et est desservi par les trams 21, 22 et 4 (arrêt Albertbrug).
À Louvain, le séminaire aura lieu dans le local MSI1 03.09 de la Faculté des Lettres de la KULeuven (Mgr. Scencie Instituut, Erasmusplein 2). La conférence finale aura lieu dans la salle MSI1 01.16 du même bâtiment. La faculté est à distance à pied de la gare centrale de Louvain (Leuven).

La participation aux séminaires et/ou à la conférence est gratuite. Pour vous inscrire, veuillez adresser un message à Steven Dewallens
(, et ceci de préférence avant le 1 février 2010. Les participants recevront une liste de lectures après inscription. Les personnes qui ne veulent assister qu'à la conférence finale, ne sont pas tenues de s'inscrire.

Les doctorants qui le souhaitent pourront présenter leur propre projet de recherche aux autres participants, et discuter de leur projet avec le professeur Grutman pendant les heures de tutorat. Si c'est le cas, veuillez envoyer un résumé de votre présentation à Steven Dewallens ( avant le 1 février 2010.

Sur le site web vous trouverez les résumés des conférences, ainsi qu'un dépliant détaillant le programme et les modalités pratiques.

Responsable : Liesbeth De Bleeker (HoGent / UGent) & Francis Mus (KUleuven)

Url de référence :

For more information, please contact Francis Mus at

PhD bursaries at Portsmouth

Dear all,

Any of you considering continuing after MA study to do a PhD in Translation Studies may be interested in the PhD bursaries available at Portsmouth for the coming year.

These bursaries are offered by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and cover all of the Faculty's subject areas, including translation. University funding is for three years subject to satisfactory progress. Bursaries include payment of fees, a maintenance stipend (£13,290 in 2009-10) and an allowance for fieldwork. The bursary agreement includes a requirement to undertake a small amount of teaching.

For further details of the bursaries available see this page. For further details of the areas of research supervision we offer in Translation Studies see here.

Please note that the closing date is 26 February 2010. Interviews will be held in late March.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Google legal opinions and interpreting/translation

I just came across the new Google 'legal opinions' search tool on Google Scholar, and thought it might be interesting to see what's out there relating to translation and interpreting in US law. The results are pretty fascinating. Try US v. Lopez, 937 F. 2d 716 - Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit 1991 on hearsay and the interpreter as conduit; United States ex rel. Negron v. State of New York, 434 F. 2d 386 - Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit 1970 on the right to an interpreter; Perez-Lastor v. INS, 208 F. 3d 773 - Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit 2000 on the linguistic and ethical complexities of courtroom interpreting. Food for thought.

CFP: Translation panel at ESSE, Turin, August 2010

Elena di Giovanni just sent this around and it looks very interesting:

Dear friends and colleagues;

we would like to remind you that the deadline for submitting proposals for seminars accepted by ESSE (European Society for the Study of English) on the occasion of the 10th international conference, to be held in Torino from 24 to 28 August, 2010, is

JANUARY 31, 2010

The conference features a number of interesting panels and seminars, but we would like to draw your attention to the seminar we are hosting, whose main topics are listed below. We would very much appreciate your contribution, which you should forward to us in the form of a 200-word abstract before 1 February 2010. We are honoured to have Prof. Susan Bassnett, from the University of Warwick, UK, in our seminar, which she will introduce and co-host. We trust that the topics and issues raised in our seminar will be of interest to you and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Rosa Maria Bollettieri

Elena Di Giovanni

ESSE (European Society for the Study of English)
Tuesday 24 - Saturday 28 August 2010

SEMINAR TITLE: Beyond the West, beyond Translation Studies


Susan Bassnett, Rosa Maria Bollettieri Bosinelli, Elena Di Giovanni

Over the past two decades, translation studies has seen an enormous expansion of its scope. As new research paths have emerged and the 'old' ones have been contaminated by other perspectives, one of the aspects which has undoubtedly, primarily influenced the expansion of the discipline - or rather, interdiscipline - is the acknowledgement of the 'cultural turn' in Translation Studies. Since those days, an increasing number of culture-related research domains have come into contact with, and blended into the study of translation phenomena: from postcolonialism to gender studies, from ethnography to sociology and to cultural studies in their broadest possible sense.

Each of these approaches has contributed to deepening, strengthening and of course expanding the 'name and nature' (Holmes, 1972) of Translation Studies.

