Friday, 26 February 2010

Conference on translation, interpreting and the social, Manchester, 5 May

There's an interesting-looking conference coming up on translation and the social. Would also be of interest to Portsmouth MA students planning on taking the unit Translating History. (Tip: several of the speakers will be on your reading list...)

Going Social? Potentials and Paradoxes of the Sociological Study of Translation/Interpreting

A one-day symposium

5 May 2010 9.30-4.30
School of Languages, University of Salford

This one-day event seeks to critically engage with what has been achieved in the ‘social turn’ in translation studies and the potentials and paradoxes it involves, and in particular:

· The conceptual, theoretical and methodological orientations that sets the ‘social turn’ apart from earlier ‘turns’ in translation studies
· How the ‘social’ is delineated by the sociological approaches to translation
· What theoretical and methodological links have been forged between the sociological approaches and the two main methodologies in translation studies, i.e. the 'empirical' and the 'hermeneutic'?
· Sociological research in translation has so far been grounded on the work of a number of sociologists, including Bourdieu, Niklas Luhmann and Bruno Latour. What insights have been provided by their work and to what extent have these insights contributed to a better understanding of translation/interpreting phenomena?
· What are the theoretical and methodological limitations of sociologies of translation? Can these limitations be addressed by recourse to other disciplines?
· What potentials do the sociological approaches have for translation historiography?
· What contribution sociological approaches to interpreting studies have made to the illumination of aspects of social theory (e.g. human time-space geography; human embodiment) and even social policy?

Mona Baker, University of Manchester
Sameh Hanna, University of Salford
Theo Hermans, University College London
Moira Inghilleri, University College London
Rebecca Tipton, University of Salford
Michaela Wolf, University of Graz (Austria)

Venue: Mary Seacole G21
Time: Registration and refreshments 9.30 am
Registration fee (including lunch and refreshments): £30 (£20 for students).
Registration deadline: 30th March, 2010

Registration form is available at: or contact Mrs Debbie Hughes at

For more information, please visit:

Translated movie titles quiz

It's Friday so I'm feeling frivolous. Just came across a cute little quiz on translated movie titles on the BBC languages website which you might enjoy if it's Friday where you are too and if you are also feeling frivolous...

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

And other stories...

I have recently heard from our colleague Stefan Tobler about a new publishing initiative he and some fellow translators have developed called 'And other stories'. It's a grassroots publisher which aims to publish good contemporary fiction that might not find a mainstream publisher elsewhere. The project doesn't have a website yet but it has librarything reading groups for Spanish, Portuguese and I think now German too. See this piece about it on the Words Without Borders site. For anyone interested in exciting contemporary fiction in those languages. It sounds like a fantastic project and we look forward to hearing more about it...

Monday, 22 February 2010

Best Translated Book Award countdown

After the Best Translated Book Award Longlist came the Best Translated Book Award Shortlist. Anyone who was looking to stock up early on beach reading (think of the sunshine) - look no further. The award is run by the Three Percent site - now I'm curious to see who the final winner will be on 10 March.

free webinar on localisation of advertising

Just saw this which might interest any of you taking Cross-Cultural Marketing Communication this semester. Funny, two years ago I thought the word 'webinar' was much too silly to catch on. Note to self: prophecy not my strong point.

Fraternizing/non-fraternizing with the enemy?

Seminar in Manchester next Monday. Anyone taking the unit 'Translating History' this summer and within reach of Manchester should find this seminar very interesting.

The seminar will take place at 2 p.m. on Monday 1 March in room A101, Samuel Alexander Building, the University of Manchester.

Fraternizing/non-fraternizing with the enemy? Uncovering the place of foreign languages in conflict.
Hilary Footit, University of Reading

This research starts from the observation that foreign languages are absent from the accounts of war traditionally produced by International Relations scholars, war studies specialists, and social and cultural historians of conflict. The project on which the paper is based (Languages at war: policies and practices of language contacts in conflict) aims to make the place of foreign languages more visible in war, and to argue that they are an integral part of the political economy of war and conflict.
This paper will raise some of the issues associated with the enterprise of making languages visible in conflict situations by looking at three specific cases – intelligence, preparing military personnel for operations in foreign countries, and encounters between soldiers and civilians ‘on the ground’ in conflict. Each of these, in the context of the Second World War, the paper will argue, poses different research problems related to sources and interpretative frameworks:
- a case in which language- related sources (both written and oral) exist in abundance, but have not thus far been explored
- a case in which foreign languages are not specifically named but are embedded in policy preparations
- and finally, a case in which foreign languages are a vital but unexplored part of the ‘on the ground’ meeting between armies and civilians.

