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E S T NEWSLETTER European Society for Translation Studies ───────────────────────────── No. 9 ──────────── Edited by ────────────

November 1996

Daniel GILE (Lyon/Paris) in cooperation with José LAMBERT (Leuven) All correspondence to: Daniel GILE, 10 rue Pasteur, F-92190 Meudon; ‹›

═════════════════════════════ The EST Newsletter is published twice a year, in May and November, as regularly as possible. It is basically a vehicle for communication between EST Members and a catalyst for action rather than a traditional Translation journal. It provides information on EST activities and on research events and presents queries and suggestions on EST matters and on T&I research issues. If you have a question or request regarding Translation studies, do not hesitate to send it to the Newsletter for publication, as one of the other readers may have the information or answer you are looking for. Comments and suggestions from readers are welcome. ─────────────────────────────────────────

EDITORIAL Mary Snell-Hornby's data collection initiative on theses has elicited a wide response and should eventually make available to the Translation Studies community a useful body of information. Christina Schäffner's questionnaire on thesis and dissertation supervision is also helping to lay the foundation for useful reflection and possible optimization procedures. We hope to have reports available for the next issue. The questionnaire presented in the EST Newsletter No. 8 (May 1996) on the perception of papers presented in Translation conferences has generated some interesting responses which are discussed in this issue and may present to conference organizers and participants a few useful ideas. Small steps in the right direction? Further initiatives, taking advantage of this Newsletter whenever appropriate, are welcome. (D. Gile)

EST Activities An Executive Board meeting was held in Leipzig on 14 September 1996 with six Board members present (GAMBIER, JETTMAROVÁ, LAMBERT, PÖCHHACKER, SNELL-HORNBY, STOLZE).

The agenda for the full-day meeting was as follows: 1) Officers' reports, 2) Cooperation with other Societies, 3) EST Activities, 4) Policy for EST support of other causes and events, 5) Language policy, 6) EST Congress. Under item (1) GAMBIER reported briefly on the FIT Congress (February 1996) he had attended as the official representative of EST. His favorable account was seconded by STOLZE, who had been to Melbourne as well. STOLZE reported that there were now 275 registered members of EST of whom exactly two-thirds had paid their membership fee for 1996. Item (2): DGÜ: The Meeting invited Peter A. Schmitt (Germersheim/Leipzig), Vice-President of the newly formed German Society for Translation and Interpreting Studies ("Deutsche Gesellschaft für Übersetzungs- und Dolmetschwissenschaft" - DGÜ) to describe the aims of the German Society and discuss possibilities for future cooperation. Dr. Schmitt told the Board that the DGÜ had been founded on the occasion of a conference at Saarbrücken (21-23 March 1996) and that Heidrun Gerzymisch-Arbogast had been elected President. Having submitted its draft Statutes to the authorities, the German Society had only very recently received legal approval. An Assembly of the DGÜ was to be convened in November to adopt revisions of the Statutes as required by the authorities. As yet there were no explicit provisions regarding criteria for membership. Schmitt said that there were plans to


No. 9 (November 1996) ───────────────────────────────────────── collect an annual membership fee of about DM 150 which would also entitle members to receive some form of Newsletter or Bulletin. CATS: Upon an initiative by SNELL-HORNBY, who had attended the Annual Conference of CATS, the Canadian Society of Translation Studies in May 1996, the Board approved a proposal for a Cooperation Agreement between EST and CATS, including the exchange of information and Newsletters, fee waiver for one official representative at the respective Congresses, exchange of membership lists and a 20% reduction of participation fees for the respective events of EST and CATS. Item (3): Distance learning: LAMBERT reported on plans to create an international Consortium for Distance learning (DL). He explained that the starting point for the DL Consortium was the plan to turn the CE(T)RA Leuven summer program in research training into a permanent program and to use DL as a tool for improving the use of various systems of didactics. Since the DL Consortium is to operate "under the auspices of EST", LAMBERT will draft a business plan and present the project in an official letter to the EST President. Database of unpublished theses: The Board adopted a proposal by SNELL-HORNBY to revive the project of compiling a database of unpublished diploma theses, announced previously in the EST Newsletter. (See report in this issue.) Item (4): The Meeting agreed that official EST support of any conference or meeting required an explicit statement of the research component in that event as well as Board-level EST input in the organizing committee, i.e. direct involvement of a Board Member or a person approved as an EST delegate by the Executive Board. Item (5): Prompted by a letter expressing discontent with the apparently dominant role of English in the EST Congress Proceedings, the Meeting reviewed the current language policy of EST and confirmed the use of English for official administrative purposes (Newsletter, General Meeting) as well as the option of using additional languages for EST events and publications. Item (6): The Meeting initiated preparations for the EST Congress - Granada 1998 by considering candidates for the Organizing Committee. Further decisions will be taken in a Board meeting to be held in Granada in early 1997. (F. Pöchhacker)