One of the most positive consequences of this expansion beyond has been an increasing attention to viewpoints, debates and criticism which have been - and are still - provided by scholars beyond the so-improperly-called West. Writing and acting from a position of power, whereby they have read, understood and sometimes overcome Western theoretical standpoints, non-Western scholars have been offering wide-ranging, insightful and innovative perspectives on the observation of translation policies, bringing to the fore their own reflections, traditions and life experiences.

This seminar aims to be a forum for the discussion of theories, methodologies and practices of translation which call attention to the beyond, reaching beyond common paradigms and beyond the line of the Western horizon in Translation Studies.

We invite contributions which encompass non-Western approaches to the study and practice of translation, which compare 'distant' methodologies and strategies and, more in general, which aim to contribute to expanding the 'realm of the beyond' in Translation Studies.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Languages at War events

I have just seen the latest issue of the 'Languages at War' project newsletter. The project involves a series of conference presentations, seminars and workshops around the UK and abroad: see here for more details. These events might be particularly interesting for students taking the summer DL 'Translating History' unit.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

new MA in Francophone African studies

Hi all,

Just to let you know we're launching a new MA this autumn subject to validation. The MA Francophone Africa focuses on French-speaking North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, with units on EU external relations, colonial history, translation and research methods. It's an MA by research, taught by leading figures in the field. See here for more information.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Events: 'Getting into Translation' and 'Creative Writing for Translators'

Dear all,

Two useful-looking events coming up from the Chartered Institute of Linguists. There's a repeat of the autumn webinar on 'Getting into Translation' for those of you starting out in the profession on Friday 12 February. There's also an all-day workshop on Saturday 20 February on 'Creative Writing for Translators' (might be going to that last one myself!). Information about both can be found on the Chartered Institute of Linguists' website here.

postgraduate funding

For anyone in looking for support for postgraduate study in translation, this looks like a good opportunity:

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures at Durham University is pleased to announce a range of funding opportunities for postgraduate study in Translation Studies both at MA and PhD level in 2010/11.

1. Two AHRC Studentships are being offered by the School under the Block Grant Partnership: a PhD studentship and a Masters studentship in Translation Studies. AHRC studentships cover tuition fees and maintenance (for UK students, tuition fees only for EU students) and are available for full- and part-time study.


1. Eight prestigious Durham Doctoral Studentships are being offered by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. Durham Doctoral Studentships cover tuition fees, maintenance in line with the national Research Council rate, and a research training support grant, and are available for full- and part-time study.

2. Up to two Doctoral Studentships are being offered by the School of Modern Languages and Cultures. MLAC Doctoral Studentships cover tuition fees and include a stipend and a package of undergraduate teaching.

3. Up to ten MA Scholarships (by research) are being offered by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. MA Scholarships cover tuition fees at the UK/EU rate.

Candidates wishing to be considered for funding must have submitted an online application to the University by 5pm (GMT) on Monday 15 March 2010. Applications received after this time will not be considered for funding. Full details of funding opportunities, eligibility criteria, and the application process can be found on the School's website:

World Congress on Specialized Translation

Passed on from another list - probably of most interest to those of you working with Spanish - the Proceedings of the World Congress on Specialized Translation organised by the Unión Latina and the World Network for Linguistic Diversity Maaya in Havana in December 2008. Click here to download the proceedings as a pdf.

intensive audiovisual translation courses, EN-IT, EN-PT

I have just heard of these language-specific audiovisual translation summer courses which may interest those of you working into Italian and Portuguese from English:

Imperial College London will be running an Intensive Summer Course in Audiovisual Translation, in the following language combinations:

English to Italian
5 - 30 July 2010

English to Portuguese
12 - 30 July 2010

The application deadline is 19th May 2010.

For further information, including fees, registration and accommodation, visit:

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Transnational film etc.

Hi all,

There's a symposium on 13 February in Portsmouth organised by the Centre for Cultural and Creative Research which looks very interesting - it's on the topic of transnational cinema and will be looking at the ways in which cinema crosses boundaries. Cinephiles taking the subtitling unit in semester 2 may find it interesting.

You might also want to check out the Portsmouth Film Society.

Dryden Prize for translation

Hi all,

A quick reminder for those of you with literary interests translating into English about the 15 February deadline for the Dryden Prize. Source texts should be unpublished.

The Society of Scholars in the Humanities

This post-doctoral scheme doesn't specifically mention translation, but translation could fit under several of the headings. I don't have any further information about it, but it looks like a fabulous opportunity.

