Saturday, 31 January 2015

e-flier for 'Splendid Innovations' conference on the history of translating films

In case any readers missed our recent announcement of the upcoming conference in May 2014, here is a downloadable e-flier for your convenience (and those of all your friends and relations who might have an interest in the history of screen translation).

For further information please feel free to contact me on carol.osullivan at 

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

'Splendid Innovations' conference on screen translation history, London 21-22 May 2015

I am, as my countrymen are wont to say, excira' an' delira' to say that registration is open for the British Academy Conference

'Splendid Innovations': The Development, Reception 
and Preservation of Screen Translation'

organised by myself and the distinguished French researcher Jean-François Cornu, author of the recently published Le doublage et le sous-titrage: Histoire et esthétique.

The conference website, draft programme and details of how to register are here.

As you'll see from the conference website, it brings together an extraordinary combination of experts in film archiving, film history and translation. This has been made possible through the wonderful generosity of the British Academy who are funding the conference and who are organising it at their beautiful homeplace at Carlton House Terrace. We literally can't wait!

The conference will also include a public event about the history of screen translation, featuring the distinguished Japanese benshi Kataoka Ichiro (more information here).

Please feel free to contact me at carol.osullivan at if you have any questions about these events.

Upcoming translation events at Bristol

Only two sleeps until our translation study day for PhD and post-doctoral students on Friday, hurrah.

Will seize this opportunity to preview some of the other events coming up in the next few weeks at the University of Bristol:

Spring Events 2015

Friday 30 January                   Translation PhD and post-doctoral study day
                                                 Arts Complex G65, 2-5pm

Wednesday 11 February        Dr Valerie Pellatt, University of Newcastle
                                                 ‘Culture-specific items and untranslatability in                                                  Chinese-English translation’
                                                 Arts Complex G102, 2-4pm
Thursday 12 February            (ADDED) Russian Department Seminar 
                                                 Professor Anthony Briggs (Emeritus) on
                                                 translating War and Peace & Yevgeny Onegin.'
                                                     Arts Complex LR8, 5.15pm 
 Friday 20 February                Translation Studies Reading Group
                                                 Arts Complex room G33, 3-5pm

Tuesday 24 February             (ADDED) Nick Rosenthal MITI
                                                  Session 1: Building a career as a translator
                                                Session 2: Translating the Tour de France
                                                Arts Complex Lecture Theatre 2, 3-5pm

Tuesday 10 March                 Javier Gil
                                                Partner, eQuality Financial Translation Services 
                                                Financial translation workshop
                                                Arts Complex LT2, 3-5pm
**Please note due to unforeseen circumstances Javier's workshop has been cancelled. We hope to reschedule in future.**

Thursday 19 March               Russian Department literary translation evening
                                                Dr Muireann Maguire, translator, Red Spectres
                                                Anna Gunin, translator, The Sky Wept Fire
                                                Alessandro Gallenzi, publisher, Alma 
                                                Arts Complex LR8, 5.15-7pm

Friday 20 March                   (ADDED) Juliette Scott, translator and researcher
                                               Academic research, lawyers and legal translators: 
                                               Swimming in the same sea   
                                               Arts Complex LR1, 5-6pm

Tuesday 24 March                (ADDED) Jean-François Cornu 
                                               Research seminar: 
                                               'Principles for a history of film translation'
                                               Arts Complex LR8, 5.15-7pm

Wednesday 25 March          (ADDED) Jean-François Cornu
                                               Working in the film translation industry
                                               43 Woodland Road, LR2, 12 noon-1pm

All Arts Complex rooms can be accessed via nos.3-5 Woodland Road, Bristol BS8. Please note that 43 Woodland Road is not part of the Arts Complex.

For further information or details of reading group texts, please contact Dr Alice Colombo at alice.colombo at
For information on the Russian literary translation evening please contact Cathy McAteer at Cathy.McAteer at .

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Poems about translation no. 21: Robert Burns on the translator as assassin

We haven't had a poem about translation for while; but with Burns Night coming up, here's Robert Burns (pictured in heroic mode above) apostrophising a Mr E. for attempted murder of Martial:
O Thou, whom Poesy abhors,
Whom Prose has turned out of doors;
Heards't thou yon groan? - proceed no further!
'Twas laurell'd Martial calling, Murther! 
You can listen to the poem as well on the same page.