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EST Congress Proceedings The editorial work on the Proceedings of the EST Congress - Prague 1995 (Translation as Intercultural Communication. Selected Papers from the EST Congress - Prague 1995, ed. M. Snell-Hornby, Z. Jettmarová, K. Kaindl) is now well advanced, and

authors should receive the proofs of their contributions in January 1997. We hope (depending on how promptly the corrected proofs are returned to us) we can then send the material to Benjamins in March so that the volume can be published next autumn. (M. Snell-Hornby)

Call for Titles of Theses We can now publish a brief interim report on the project, for which we have received so many replies that it will take some time to sort out the material. Here, to begin with, are some details: 1) So far we have received responses from 63 people (2.3 kg of material!) both from Europe and overseas. 2) Some of these replies include a complete database (e.g. from the Universities of Graz, Ottawa, Joensuu, and information on 900 titles from South Africa). 3) There is already a database on terminological studies, but there appears to be little information available in electronic form for theses on general topics, although thousands of titles are recorded on file cards. Those EST members who sent us information will receive a personal reply in due course - for the moment we would like to use the EST Newsletter to say many thanks for the impressive response! (M. Snell-Hornby/S. Eisenreich)





Convenor: Natalya BUSHMANOVA, Faculty of Philology and Culture, Pedagogic University of Yaroslavl, Respublikanskaya Street, 108 c, 150 000 Yaroslavl, Russia; tel. +7 0852 22 39 29, fax +7 0852 32 98 37 or +7 0852 32 86 44; E-mail: <> RESEARCH TRAINING COMMITTEE Working Group on Thesis Supervision Convenor: Christina Schäffner, Aston University,


No. 9 (November 1996) ───────────────────────────────────────── Languages and European Studies, Aston Triangle, GB-B4 7ET Birmingham, UK; fax +44 121 359 6153; e-mail: <c.schaeffner> Working Group on Research Methodology Convenor: Birgitta Englund Dimitrova, Institute for Interpretation and Translation Studies, Stockholm University, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden, tel. +46 8 16 14 83, fax +46 8 16 13 96, e-mail: <> WORKING GROUP ON COMPREHENSION PROCESSES IN TRANSLATION AND INTERPRETING Convenor: Paul KUSSMAUL, FASK, University of Mainz, An der Hochschule 2, D-76711 Germersheim, Germany, fax +49-7274 508 429, <>

EST Directory 1996 The updated list of members (EST Directory), complete with a subject and a country index as well as a list of e-mail addresses, is mailed with this issue of the Newsletter to all paid-up members. To make the next issue of the Directory as accurate and useful as possible, p l e a s e notify the EST Secretariat of any changes of address, phone number, e-mail address etc. by fax (+43-1 31352-280 or 31352-287) or by e-mail to FRANZ.POECHHACKER@UNIVIE.AC.AT. EST ON THE WORLDWIDEWEB An EST Homepage has just been created at the EST Secretariat in Vienna! Do pay us a visit at our website and let us have your comments and suggestions! The URL is: http//

News from other Societies CATS The Association's 1996 meeting at the Learned Societies Conference took place at Brock University, St. Catharines (Ontario) on May 26-28. The major theme was "Translation and Postcolonialism". One session was held jointly with the Association for Canadian and Quebec Literature, but there were also sessions on Learning how to Translate, Translation and Writing, Sex and Gender in Translation, and Translation and Philosophy.