Hilary Footitt is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Languages and European Studies at the University of Reading. She has written widely on discourses of women in politics (Women, Europe and the New Languages of Politics, Continuum, 2002), and on the army/civilian encounter in World War Two (War and Liberation in France. Living with the Liberators, Palgrave Macmillan, 2004). She is currently Principal Investigator for the AHRC sponsored project Languages at War: policies and practices of language contacts in conflict (, led by the University of Reading, with the University of Southampton, and the Imperial War Museum, London.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Tarantino on language and translation

I’ve just been rewatching Quentin Tarantino’s film Inglourious Basterds and I feel moved to blog about it. It had a bit of a mixed reception. One critic I rarely disagree with called it ‘exasperatingly awful and transcendentally disappointing’, said its central scene was ‘unendurably, unbelievably tedious’ and declared that it was a ‘catastrophic belly-flop’ for Tarantino’s career. When I went to see it in the cinema my expectations were low. I expected bad taste, violence, poor pacing, self-conscious dialogue along with the inevitable pop culture references. I didn’t expect a film all about translation.

(Warning: spoilers ahead.) Critics like Jim Emerson have mentioned how the film is self-consciously divided into five chapters, which shift focus from character to character, from the SS Colonel Hans Landa to the Jewish US army unit known as the ‘Basterds’ and the escaped Jewish cinema owner Shoshanna Dreyfus. Its 147 minutes are packed with typical Tarantino nods to previous World War Two films and to film history in general. The reason I had originally wanted to see it was because I had heard it was multilingual – which it is, subtitling long stretches of dialogue in French, English, German and a smattering of Italian. Most of the main characters (Landa, Lapadite, Zoller, Hickox, von Hammersmark, Stiglitz and Wicki) move easily between languages. By filming in several languages the film recalls Second World War films like The Longest Day (1962), Von Ryan’s Express (1965), Battle of Britain (1969) and A Bridge too Far (1977). But the juxtaposition of languages alone doesn’t account for the importance of translation as a theme in the film.

The film opens with French dialogue, subtitled in English. The ‘Jew-Hunter’ Colonel Hans Landa is genially interrogating a wary French farmer, Perrier Lapadite. Landa’s French is elaborately and self-consciously fluent – lots of conditionals and subjunctives and elaborate frills. A farm isn’t a farm, it’s an ‘exploitation laitière’, and so on. After several minutes of this, Landa preposterously claims, just as elaborately, that he has ‘run out’ of French, and asks whether they can continue in English:

COLONEL LANDA: Monsieur LaPadite, je suis au regret de vous informer que j’ai épuisé l’étendue de mon français. Continuer à le parler si peu convenablement ne ferait que me gêner. Cependant, je crois savoir que vous parlez un anglais tout à fait correct, n’est-ce pas?
COLONEL LANDA: Ma foi, il se trouve que moi aussi. Puisque nous sommes ici chez vous, je vous demande la permission de passer à l’anglais pour le reste de la conversation.
PERRIER: Certainement.

[Monsieur Lapadite…] […I regret to inform you I’ve exhausted the extent of my French.] [To continue to speak it so inadequately would only embarrass me.] [However, I’ve been led to believe you speak English quite well.] [Yes.] [Well, it just so happens, I do as well. This being your house…] […I ask your permission to switch to English…] […for the remainder of the conversation.] [By all means.]

This transparent device to allow a shift to English dialogue is a wink to the many narrative ‘excuses’ used in order to allow the speaking of English out of context in Hollywood films. But we discover later in the scene that the speaking of English has a second purpose, to lull the Jewish refugees hidden in the farmhouse into a false sense of security. According to David Bordwell, this opening sequence of the film is fully 18 minutes long; much longer than its narrative function would seem to justify. By exaggerating the use of French and then ostentatiously foregrounding the shift into English (which will be followed by a return to French at the end of the scene), the film asserts its membership of an existing film tradition, in which translation is given little importance, and then subverts it. Translation links the film with previous films on the same theme, and it is also the plot device enabling the massacre of the Dreyfuses to take place and resulting in Shosanna’s escape, which sets the plot of the film in motion.