The Society of Scholars in the Humanities
(Ref.: RF-2009/2010-405)

The Society of Scholars in the Humanities at the University of Hong Kong is a society of young scholars involved in cutting-edge research. It is designed to encourage critical and creative thought both within and between the disciplines in the Arts and Humanities. There are four research Scholarships for 2010, one in each of the following fields: Comparative Literature (including Film Studies), Linguistics, Music (including Composition and Ethnomusicology) and Philosophy.

Each Scholarship is for two years and is non-renewable. Applicants are invited from all educational institutions across the world. The Scholarships are intended for researchers early in their careers to carry out innovative research. Candidates are expected to be either graduate students in the final stages of their Ph.D. studies, or researchers who have been awarded their Ph.D. degree for not more than two years from the date of application. Details about the Society are available at

Scholars will be provided with free accommodation, office space, airfares for overseas candidates, a research grant of up to HK$14,000 a year, and a stipend of HK$23,000 per month. (Scholars who have not yet been awarded a Ph.D. degree will receive a salary of HK$19,000 per month.) Successful candidates will be appointed as Research Scholar.

Although the Scholarship is primarily designed to encourage original research, Scholars will be expected to teach one course per year, interact with staff and students, present their research in colloquia and conferences, and organize a lecture series. All Scholars are expected to be resident in Hong Kong during the teaching semesters and may carry out research abroad for up to 100 days a year.

The application form along with CV, research proposal (max. 1500 words) and two referees' reports must be received by the School of Humanities by March 31, 2010. All Scholarships begin on September 1, 2010. Further particulars and application forms can be obtained at Enquiries about the Scholarship can be directed to Ms. Vivian Chu, Secretary of the Society of Scholars (e-mail: There are no interviews. Successful applicants will be notified no later than June 30, 2010.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Translate This Book

If you're looking for inspiration and suggestions of good writers to translate (MA Translation Project students, this one is for you!), look no further than Translate This Book! Lots and lots of good suggestions about brilliant books which inexplicably have not yet been translated. Food for thought.

Translators on translation

Translation students read a lot of secondary literature in Translation Studies but may not read much that is written by translators themselves. Translators' own discourse on translation sometimes gets short shrift from scholars, rather unfairly it has always seemed to me. So here are a few links to interviews, reflections and blogs by translators which I have found helpful and/or interesting:

Author-translators get lots of critical attention because their translations tend to be all assertive and sexy and to enter into a dialogue of equals with the source text. Try Kenneth Rexroth on poet-translators. I am very fond of Eliot Weinberger's article 'Anonymous Sources'. Kent Johnson opens a dialogue with Weinberger in the Notes on Notes on Translation. Lydia Davis talks about translating Proust in an audio interview here.

Professional translators can have interesting things to say about their work which are well worth close scrutiny by students of translation as well as by readers of translations. There's a very nice interview with Howard Goldblatt on translating Chinese literature. Or try Natasha Wimmer on translating Roberto Bolaño or Anne McLean, another highly prized translator of Latin-American and Spanish fiction. Anthea Bell, recently awarded an OBE for services to literature and literary translation, has been interviewed lots, including here. The best of these essays say a lot not just about what translators do, but why they do it.

Translation is a process, and an experience which can be difficult to track. The translator's mind is a bit like a black box. We tend (like Jeremy Munday in his talk at Imperial this week) to turn to texts for evidence of how translators approach a translation. But we can also Ask A Translator. Four inside glimpses of the process of translation that I find very compelling are:

Daniel Hahn's blog on translating Agualusa's Estação das Chuvas (Rainy Season); Jo Clifford on translating Calderón's La vida es sueño and other plays; Peter Bush on translating Juan Goytisolo; and my favourite, David Macey's 'Beginning the Translation', published in an issue of the journal SubStance and available online here. I have probably mentioned this essay before and will again - it's a brilliant reflection on translation from the inside. Enjoy.

It used just to be literary translators who had their voices heard (not very loud). The web has provided a space for other translators to talk too - I came across some nice interviews with translators from Chinese recently which I recommend to anyone worrying that their background is too 'unusual' to build a career as a translator...:)

That's more than enough for one day. I hope to come back with more links on this later, but meanwhile if anyone else has good links to translator interviews, blogs or essays, why not drop a line and post them in a comment?

