Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Case of the Harry Potter Translators

We already know that translators aren’t always visible and don’t always receive fair treatment. But this case is even worse than you can imagine. Gili Bar-Hillel Semo is a prominent translator from English to Hebrew as well as an editor, and she doesn’t deserve such bad treatment by Warner Bros (or any organization, obviously).

It’s shocking to see how horribly translators can be treated and it makes one worry about the state of the translation industry.

What can and should be done about this?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Literary Translation Summer School

Every year, the British Centre for Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia (where I work) hosts the Literary Translation Summer School. Here are the details about this year’s event.

22 – 27 July 2012
University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK

Bringing together writers and translators for a week of literary translation
workshops, panel discussions, lectures and readings.

Workshops translating from Dutch, French, German, Japanese,
Norwegian and Spanish into English

Writers–in-residence: Daniel Gascón, Nino Haratischwili, Furukawa Hideo,
Martin Page, Gustaaf Peek, Kjersti Skomsvold

Workshop leaders: David Colmer, Kari Dickson, Katy Derbyshire, Michael Emmerich,
Adriana Hunter, Anne McLean

Further information from www.bclt.org.uk email bclt@uea.ac.uk

British Centre for Literary Translation, School of Literature, Drama and Creative
Writing, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK
Tel: 01603 592785; Fax: 01603 592737

Monday, May 14, 2012

Nordic Translation Conference

In 2008, I organized the first ever Nordic Translation Conference. I’m working together with Dr. Gudrun Rawoens on organizing the second one now. Here is the first call for papers.

Nordic Translation Conference 2013

Call for Papers

The second Nordic Translation Conference will take place on 4, 5, and 6 April 2013 at the University of East Anglia, in Norwich, England.

This quinquennial event is solely dedicated to the particular challenges and pleasures of translating between and among the Nordic countries, which are often closely related culturally, if not always linguistically. It is open to academics, students, translators, publishers, and others who work with the Nordic languages. The first such conference took place in London at the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies in 2008 and it resulted in the book Northern Lights: Translation in the Nordic Countries (Peter Lang, 2009).

The keynote speakers in 2013 will include Andrew Chesterman, Riitta Oittinen, and Anna Mauranen. As in 2008, there will be workshops, talks, panels, and dual-language readings. Both academics and practising translators are encouraged to attend and present at the conference.

The conference will look at literary and non-literary translation of all kinds, including interpreting and subtitling, both between various Nordic languages and also between English and the Nordic languages. Nordic here includes Danish, Faroese, Finnish, Greenlandic, Icelandic, Norwegian, any of the Sámi dialects, and Swedish. Topics can include, but are not limited to, specific linguistic issues involved in translation/interpretation between two or more languages, analysis of particular texts/genres, professional issues, translating texts by or about minority groups, the translator/interpreter’s role, and the effect of cultural similarities/differences among Nordic countries.

In addition, the conference will include several workshops on relevant topics, such as working with specific languages or kinds of texts, using computer tools, finding reference materials, and so on. Those interested in running workshops are also invited to submit proposals.

Please send proposals (250-400 words) for workshops by 1 June 2012 and for conference papers by 15 August 2012 to B.J. Epstein and Gudrun Rawoens by e-mail at conference@nordictranslation.net or by regular mail to B.J. Epstein at the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, England, NR4 7TJ. Along with the proposal, please include a brief biographical note.

Conference details are available at http://www.nordictranslation.net. For ease of communication, English should be the primary conference language.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

A Second Round-Up of Articles

Here are even more interesting articles. Most of these were sent to me by readers or by the people who wrote them/posted them. I’m always happy to receive suggestions for interesting articles on language, literature, or translation.

This piece looks at the origins of some American phrases.

I had no idea that the Irish language had had such an impact on English. This article gives some examples.

This piece on body language links back to my posts on interviewing. Be careful what you say with your appearance and with your body language.

This article looks at grammar rules.

I’m not sure what I think of this piece, which claims to have ideas for how to sound smarter. Fake a British accent? I don’t know about that. Don’t say “um” so often? Um, I guess.

Looking to learn a new language? This article suggests which languages are easiest for native English-speakers to learn. What do you think?

What English phrases are spoken/written incorrectly most often? Find out here.

I have a real passion or languages and am often embarrassed/astounded by the way in which English-speaking countries don’t encourage language-learning. Read more about thishere.

Friday, May 04, 2012

A Round-Up of Articles

Here are some articles you might find enjoyable/interesting. I have so many articles to share with you, that I’m going to do it in two posts.

Since January, I’ve been writing for the Huffington Post. It’s been a lot of fun, because I get a chance to write about my research and to link it to current events. You can check out my articles here.

Here’s an article on reading foreign fiction.

I love Oliver Burkeman’s articles. In this one, he discusses the way languages might influence our habits, based on how closely related the future and present tenses are.

This piece from the BBC is about a young man who speaks 11 languages and uses those languages to tell us about his passion for learning them.

This website purports to offer 15,000 useful phrases for speaking/writing.

And here are tips for being happy. Life is short, so make the most of it.