Translation continues to structure the narrative in the rest of the film. In the second section, we find the Basterds toying with a German patrol. Raine offers the captured Sergeant Rachtman the services of not one, but two interpreters, the Austrian refugee Wicki and the German turncoat Hugo Stiglitz. Rachtman is happy to refuse to co-operate in English, but an interpreter will be needed to interrogate the terrified Private Butz, who doesn't speak English. Tarantino’s camera plays up the three-cornered dialogue between Raine, Butz and the interpreter Wicki, panning rhythmically backwards and forwards between them.

Back in Paris, the conversation between Shosanna and Goebbels at the restaurant is interpreted by Goebbels’ interpreter Francesca. Francesca’s character isn’t important for the plot but she is thematically important for one very short scene only a second or two in length. An apparently gratuitous cutaway to a shot of Goebbels and Francesca having sex places Francesca in a long tradition of sexualised screen linguists and interpreters (see e.g. Le Mépris, American Gigolo; The Pillow Book). The scene is brutal. In its brevity, it's dismissive of the interpreter's role and of her point of view. Indeed, in a film so full of polyglot characters she's pretty surplus to requirements.

It’s in the fourth section of the film that the importance of language really comes to the fore. English officer Archie Hicox is picked to lead the Allied mission to bomb the cinema on the basis of his fluency in German. In the almost agonisingly drawn-out scene at the Louisiane, shot entirely in German, Hicox’s German is thoroughly tested. It is his ‘accent’, both acoustic and gestural, which ultimately lets him down. This scene references language-as-plot-point in films such as The Great Escape (we remember when Gordon Jackson’s character is recaptured because he unthinkingly responds in English to a German officer) but also many Second World War films in which language is treated more cavalierly.

Language is just as important in the film’s fifth and final section, where multilingualism breaks down. Raine and two of the Basterds try to infiltrate the film premiere disguised as Italians, despite hardly speaking a word of Italian. (Bridget von Hammersmark’s sardonic remark about the poor language skills of the American characters is another nod to the linguistic sins of Hollywood.) The revelation that on top of perfect German, excellent English and superb French, Landa is also fluent in Italian threatens to scupper the whole plot, and it would, except for the fact that, as so often, the code-switcher also switches sides. Landa’s departure from the cinema in search of a deal with the Allies finally heralds a break with the film’s multilingual theme.

The film’s intensely self-conscious code-switching reflects a growing tendency to mix languages even in Hollywood film. It’s unusual not in kind, but in degree. The most enjoyable part of the film for me was the way it plays with language, parodying the language management devices of earlier films and flaunting the ways in which foreign languages can contribute to narrative interest, humour, suspense and characterisation. Lots of critics have pointed out that it's a film about film itself. I wonder why nobody has seen fit to mention that it's also all about language and translation in the cinema.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Russian language seminar April 2010, London

Browsing the Chartered Institute of Linguists' website, I came across this which I thought would be of interest to Russianists in or near London. Not strictly translation-related but looks interesting for general CPD:

SCRSS Russian Language Seminar 2010
Fourth SCRSS Russian Language Seminar 2010

The SCRSS Russian Seminar 2010 is a two-day intensive programme of lectures in Russian on contemporary Russian society, culture and linguistics, given by lecturers from the Russian Language Department of St Petersburg State University, Russia.
The seminar is aimed at teachers of Russian, graduates of Russian and final-year undergraduates who have a good comprehension of spoken Russian and wish to keep abreast of the latest developments in Russia.
Participants attend four lectures per day, two in the morning and two in the afternoon. Participants choose from one of two options for each session. Lectures last 45 minutes, followed by 30 minutes for discussion. Lectures will cover contemporary developments in Russian society, politics, culture and language. Note: lectures are in Russian only. Lecture programme to follow by the end of March.
Participants may book a place on either one or both days.
The seminar fee includes morning and afternoon tea / coffee and biscuits. Participants may order a buffet lunch, provided by the SCRSS, for an additional £10 per day.

