Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year and paintings about translation

Just back from a lovely Christmas with my family (in Texas, for a change). I had the pleasure of seeing the Caravaggio exhibition at the Kimbell Museum in Fort Worth and thought it would make a nice note to end the year on.

One of the fascinating features of this exhibition was the inclusion of paintings by followers of Caravaggio.The exhibition is structured in themed 'rooms', one of which is dedicated to St. Jerome. It turns out that Caravaggio's imitators have quite a different vision of Jerome to the one I was used to. Earlier paintings by Jan van Eyck, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Antonello da Messina portray him in elaborate interiors with big libraries and lots of kit. He also tends to be rather formally dressed for someone who works from home. The paintings after Caravaggio portray a rather different translation context. It's night, not day. Jerome hasn't bothered to finish dressing. He might or might not be sitting at a desk. Lions don't feature as prominently.

Of the four St. Jerome paintings in the exhibition, my favourites were Bartolomeo Cavarozzi's 'St. Jerome in his Study with Two Angels' (c.1617) of which I couldn't find a convincing image online, and Jusepe de Ribera's weatherbeaten, great-outdoorsy St. Jerome of c.1613:

There is also Trophime Bigot's 'Saint Jerome Reading', aka 'Saint Jerome and the Itty-Bitty Book Light'.

I very much like the painting below by Leonello Spada from the Galleria Nazionale in Rome, not in the exhibition but in the same tradition. The bare feet...The eyeglasses...The sitting with the laptop sorry manuscript in his lap...The candle burned down to the socket...:

For anyone in hailing distance of Fort Worth, the exhibition runs another week until 8 January. To all readers of this blog, a very happy New Year and best wishes from Southsea.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Doctoral studies summer school, Slovenia

I have just seen a call for participants for a new doctoral training initiative in Slovenia. This seems a valuable addition to the current range of doctoral training schools, and the emphasis on training the trainer is also very welcome:

EMUNI Translation Studies Doctoral and Teacher Training Summer School
23 June – 7 July 2012, Portorož, Slovenia
Guest Lecturer 2012: Dr. Michaela Wolf, University of Graz

The more than 300 MA programmes in translation across Europe indicate that there is both a great need to provide high-level doctoral study for prospective teachers and a pressing need to continuously provide teacher training to existing translation teachers in order to keep them up to date with the latest developments in the field. The EMUNI Translation Studies Doctoral Summer School and Teacher Training Summer School, a joint initiative by 7 different universities (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia; Boğaziçi University, Turkey; University of Turku, Finland; University of East Finland, Finland; University of Granada, Spain; Pablo de Olavide University, Seville, Spain; and EMUNI, Portorož, Slovenia), responds to this need by focusing, in particular, on contemporary research into literary and non-literary works from a historical perspective.
Participation will be limited to a maximum of 30 individuals; particularly welcome are doctoral students in the early stages of their projects, teachers of translation at MA level or its equivalent and other academics, as well as professionals who are involved in research in translation and interpreting studies or in other doctoral fields where translation, interpreting or intercultural mediation is a focus of interest.
Basic activities at the EMUNI Summer School:
a) Critical discussion of the most current approaches to translation theory, paying particular attention to contemporary research into literary and non-literary works from a historical perspective.
b) Presentation and critical discussion of different methodological approaches in TS, focusing in particular on researching the translation of literary and non-literary texts in historical TS from the perspective of historical and sociological studies, or through the use of ethnological and corpus approaches.
c) A series of lectures by the guest lecturer.
d) Teacher-training in the field of translator training, with a particular emphasis on curriculum and syllabus design, definition of objectives and learning outcomes, trainee and trainer profiles, ICT resources, classroom dynamics and assessment.
e) Tutorials for doctoral students and young researchers.
f) A graduate conference.

Teaching Staff:
Dr. Özlem Berk Albachten, Boğaziçi University, Turkey
Dr. Elisa Calvo, Pablo de Olavide University, Seville, Spain
Dr. Ebru Diriker, Boğaziçi University, Turkey
Dr. Vojko Gorjanc, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Dr. Dorothy Kelly, University of Granada, Spain
Dr. Nike K. Pokorn, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Dr. Kaisa Koskinen, University of Eastern Finland, Finland
Dr. Outi Polaposki, Turku University, Finland
Dr. Sehnaz Tahir-Gürçağlar, Boğaziçi University, Turkey
Dr. Špela Vintar, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Publication: participants shall be invited to submit an article to be refereed and published in print and on the EMUNI summer school website.

Expenses: Associates will be responsible for their own airfare and local transportation to and from Portorož. The expected maximum costs for students for 14 days (registration + tuition + accommodation + full board) is 1030 €. All students, but in particular students from the non-EU countries of the Union for the Mediterranean, are eligible for grants.

Application Deadline: March 15, 2012 

Website: For the application procedure and more details of the school please visit the website at: or write to at

Monday, 12 December 2011

Advice for translators starting out

There's a nice post by Jill Sommer over on TranslationMusings with hints and tips for finding translation work, building a clientele and surviving the first year of freelancing. Lots of good advice in the comments too.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

EST list of translation journals

For anyone looking for information about translation and interpreting journals, the European Society for Translation Studies has published a freely editable, updatable list of journals in Google Doc form. This is meant to be a resource for the international translation and interpreting research community. Please feel free to add journals, amend errors and update information. Queries should be addressed to carol.osullivan at (Warm thanks to Alice Colombo and Jonathan Evans for their generous help with compiling the list).

UPDATE August 2012: Just to say that the list is no longer freely editable because there were some unfortunate editing hiccups which led to information having to be re-entered. If you would like to change information on the list, add a publication etc. please contact carol.osullivan at 

Photo caption: Carl Spitzweg, Der Bücherwurm [The Bookworm]

Friday, 2 December 2011

Project management and quality training event, Portsmouth

Hi all,
The next in our series of professional training workshops takes place on 27 January. Raisa McNab of STP Nordic will be running the workshop. The workshop is addressed primarily to professional translators, both newly-qualified translators finding their feet, and more established professional translators who would like to enhance their awareness of and skills in project management and quality. See below for further details and a registration link.

Enhancing your project management and quality assurance skills
Raisa McNab
Friday, 27 January 2012
Park Building, University of Portsmouth

10 a.m-12 noon
  • Introduction
  • Project management for freelance translators: learning from a translation company context
  • Managing projects efficiently
  • Project management aids and tools
  • Opportunities in the translation industry
12 noon-1.30 Lunch and networking

  • What is "good quality"? Quality assurance metrics, standards and considerations
  • Quality assurance tools
  • Hands-on exercise using a QA tool: Apsic Xbench. (Participants may use the on-site machines or bring their own laptops.)
Raisa McNab is the Production & Quality Manager at STP Nordic, a translation company specialising in the Nordic languages. She holds an MA in Translation from her native Finland and brings to the workshop eight years of experience in project management and quality assurance along with her experiences of the challenges translators face in their daily working lives.
Fee: £50 (£45 for ITI and CIoL members and postgraduate students)

To register, please click here. Enquiries should be addressed to translation at