Jeremy Munday lecture, London, 13 January

Jeremy Munday of the University of Leeds will be giving a seminar at Imperial College London which may be of interest to those of you based in the London area:

Date: Wednesday, 13 January 2010
Time: 5-6
Room: Huxley Building, Room 144

Dr Jeremy Munday, University of Leeds, UK
Investigating signals of the value-systems of the translator/interpreter

Translating and interpreting function as a sensitive channel through which new texts and ideas enter a target culture. Understanding how such ideas are processed, evaluated and mediated is therefore crucial for translation theory and for the practising translator/interpreter. This paper will report on an investigation of the ways in which meaning is dynamically negotiated linguistically and communicated between writer, translator/interpreter and reader. The focus is on identifying the linguistic signals that indicate a translator's/interpreter's evaluation of an argument in a text and on the subjective value systems that inevitably come into operation.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Online Q&A on careers in interpreting and translation

Dear all,

There was a very useful Q&A session on careers in interpreting and translation on the Guardian website before Christmas. Posts contain hints about freelancers' websites, EU institutions, interpreting qualifications, translation companies to which you can apply for placements/jobs and lots more goodies.


Thursday, 7 January 2010

Financial translation workshop

Dear all,

The University of Portsmouth is pleased to announce a forthcoming introduction to the specialised field of financial translation, delivered by Xavier Gil of KPMG Spain:

Friday 29 January 2010
10.30am - 13.00pm

Room 3.24
Park Building
University of Portsmouth

This workshop will serve as an introduction to the principles and the professional issues around financial translation. It is aimed at students of translation and working translators who wish to know more about this important field in the international translation marketplace. *Please note that this workshop is non-language specific and translators working in all languages are welcome to attend.*

Xavier Gil is Head of the Spanish translation service for KPMG Spain, and External Director for the Masters in Financial Translation at the European University of Madrid. He has more than ten years’ experience in business and financial translation both in-house and as a freelancer. His areas of expertise include accounting, banking, finance, macroeconomics, stock exchange, marketing, anti-fraud technologies.

Students and staff of the University of Portsmouth may attend this event without charge. There is a small charge of £10 for external participants, who are asked to register in advance. For more information or to register as an external participant, please contact Dr Carol O’Sullivan on carol.osullivan at

translators needed by broadcaster: deadline 8 Jan 10

Dear all,

This just came round on the BCLT mailing list and may be of interest to some of you. Note that the deadline is tomorrow!

Translators needed for project with UK broadcaster

A UK broadcaster is looking for three translators to work from 24 to 28 Feb 2010 on a fun (and paid) project translating written material posted online into English.
They need three translators each with very particular skill-sets: able to translate both French and Italian into English; able to translate both German and Dutch into English; able to translate both Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian into English. There will be some online idiom to translate. Peter Law - who is co-ordinating the project - would be happy to hear from young translators or recent graduates with the right skills, as well as more experienced translators. The work is based in London, from 24 - 28 Feb, full-time, with a half day start-up meeting at some point beforehand. If you have one of the skills sets taking part please send a CV and covering email detailing your language skill, grasp of web idiom (and/or willingness to learn), relevant experience and your day rate, to Peter Law at by 8 Jan 2010.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

New Year

Dear all,

A very happy new year to you all. I thought this might be of interest for those of you who may be looking for an outlet to bring a non-English-language writer to a wider audience:

Call for submissions: Massachusetts Review
University of Massachusetts Amherst

In our fifty-first year of publication, the editors of The Massachusetts Review ( plan to dramatically increase the amount of fiction, poetry and socially-engaged nonfiction which they publish in translation. MR is a general-audience journal of literature, arts and public affairs, with a particularly strong history of civil rights and feminist publication. Today we see a great need for US literary journals to internationalize – to open their ears, and their pages, to voices from outside the United States, and to writers in languages other than English. MR believes we have a real opportunity for synergy with friends and colleagues from local institutions, given the strength of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst programs in translation, of the locally-based translation studies journal Metamorphoses, as well as of the American Studies Diploma Program at Smith College (a one-year graduate program exclusively for international students). But we will of course also need the help of colleagues and translators from across
the globe. To that end, we plan to announce in our upcoming issue the Jules Chametzky Prize for Literary Translation, to be awarded annually to the best poem and prose translations published within our pages. To put it as simply as possibly, our goal is to publish great writing from across the globe, from writers we haven’t yet heard of. The Voice of America has been broadcasting non-stop ever since the early days of the Cold War. MR believes that our country instead needs to sit down, take some time, and listen.

Edwin Gentzler, with Ellen Watson, has been named translation co-editor for the journal.

Please forward to interested parties. For questions please contact Jim Hicks, editor, Massachusetts Review, at