Date: Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 April 2010
Time: 10am - 4.30pm daily (registration 9 - 9.30am)
Venue: SCRSS, 320 Brixton Road, London SW9 6AB.
Tube: 10 minutes walk from Brixton (Victoria Line), 15 minutes walk from Oval (Northern Line)
Stopping trains from Kent to Victoria call at Brixton BR station (frequency of service has been improved).
Buses passing 320 Brixton Road: 133 from Liverpool Street stn; 59, 159 from Central London.
Seminar fee: £50 (one day), £90 (two days)
Application deadline: 12 March 2010
Payment deadline: 27 March 2010

Comments from the 2009 seminar
"Just to say you did a wonderful job on the seminar. I enjoyed it immensely."
“An excellent choice of lecture topics.”
“I think my listening skills have improved quite a lot in the last two days!”
"A friendly, informal atmosphere.”
"I will definitely come again next year if you organise a similar seminar at a similar time!”

How to apply:
Contact the address below and ask for an application form or click here to go to the SCRSS website and download / print the application form, complete and return by post to the SCRSS no later than 12 March 2010.
The SCRSS will confirm your booking on receipt of your application and payment.

Note: places are limited and early booking is advised.

* The seminar is organised by the SCRSS in conjunction with the City of St Petersburg Administration, St Petersburg University and the St Petersburg Association for International Co-operation. SCRSS Seminar Advisor: Dr Roy Bivon. *

Russian event, London,

conference on technical translation 28-29 May, Lisbon

There's a useful-looking conference on technical translation taking place in Lisbon in May, which may be of interest to those of you working in the field of technical translation. It seems to be quite practical. Workshop languages English, French, Portuguese. More information here.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Translators on Translation seminars at Portsmouth

Dear all,

After positive feedback last year, we are running some more seminars by translators on their translation work at Portsmouth. The current lineup is:

18 February Lucy Brooks (Chartered Institute of Linguists)
The freelance translator

11 March Robert Rietti (Translator, actor and director)
Dubbing Films

15 April Martin Sorrell (University of Exeter)
Translating Baudelaire and the prose poem

29 April Ros Schwartz (Translators Association)
Getting into Print

The talks begin at 5pm in Room 3.06, Park Building, University of Portsmouth (see All welcome. Refreshments provided. For further information contact carol.osullivan at or see

A National Network for Translation event, supported by the Routes into Languages programme. For more information see

Monday, 15 February 2010

Careers in the Language Professions event, 16 March 2010, Bristol

Dear all,

The National Networks for Translation and Interpreting, in partnership with the University of Bristol, are organising an event on Careers in the Language Professions to be held at the Wills Building in Bristol on 16 March. We will have speakers from the major employers, including the European Commission, the United Nations and GCHQ and talks from translators and interpreters including Tony Briggs, translator of Tolstoy. The ITI and CIOL will be represented. There will be an employers' fair and a course providers' fair and generally lots of language career-related goodies. The event is part of the Routes into Languages project.

For a programme, details and registration form, see the Routes into Languages site. The event is open to school leavers, university students and professionals, though early career and aspiring linguists will probably find it most useful.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Blogging about audiovisual translation (FR, ES)

Thanks to Sam for pointing out a very nice Spanish blog on audiovisual translation which those of you who work with Spanish may enjoy.

I also came across a very useful short film on the ATAA blog about subtitling for the deaf and hard of hearing in France. (Signed and subtitled in French):

CIoL webinar: Internet resources, 12 March 2010

From the Chartered Institute of Linguists, another useful-looking webinar. There is a discounted fee for students:

This event is organised by the Translating Division of the Chartered Institute of Linguists.
A talk by Nigel Goffe, MCIL, explaining how to get the best out of on-line resources. Nigel will be giving lots of tips for better Googling.

Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

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.

If you are unable to attend "live", and indeed, even if you do attend the live event, a link will be sent to you after the webinar, from which you can download a recording, to view at your leisure. This is not 100% guaranteed, but so far we have had great success with recordings.
Title: Internet resources
Date: Friday, March 12, 2010
Time: 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM GMT
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, VistaMacintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.4 (Tiger®) or newer

Friday, 12 February 2010

translation seminars in Cairo

For any of our students who may be within reach of Cairo, there's a very interesting-looking series of seminars with well-known translators from Arabic at the American University. The programme of the Centre for Translation Studies at the AUC looks very rich and interesting.