I am reminded of number 18 in the Poems About Translation series, Willis Barnstone's ABC of Translating Poetry, in which Willis says (under R for Robber):
The translator poet is a blatant robber but should not kill the other author or steal her very name from her. But if murder and robbery are necessary, be open. Robbery can be an admirable crime. Normally, as with music, the translating artist reads and interprets but does not fully invent the score. Yet if you must kill and rob, if you must transform the past and correct and embellish it for your time, confess and praise your benefactor. Then, when you display your stolen wares, greater praise will await your deeds.
Mr E. the murderer of Martial is James Elphinstone (1721-1809):

We are told in Chambers' Biographical Dictionary of Eminent Scotsmen that Elphinstone's 1782 translation of Martial
was met on all hands with ridicule and contempt. "Elphinstone's Martial," says Dr Beattie, in a letter to Sir William Forbes, "is just come to hand. It is truly a unique. The specimens formerly published did very well to laugh at; but a whole quarto of nonsense and gibberish is too much. It is strange that a man not wholly illiterate should have lived so long in England without learning the Language." The work, in fact, both in the poetry and the notes, displayed a total absence of judgment; and, accordingly, it has sunk into utter neglect.
You can judge for yourself whether Burns and his contemporaries were unnecessarily harsh to Elphinstone here.

Elphinstone portrait credit National Portrait Gallery with thanks.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Translation study day for PhD and postdoctoral students, University of Bristol, 30 January 2015

I'm very much looking forward to our upcoming PhD and postdoctoral study day in translation at the end of the month:


30 January 2015
2pm – 5pm
Arts Complex Room G65 (entrance via No. 3-5 Woodland Road)
Woodland Road, Bristol BS8


2.00 - 2.30
Mary Frank
Tackling the translation-resistant text: a practice-based investigation using a corpus from the German Democratic Republic

2.30 – 3.00
Cathy McAteer
Reds under the Beds - How Penguin's Russian Agents Sneaked into our Lives

3.00 - 3.30
Coffee Break and networking

3.30 – 4.00
Roy Youdale 
Narratology: a monkey wrench in the translator's toolkit?

4.00 – 4.30
Alice Colombo
The transnational mobility of cheap print: British chapbooks in Italy, 1800-1850

4.30 – 5.00
Closing discussion and suggestions for future activities

For further information contact Dr Alice Colombo at alice.colombo at

Thursday, 15 January 2015

New year, new #translationstudiesforfree

A new year is upon us and one of my resolutions is to continue with the #translationstudiesforfree series for this blog (see also on Twitter). This tag aims to make free translation studies content more visible and more easily available.

One of the features of free access to paywalled journal content is that it can be a bit unpredictable; you have to snaffle it while it's available. I thought that it might be useful to make a list of Translation Studies content that is currently on free access. So here's a list of freely available articles (not including book reviews) at time of writing, in alphabetical order.

Blumczyński, Piotr (2013) Turning the tide: A critique of Natural Semantic Metalanguage from a translation studies perspective, Translation Studies, 6:3, 261-276, DOI: 10.1080/14781700.2013.781484

Chandran, Mini (2011) The translator as ideal reader: Variant readings of Anandamath, Translation Studies, 4:3, 297-309, DOI: 10.1080/14781700.2011.589653

Cronin, Michael & Sherry Simon (2014) Introduction: The city as translation zone, Translation Studies, 7:2, 119-132, DOI: 10.1080/14781700.2014.897641

Daldeniz, Elif (2010) Introduction: Translation, modernity and its dissidents: Turkey as a “republic of translation”, Translation Studies, 3:2, 129-131, DOI: 10.1080/14781701003647327

Fu, Liangyu (2013) Indigenizing visualized knowledge: translating Western science illustrations in China, 1870–1910, Translation Studies, 6:1, 78-102, DOI: 10.1080/14781700.2012.724784

Guo, Ting (2015) Interpreting for the enemy: Chinese interpreters in the Second Sino-Japanese War (1931–1945), Translation Studies, 8:1, 1-15, DOI: 10.1080/14781700.2014.881302

Kershaw, Angela & Gabriela Saldanha (2013) Introduction: Global landscapes of translation, Translation Studies, 6:2, 135-149, DOI: 10.1080/14781700.2013.777257

Koskinen, Kaisa (2014) Tampere as a translation space, Translation Studies, 7:2, 186-202, DOI: 10.1080/14781700.2013.873876

Littau, Karin (2011) First steps towards a media history of translation, Translation Studies, 4:3, 261-281, DOI: 10.1080/14781700.2011.589651

McDonough Dolmaya, Julie (2015) Revision history: Translation trends in Wikipedia, Translation Studies, 8:1, 16-34, DOI: 10.1080/14781700.2014.943279