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The 1997 Learneds meeting will be held on June 2-4 at Memorial University in St. John's, Newfoundland. Two workshops are proposed: 1. Translation as a Philosophical exercise 2. Literacies/Communications: the 21st Cent. The latest issue of the Association's review TTR (IX/1, 1st semester 1996) bears the title Babel's feast, and is composed of papers delivered under that theme as the Association's 1995 Learneds meeting.


The Czech Union of Translators and Interpreters (JTP) will organize the IIIrd Meeting of Interpreters and Translators from Central and Eastern European Countries at Budmerice on 24 - 27 April 1997. Further information from: JTP - Jednota tlumo_ník_ a p_ekladatel_, Senová_né nám. 23, CZ-112 82 Praha 1, Czech Republic, fax: +42-2 2414 2312. A Conference on "Translation into the Non-Primary Language" is to be held at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, on 29-30 May 1997. Further information from: Primo_ Jurko, Department of Translation and Interpreting, Faculty of Arts, Ašker_eva 2, SLO-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia; phone/fax: +386 61 22 13 10, e-mail: <> An International Conference on "Translation and Power" is to be held at the University of Warwick, 14-15 July 1997. It is organized jointly by Susan Bassnett and Piotr Kuhiwcak (U. of Warwick), Peter Bush (U. of Middlesex) and Terry Hale (U. of East Anglia. Further information from: Susan Bassnett, The Centre for British and Comparative Cultural Studies, Universtiy of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL; tel. +44 1203 523655, fax: +44 1203 52 44 68. The Institute for the Study of Language and Society at Aston University, Birmingham, UK, is organizing an International Conference on "Developing Translation Competence" on 18-20 September 1997. Further information from: Beverly Adab and Christina Schäffner, Institute for the Study of


No. 9 (November 1996) ───────────────────────────────────────── Language and Society, Aston University, Aston Triangle, Birmingham B4 7ET, England; tel. +44 121 3611 ext. 5457, fax: +44 121 359 6153; e-mail: <> and <> A Research Seminar on "Multimedia & Translation" will be held at the Centro Internazionale di Studi sull'Interpretazione e la Traduzione, Instituto San Pellegrino, Misano Adriatico, Italy, on 26-27 September 1997. Further information from: Stefano Arduini, Instituto San Pellegrino, Via Massimo D'Azeglio, 8, I-47046 Misano Adriatico (Rimini), Italy; tel. +39 541 610010, fax: +39-541 613880; e-mail: <>

Questionnaire on the perception of conference papers Newsletter No. 8 (May 1996) proposed a questionnaire on the perception of Translation conference papers. My sincere gratitude goes to the 27 Members who took the trouble to respond, often with encouraging comments. A brief presentation and a brief discussion of the results follow, after a reminder that the sample is small and biased, and that the questionnaire was conceived as an exploratory tool, not as a scientific study. The data obtained should therefore be viewed as nothing more than an indication of attitudes, which could be investigated further. To question A, about how happy Members are with papers they hear in Translation conferences, the distribution of answers is focused around an average of "so-so" (50% of the answers): No respondent is "very happy", about 25% of respondents are "happy", an equal number are "rather dissatisfied". In other words, only about a quarter of the respondents are on the happy side. Food for thought. On innovative content in the papers, about two thirds of the respondents consider it very important, and one third important. This is mirrored by question C, on the negative effect of repetitive content, with a very similar break-down of answers (some questions on the negative or "unhappy" side were designed to mirror those on the positive or "happy" side so as to check for possible discrepancies). The responses make it by far the most important of all items, and the lack of innovative content may be a major source of the dissatisfaction reflected in the data.