Trainee translators everywhere

Hi guys,
In a pleasing juxtaposition of news, Google's announcement of the imminent arrival of a smartphone which interprets in real time, delighting Star Trek fans everywhere, is closely followed by news of an entirely different kind of translator, also in development. The European Commission has just announced the winners of its Juvenes Translatores competition. I know many of our students have contacts with schools and teaching, so those of you in the EU, why not let the schools in your network know about the competition, and maybe sign up for next year? Anyone who would like to test themselves against Europe's best can find the original texts here and the winning translations here.

poems about translation

A delightful package arrived today in the post from Bookthug in Canada. Among the goodies in it is a collection of poetry, We Are Here by the Danish poet Niels Hav, translated by Patrick Friesen & P.K. Brask. Poems impossible not to like, much like their publisher. The final 'Epigram' inspires me to inaugurate an occasional series of poems about translation:

You can spend an entire life
in the company of words
not ever finding
the right one

Just like a wretched fish
wrapped in Hungarian newspapers.
For one thing it is dead,
for another it doesn't understand

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

interactive translation exercises

Dear all,

You may be interested in some fun interactive translation exercises recently launched on the website of the National Network for Translation, an initiative of Routes into Languages, which promotes language learning in the UK and is trying to raise the profile of the language professions. Feedback on the exercises is very welcome to the address on the site.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Translation and literature resources online

Just browsing through some favourites and thought some of you might be interested in the very good site Three Percent, which is all about literature in English translation; the blog InTranslation, where aspiring literary translators can submit translations of unpublished writers for consideration; the Centre for Literary Translation at Columbia University. Of particular interest for student research, maybe, the database of translated literature at the Three Percent site, which will tell you all about who is translating what from what language in the US, and the PEN survey on translation and globalisation at the CLT site. Working literary translators may be more interested in the PEN translation fund details on the CLT site. American PEN have made available a useful-looking Handbook for Literary Translators for download. MATS students still looking for a good text for their Translation Project may like to have a look at the 'PEN Recommends' page, where PEN members recommend great and untranslated work by writers from many languages.

Translation research seminars, CTIS, Manchester

Had a quick email reminder today of the excellent translation research seminar series organised by the Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies at the University of Manchester. Those of you within reach of Manchester should check these out. The next seminar is given by Lorna Hardwick. It will take place on Monday 15 February at 2 p.m. in room A101, Samuel Alexander Building, at the University of Manchester.

Lorna Hardwick
Writing in English: how Classics and Translation Studies can learn from each other

This paper explores how translation can go beyond communication between ancient Greek and Latin and modern language contexts and can play a central role in creating new literary texts. It identifies some contemporary Anglophone literary contexts in which classical texts and translations have met and examines the implications for all three spheres. I will discuss the expectations brought to this activity by writers, translators and different kinds of readers and will consider how translation, rewording, rewriting and creativity overlap and diverge. I plan to use examples drawn from recent poetry and drama in English. Some of these have the primary aim of providing translations of Greek or Latin texts while others include excerpts from the ancient authors embedded in new work. The discussion will investigate how these relate to the literary, classical and translation traditions in which they are situated and will pose some questions about the extent to which these traditions are subverted and reshaped. Translation is one of the literary practices that interact to create cultural spaces. The result is to question settled assumptions about artistic and cultural identities and to allow new ones to develop. The examples also raise questions about how and why some conventional assumptions in translation theory can be revised.

Ancient writers referred to include: Homer, Sophocles, Euripides, Vergil, Ovid.
Modern writers include: Seamus Heaney (with translator Richard Jebb), David Greig (with translator Ian Ruffell), Christopher Logue, Michael Longley, Frank McGuinness (with translator Fionnuala Murphy), Timberlake Wertenbaker (with academic advisor Margaret Williamson).

Lorna Hardwick teaches at the Open University, where she is Professor of Classical Studies and Director of the Reception of Classical Texts Research Project. Her publications include Translating Words, Translating Cultures (2000), Reception Studies (2003) and the edited collections Classics in Post-Colonial Worlds (2007, with Carol Gillespie) and Companion to Classical Receptions (2008, with Christopher Stray). She is editor of the new Classical Receptions Journal.

Rossica Young Translators Prize

Dear all, and especially any Russianists who may be reading, this interesting message just came round. The website doesn't seem to have been updated for this year's competition but keep an eye out - if you're under 25 and translate from Russian, this might be for you!