Marinetti, Cristina & Margaret Rose (2013) Process, practice and landscapes of reception: An ethnographic study of theatre translation, Translation Studies, 6:2, 166-182, DOI: 10.1080/14781700.2013.777258

Markey, Anne (2011) Valparaiso: Translation and Irish poetry, Translation Studies, 4:3, 325-341, DOI: 10.1080/14781700.2011.589655

Olohan, Maeve (2011) Translators and translation technology: The dance of agency, Translation Studies, 4:3, 342-357, DOI: 10.1080/14781700.2011.589656

Owen, Ruth J. (2011) Freedoms of expression: Poetry translations in the East Berlin Poesiealbum, Translation Studies, 4:2, 133-148, DOI: 10.1080/14781700.2011.560015

Pas, Justine M. (2013) Language and belonging in the Polish translation of Eva Hoffman's Lost in Translation, Translation Studies, 6:1, 64-77, DOI: 10.1080/14781700.2012.725568

Sánchez, Marta E. (2011) Pocho en español: The anti-pocho pocho, Translation Studies, 4:3, 310-324, DOI: 10.1080/14781700.2011.589654

Takatori, Yuki (2011) The myth of the “A-bomb statement”, Translation Studies, 4:3, 282-296, DOI: 10.1080/14781700.2011.589652

Translation Studies Forum: Translation and censorship, (2011) Translation Studies, 4:3, 358-373, DOI: 10.1080/14781700.2011.589657

Venuti, Lawrence (2011) Introduction: Poetry and Translation, Translation Studies, 4:2, 127-132, DOI: 10.1080/14781700.2011.560014

Wakabayashi, Judy (2012) Japanese translation historiography: Origins, strengths, weaknesses and lessons, Translation Studies, 5:2, 172-188, DOI: 10.1080/14781700.2012.663600

Wang, Pu (2013) The Promethean translator and cannibalistic pains: Lu Xun's “hard translation” as a political allegory, Translation Studies, 6:3, 324-338, DOI: 10.1080/14781700.2013.811836

UPDATE 21 January 2015: For a range of articles from other Routledge translation journals as well click here.

UPDATE 26 January 2015: For several more articles from Translation Studies, including Anne Malena on the city of New Orleans, Sharon Deane-Cox on Antelme, and Siobhan Brownlie on translating great historical documents, click here. Available until June 2015.

UPDATE 2, 26 January 2015: Yet more articles from Translation Studies, including Martha Cheung on the (un)importance of flagging Chineseness, Judith Kaufmann on translation & interpreting in Welsh language planning, plus other translation-related goodies here

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

CFP: Territories of Understanding: Conflict and Encounter

Deadline for abstracts for this very interesting-looking conference is 31 January:


Queen’s University Belfast,
4- 5 June 2015
Second International Postgraduate Conference in Translation and Interpreting
Territories of Understanding: Conflict and Encounter

Translation and interpreting are understood – and indeed function – all too often as tools that universalize and level. Unsustainable claims are made for their capacity to tap into and re-generate channels of communication which operate at the level of the species, while at the same time the deficits of translation and interpreting, in terms of significant and far-reaching failures of understanding, still structure our geopolitics. This conference will seek to address these broad issues by posing the following questions:

·                What might we mean by culture-specific definitions of translation/interpreting?
·                How do translators/interpreters operate within and/or go beyond such definitions?
·                What sort of contribution can translation/interpreting make to the development of public and/or international policy?
·                What do we mean by cultural encounter? Can we legislate for it?
·                In what ways are translation/interpreting answerable to a politics of recognition?
·                In what ways can translators/interpreters address cultural and political conflict?

We would be delighted to receive proposals for twenty-minute papers on any aspect of the issues and questions set out above. Please send a 300-word abstract to conference2qub at by 31 January 2015.  All papers will be refereed and you will be notified of acceptance by 6 February 2015.

Abstracts should also include:
·                The presenter's name
·                The presenter's affiliation
·                The presenter's academic status and current year of study
·                Title of the paper to be presented
·                Three keywords that best describe the content of the paper to be presented

 Confirmed plenary speakers are:

Professor Michael Cronin MRIA, Centre for Translation and Textual Studies, Dublin City University

Professor Susan Bassnett, Professor of Comparative Literature and former Pro-Vice-Chancellor at the University of Warwick

Dr Samia Bazzi, Head of Translation at the Lebanese University of Beirut

Conference participants will be responsible for travel to and from Belfast, and for their own accommodation. The conference fee will be £30, which includes refreshments, lunches and wine receptions on both days, and dinner on the first night.  More details are available at

Or find us on Facebook: and Twitter: @TranslateQUB