Monday, September 30, 2013

International Translation Day

Today is the feast day of St. Jerome (Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus), the translator and patron saint of translators.

So today we celebrate the (often invisible) work that translators do!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Crowd-sourcing Verb Meanings

The people at this project at MIT contacted me to tell me about it: basically, they are crowd-sourcing the meanings of verbs in order to get a deeper sense of what words mean than what dictionaries offer.

You can check it out here.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Translation as a Team Task

Translation is generally such a solitary business and many translators like it that way. But in July I was reminded how useful it can sometimes be to work with others.

It was the British Centre for Literary Translation summer school and I led the Finland Swedish workshop (my group was fantastic, incidentally!), where we translated work by Johanna Holmström. We spent so much time discussing the nuances of our author’s text and debating about which word would be right and why. We researched together and read aloud and tried out different phrases and discussed how people of varying ages and backgrounds would speak and so on. Johanna often sat in on our discussions and told us about her intentions and her ideas, which was also very beneficial.

The English text we ended up with is, I suspect, better than what any one of us would have done on our own.

Now, I know that it isn’t practical for teams of translators to work together on every text, but the summer school was a good reminder that sometimes it’s worth talking to other translators (and, of course, to our authors) and sharing ideas. Translation is often solitary, but it doesn’t always have to be, nor should it always be.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Translation and Food

I’ve long been fascinated by food and food writing/translation, as I’ve posted about here before.

So you can imagine how excited I was to read about this upcoming conference on food and translation. Some of you might be interested in attending and/or submitting a paper.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Translator Elizabeth Tanfield Cary

Some time back, there was an article on the BBC website about Elizabeth Tanfield Cary, a sixteenth century girl who was a writer and translator.

The article notes, “She grew up in the village [Burford Church, Oxfordshire] and wrote the piece - a translation from French of the text of the early world atlas of Ortelius - when she was aged 12 or 13.”

Dr Lesley Peterson is quoted as saying that her translatorial decisions are revealing: “For instance, she was just a little girl, but she was an only child and she was her father’s heir…She met Queen Elizabeth I when she was just a little girl, because her parents hosted the queen at her house. So she has these very strong female role models, and in her translations, every time the original text says something complimentary about a woman, little Elizabeth sneaks in an extra adjective.”

What a fascinating piece of translation history.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

The Portable Museum

Here is a new literary venture dedicated to translated literary fiction. The first two issues were great, and I look forward to reading the next ones.

This might be a great market to try submitting your work to.