Call for nominations: Rossica Young Translators Prize

I am writing to you in regards to the Rossica Young Translators Prize that will be awarded for the second time this year. Please see the below
link for further information about our project:

As there currently is an evident shortage of translators, our aim is to offer support to young people under 25 who are passionate about the world of translation and to encourage literary translation amongst those who study and speak Russian in English speaking countries. With the help of this award we would like to nurture a new generation of Russian to English translators.

Currently we are making further efforts to advertise the event, as we would very much like to give students from all over the world the chance to take part in our competition. If you are interested in our project, we would be very grateful for any kind of support, for example by sending us email contacts for universities and institutes in North America, where Russian and Literary Translation are taught, or by advertising our project on your website. Any help would be appreciated.

Many Thanks,
Rodrigo von Horn, Rossica Prize Coordinator

Join us at SLOVO Russian Literature Festival, 19 – 25 April 2010 in London and other cities in the UK
Academia Rossica
76 Brewer Street
London W1F 9TX
+44 20 7287 2614

Academia Rossica is a UK Registered Charity 1091022. It was created in 2000 to promote intellectual links and cultural collaboration between Russia and other countries.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Lecture on dubbing, London, Wednesday 10 February

For those of you who are in or around London and interested in audiovisual translation, there's a very eminent speaker giving a lecture at Imperial on Wednesday:

Date: Wednesday, 10 February 2010
Time: 5-6 pm
Room: Huxley Building, Room 144

Dr. Frederic Chaume - Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain

'An Introduction to Dubbing in Europe: Professional Conventions'

Whereas new technologies seem to favour globalisation in many areas of translation, dubbing shows a reluctance to embrace this trend of globalisation. Translation memories are now used to make translation easier and faster all over the world. In the area of audiovisual translation, new subtitling software has been developed, which is now widely used among both practitioners and companies. Also in subtitling, most microtextual practices (line segmentation, subtitle segmentation, typographical usages, synthesis of information, etc.) are followed by the majority of professionals. But dubbing seems to refuse to bend to homogenisation. Perhaps due to notions of nationalism and singularity attached to this concept, dubbing still shows different macro- and microtextual practices in the European countries in which it is the most popular type of audiovisual translation.

This talk introduces audiovisual translation and dubbing and also examines four different dubbing practices at a microtextual level -those carried out in Germany, Italy, Spain and France. Before considering new failed attempts to globalise this practice, and also some major advances brought by new technologies, the paper focuses on the differences in layout, take segmentation and dialogue writing in these four countries. These differences show that dubbing practices are still very conservative, and resistant to change and homogenisation (Linguistica Antverpiensia, 6/2007, pp. 203-207)

Dr. Frederic Chaume is a Professor of Audiovisual Translation at the Universitat Jaume I (Castelló, Spain), where he teaches audiovisual translation theory, dubbing and subtitling. He has twenty years' experience in the audiovisual translation industry. He is author of the books Doblatge i subtitulació per a la TV (Barcelona: Eumo, 2003), Cine y Traducción (Madrid: Cátedra, 2004), Teories Actuals de la Traducció (forthcoming, Bromera) and Audiovisual Translation: Dubbing (St. Jerome, in preparation).

For a complete list of 2009-2010 seminars at Imperial (some really good speakers) see:

Maria Tymoczko public lecture, Aston, 10 March

Dear all,
For those of you in the Birmingham area, Professor Maria Tymoczko of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst will be visiting Aston University and will give a public lecture on Wednesday, 10 March 2010, from 4.30 - 6.00pm in the Main Building, 4th floor, room MB404C. The title of the lecture is 'Translation and Neuroscience' and it is open to all.
This sounds like a very interesting lecture and Portsmouth MA students might like the opportunity to hear Professor Tymoczko 'live', since you will be reading her work in Theory and Practice of Translation.

postgraduate theatre conference, London, Saturday 20 March

This looks interesting, for those of you in the London area:

*Theatre Translation as Collaboration: Re-routing Text through Performance*
Arts Building, Queen Mary, University of London
Saturday, 20 March, 2010

Keynote speakers: Professor J. Michael Walton and playwright Colin Teevan

Round table chaired by critic Aleks Sierz, featuring playwright Martin
Crimp and theatre practitioners tba

Afternoon workshop led by Gráinne Byrne of Scarlet Theatre

The aim of this one-day graduate colloquium is to explore the
collaborative creative processes involved in the re-routing of text from
page to stage: what happens when a text is translated for performance? We
will examine the act of theatre translation in all its multiple
variations, including versions, adaptations and inter-semiotic transfers
(for example from film or book to stage). How does research engage with
the collaborative nature of translating for performance? We hope to expand
and facilitate the dialogue between theatre practitioners and academics,
illuminating the practice/theory debate.