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On the importance of the amount of information in papers, about 20% of the respondents considered it very important, 40% important, 20% not so important and 20% rather unimportant or unimportant. On the basis of these results and of further comments which were added to the questionnaires, it would seem that a sizable proportion of Members do not expect to retrieve much information from conferences, and may be looking for synoptic reviews and for discussions. The mirroring question C on the "unhappy" side yielded a slightly different picture: 54% of the responders considered that the lack of information was a very important factor among those which made them unhappy, 37% considered it important, and only 8% considered it rather unimportant. This could mean that while they do not view it as an important factor, in their actual experience, it is. On the importance of good paper structure, the positive question and its mirroring negative question elicited comparable results: 30% of the respondents considered it was very important, 62% that it was important, and 8% that was not particularly important. Pleasant oral delivery was considered less important on average: 12% of the respondents considered it very important, 71% important, and 17% not particularly important. On the negative side, again a discrepancy: 27% considered it was a very important factor among those that made them unhappy, 55% that it was important, and 18% that it was not particulary important. Nice overhead transparencies or slides: both on the positive and on the negative sides, this was the least important of the factors: "very important": positive (p) 9% vs. negative (n) 20%; "important": p13% vs. n10%, "not particularly important": p30% vs. n45%; "rather unimportant": p22% vs. n10%; "unimportant": p26% vs. n15%. Regarding extemporaneous speech, 23% of the respondents considered it very important, 23% important, 41% not so important, 9% rather unimportant and 4% unimportant. To the author of this report, the fact that more than half of the respondents were not on the "important" side of the scale was a surprise: not only do I suffer personally when listening to most papers read in a conference, but in many if not all interpretation schools, students are taught that the most "listenable" speeches are those made extemporaneously. If the data obtained from this questionnaire is truly representative, it could mean that this idea is unfounded. Another possibility,


No. 9 (November 1996) ───────────────────────────────────────── which would also account for discrepancies between the "positive" and the "negative" responses, is associated with the fact that EST Members are both speakers and listeners. As speakers, some may suffer from stage fright, or have limited mastery of the language they use in their presentations, and therefore prefer to read from texts, hence some tolerance on the "conceptual side". However, they may well react differently as listeners. The same could apply to their assessments of the importance of informational content. Knowing that they as speakers may not have much new information to provide could induce tolerance in this respect, while as listeners, who have to sit through uninformative papers, they may suffer. A similar rationale could account for the discrepancy between their positive and negative assessments of the importance of pleasant oral delivery. Asked to add further comments on the components of quality, 3 respondents complained about the fact that many speakers in Translation Conferences are poor speakers, and 3 complained about speakers using languages they do not master well enough. Three respondents also complained about speakers not respecting time limitations, and three about insufficent screening of papers in Translation Conferences.

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If readers find the exercise worthwhile, it would be nice to investigate the matter further with the following questions:

A. New Information (NI): How much new information do you retrieve on average from Translation conferences you attend ? 1. Very little 2. Little 3. A fair amount 4. A substantial amount 5. Much new information B. Expectations: Among your expectations from Translation conferences, rank your priorities (1 to 5) among the following items: Retrieving new information (NI) Meeting people (MP) Discussing issues (DI) Visiting places (VP) Giving papers (GP) Other (O): please indicate which C. Required improvements in conference organization: What are in your view the most important qualitative improvements Translation conference organizers should aim for? Rank your priorities. D. What are in your view the major weaknesses of Translation scholars? Rank them. Answers to D. Gile by e-mail (74463.1546@, snail-mail or fax (+33 1 45 34 83 84). Thank you for your cooperation. (D. Gile)


Information on paying the membership fee on p. 6! *************************************


No. 9 (November 1996) ─────────────────────────────────────────

Membership fee for


The membership fee for 1997, DM 30,- for full (i.e. ordinary) members, and DM 145,- for supporting members (sponsors), is payable within the first three months of the year, i.e. by 31 March 1996 at the latest. Payment by Euro-cheque to the order of EST c/o Ms Radegundis STOLZE EST Treasurer Prinz-Christians-Weg 11 D-64287 Darmstadt Germany -> Please send cheques to the TREASURER, NOT to the EST Secretariat! or by Bank transfer to Sparkasse Darmstadt (bank code: 508 501 50) account no. 500-2990 (EST) -> Please make sure that bank charges "on your side" are covered! -> On any payment, please indicate your NAME and the membership YEAR!

In Austria only (!):

Bank transfer to P.S.K. (Österr. Postsparkasse) (bank code: 60 000) No. 79.058.588 (EST)

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Est newsletter 09 1996  
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