Graduate students currently working in Theatre (including dance and
design), Translation, Performance or Language Studies, or related areas
are very welcome to attend.

Registration fee: £10. Please register by 5 March 2010

For further details and registration, visit:

All enquiries to

Organising Committee
Geraldine Brodie Kate Eaton
Margherita Laera Tiffany Watt-Smith

Graduate Colloquium funded by:
The Arts and Humanities Research Council and
The Graduate School in Humanities and Social Sciences,
Queen Mary, University of London

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Job for Spanish to English translator

Thanks to Miguel for passing along this link to a Spanish to English in-house translation job in Madrid.

Getting into translation

Many thanks to Tanja for pointing out a really useful page on the ITI website with presentations about how to start out as a translator. I thought Sarah Griffin-Mason's presentation on getting started in translation and Anna Davies' presentation on what translation companies really want were both excellent - and lots of other informative goodies too.

Unfortunately the ITI site didn't seem to like my direct link to the page, but if you go to the ITI homepage and search for the uncommon noun 'Griffin' it should bring up a link to 'events' where you will find the list of talks. Video recordings of the talks by Sarah, Anna and others can be found here on the Routes into Languages website.

Friday, 5 February 2010

In-house translation job in Germany

Hi all,

For graduates, a job ad spotted on the ITI website for an English native speaker with German and either French or Spanish. In-house position in a company located near Frankfurt. Closing date 22 February. More information here.

Oxfam translation placement

Seen on the Chartered Institute of Linguists website this evening, an unpaid but interesting-looking part-time internship in translation:

OXFAM GB Translation Internships
2010-02-02 OXFAM GB Translation Internships

Based in Oxford - 3-6 months minimum, part-time (expenses only paid)

A fantastic opportunity to gain experience in the translation industry within the context of an International NGO

Tasks include:

* Proofreading and translating
* Creating glossaries
* Project management of translation projects
* Working with freelance translators

Ideal candidate would bring the following to the role:

* Fluent in one or more languages: French, Spanish, Portuguese or Arabic
* Degree or equivalent in Translation
* Good interpersonal skills and an ability to work well in a team
* Ability to organise, plan and prioritise work
* Previous project management experience an advantage

Please send a C.V. and covering letter to

Thursday, 4 February 2010

translations side by side

Jon Evans just sent me a very nice link to multiple translations of Basho's 'frog haiku', and it set me thinking about the good, wholesome fun that is comparing different translations of the same text. A quick search came up, inevitably, with a lot of poetry - short, pithy, difficult to translate and so very rewarding for this kind of exercise. On the same site as the Basho are many versions of Baudelaire's 'Le Balcon'. Baudelaire is, predictably, popular - but how to predict Spleen: thirty-one translations of the Baudelaire poem, all by the same translator, Nicholas Moore, with an added bonus of a provocative reflection on the impossibility of translation? Hurrah for There is a pleasing downloadable MIT Opencourseware course on reading poetry in translation with links to lots of alternative translations. This leads to Sappho, and then by circuitous routes to eyebrow-raising versions of Chunwang. As a bit of light relief, I also came across several fizzy and fun translations of Horace's Ode 1.22 by Franklin P. Adams.

Literally side-by-side are these ingenious parallel translations in frames of Noh plays. Forget eyebrow-raising, the comparison between the opening scenes of Waley's and Pound's versions of Aoi No Uye is eye-watering. Not for the first time, I wish I read Japanese to understand what's going on there.

Anyone out there have links to amusing side-by-side translations?

wishing I were in Toronto...

...where I have just seen a wonderful-looking workshop advertised through BookThug: a 'transtranslation workshop' with Mark Goldstein. With a grand total of seven participants, the odds of any of them reading this blog or anyone who reads this blog being in a position to sign up for this workshop are smallish - but perhaps some day the interwebs will allow us to read some of the results.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Translation Research Summer School 2010, London

For any of you considering going on to a PhD in Translation Studies, this is a good programme which Portsmouth students have found rewarding in the past:

Translation Research Summer School (TRSS), June 2010

The TRANSLATION RESEARCH SUMMER SCHOOL (TRSS UK) organizes an annual two-week course offering intensive research training in translation and intercultural studies for prospective researchers in the field. The next session will be held in London in June 2010.

Date and Venue:

14-25 June 2010, Centre for Intercultural Studies, University College London (UCL).

2010 Teaching Staff:

Mona Baker (University of Manchester)
Morven Beaton-Thome (University of Manchester)
Charlotte Bosseaux (University of Edinburgh)
Geraldine Brodie (University College London)
Jorge Dí­az-Cintas (Imperial College)
Theo Hermans (University College London)
Moira Inghilleri (University College London)
Hephzibah Israel (London)
Jeremy Munday (University of Leeds)
Nana Sato-Rossberg (Ritsumeikan Univeristy, Kyoto)
Karen Seago (City University, London)
Christopher Stone (University College London)
Şebnem Susam-Sarajeva (University of Edinburgh)
Yau Wai-ping (Hong Kong Baptist University)

Invited speaker:
Dilek Dizdar (University of Mainz; Bogaziçi University, Istanbul)

Syllabus: The syllabus consists of four modules of four sessions each, plus a public lecture and private seminar by the invited speaker. In addition, students attend small-group tutorials and present their own work. Modules: Research Design and Dynamics; Theoretical Approaches; Research Methods; 2010 specialist module: Translation and Values.

Eligibility: The Summer School is open to suitably qualified students from across the world. Candidates should normally hold the degree of Master of Arts or equivalent in a relevant subject (typically a humanities subject involving cross-cultural studies), should be proficient in English and should either have started or be actively considering research in translation and/or intercultural studies.

Application deadline: 30 April 2010

Tuition fee: 975 GBP for sponsored students; 680 GBP for self-funded students

Scholarships: Two full scholarships are available. See the TRSS website for details (eligibility and criteria; scholarship application deadline; application form).

Contact: Dorota Goluch,

Art(s) in translation conference, Iceland, May 2010

Hi all,
I know the blog isn't a call for papers listing but this looks like a really interesting conference. Anyone out there tempted?

Art in Translation: International Conference on Language and the Arts

27 to 29 May 2010
Reykjavik, Iceland

This conference on Art in Translation seeks to address how arts discourse across linguistic borders affects the production, reception, and interpretation of art, music, literature and film in a globalized context.

Organized by: University of Iceland and The Nordic House
Deadline for abstracts/proposals: 22 February 2010

Contact name: Shauna Laurel Jones

Call for papers

Art in Translation seeks to address how arts discourse across linguistic borders affects the production, reception, and interpretation of art, music, film and literature in a globalized context.

The conference invites proposals from scholars, professionals, and graduate students from a wide range of disciplines (art, music, film, and literary history and theory, as well as linguistics, translation, anthropology, cultural studies, and other relevant fields). Equally welcome are proposals from practitioners in any field in the arts, whether in the form of conference papers or other types of presentations. Possible questions and topics include:

1. •In what ways does language privilege the arts and art theory in hegemonic language communities at the expense of others?

2. •How are transnational and/or nationally localized languages adapting to globalized art discourse?

3. •How are certain language communities without a longstanding art historical or art theoretical discourse adopting, translating, or codifying foreign terms and/or concepts that have not previously existed?

4. •In what ways can, and do, small language communities contribute to international arts discourse?

5. •How do hegemonic languages of arts discourse affect artists for whom these languages are not their mother tongue?

6. •What are the responsibilities and challenges of those who are translating art history, theory, or criticism from an internationally dominant language to an internationally marginal one, and vice versa?

7. •How do arts writers serve as “translators” in general, and what are their limitations?

8. •Is there art that cannot be “translated” from one culture/language community to another because of language or other local knowledge?

9. •Metamorphoses of semiotic and cultural systems in transition; repositioning of art and literature in time, cultural spheres and ideology

10. •Aesthetic challenges in translating one form of art to another

11. •Historical feats of reshaping and translating art, changing cultural systems

Submission Guidelines:

Abstracts or proposals must be 500 words or less and include the presenter’s name, academic/professional affiliation, mailing address, phone number and email address. Presentations will be 20 minutes in length. Please submit your proposal no later than Monday, February 22, 2010. Decisions will be announced by March 15. Submissions and inquiries may be directed to info [at]