ITI S COT N ET N EWSLETTER Isabel Hurtado de Mendoza MITI ITI Scottish Network Newsletter Editor
Tel: 07762 300068 / +34670488288 Email: email@example.com
Is it time to make a change? Change is inevitable, and it comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. It can come fast and unexpectedly as a result of “sentimental reasons”, for example, as happened to Lynda Hepburn. Or it can be slow and predictable, like a project you’ve been giving a lot of thought too, such as publishing an academic book.
Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain
~ John F. Kennedy
Humans tend to dislike change, but sometimes it’s for the best. Now that 2015 is almost over, it might be a good moment to sit still and seriously consider if we could benefit from getting out of our comfort zones in the New Year. Alison Hughes taught us how to acquire a new specialisation on a budget. Maybe you could try a field you’re passionate about to complement the one that pays the bills. Or you could attend an intensive course and finally embrace social media. I will attempt to make friends with Dragon Naturally Speaking. Anyone care to join me? You could also decide to work less and read more. Perhaps a book from each country in the world? Make sure you write a review or two for us! Whatever you do, take the bull by the horns and make the most of it! Isabel ♦
Photo: Joshua De
Inside this issue Dates for your diary
Song in translation: Scotland, Russia and the music of language
An Edinburgh translator in Italy
ScotNetter turns published author
Looking forward to the next issue…
Your committee at a glance
ITI ScotNet Newsletter
Dates for your diary ITI ScotNet AGM & Christmas lunch and “It’s not
ITI CPD workshop “High Level Writing With
what you spend but the way you spend it”:
December, National Piping Centre,
Keynes Business Centre. This workshop takes a
30-34 McPhater St., Glasgow. Alison Hughes’
close and analytical look at the challenges of
free workshop will start at 9:30 and the AGM at
writing for a specialist audience or on specialist
11:00 (with tea and biscuits before, as usual!).
technical subjects such as business, finance
For further information, please check out the
and science. Tickets are £89 for ITI members.
call notice here.
For further details, visit www.iti.org.uk/professional-developmentevents/iti-events-
ITI ScotNet 2016 workshops: Bought your new
diary but still have nothing to write in it? Let’s
fix that straight away! Save the date for these two ITI Scottish Network events: 5th March (Edinburgh) — spring workshop; 21st May
ITI CPD workshop “Make an Impact with Social
Further details to come soon!
effectively market yourself online in 2016”: 26th February, 9:30-15:00, Milton Keynes Business Centre. During this interactive session, you will
The Scottish Society of the Chartered Institute
go through the dos and don’ts of online
of Linguists (CIoL): Please remember to check
marketing and social media, and talk about
the CIoL website for information on their
content marketing. For further details, visit
Setting Up as a Freelance Translator ITI Online Course: January-March 2016. Over more than 20 hours of webinars and individual sessions, you will learn how to develop a freelance translation business and gain an understanding of how the translation market operates. For more information visit www.iti.org.uk/professional-developmentevents/iti-online-courses.
For more events, remember to visit www.iti.org.uk, where you will find the International Calendar of Events (ICE), or our own website www.itiscotland.org.uk/diary. And, if you would like to advertise your own event, please get in touch with us: firstname.lastname@example.org
ITI ScotNet Newsletter
Expenses, expenses… On 3rd October, ScotNetters met at a new venue, the Royal Over-Seas League (Edinburgh) for their autumn workshop. New member Katherine Wren reports on Alison Hughes’ popular event. As a new translator (German>English) with
The title of the workshop, led by Alison
around two years’ experience working in the
Hughes, was “It’s not what you spend, but
music industry, I have been considering
the way you spend it”. The first session
membership of the ITI for a while. When I saw
focused on non-negotiable expenses such as
details of the ITI Scottish Network’s autumn
workshop on Twitter, I decided that it was
membership, CPD and CAT tools. While I was
too good an opportunity to miss. Further
aware of all of these, there were numerous
encouraged by a friendly reply from Alison
additional tips, such as using postcards to
Hughes, I decided to take the plunge and see
what the ITI had to offer me.
approaches to individual clients, with a letter often making a bigger impression than email. Networking is definitely not something I find easy (I’m aware I may not be alone in this!) but the message from Alison was very much to
practise, the better you will become at it. Clever ways of doing this, and also of accruing
volunteering to help at events, often in Alison Hughes
Elena Zini’s opening gambit was to ask who was new to the network. I stuck my hand up and was informed that tradition has it that new members write a report on their first impressions and was I up for it? To be honest, I thought she was joking at first, and
exchange for free or reduced entry.
While it’s important to network with other translators, it’s at least as important to attend events in your specialist area, making contacts and keeping abreast of the language used in your area of expertise.
in any case I had to own up to not yet being a member. This was simply met by friendly comments that I would now have to join! Actually, “friendly” was the overwhelming impression that I took home with me from the workshop.
After a short break, with the opportunity to put those networking skills into practice(!), the attention turned towards creative ways of approaching CPD and marketing without breaking
ITI ScotNet Newsletter emphasised
people with years of experience who were
potential clients. Again, there were things
happy to connect with me and offer advice.
that I hadn’t thought of that would help me
Will I be joining the ITI? You bet!
grow my new business. While it’s important to network with other translators, it’s at least as important to
specialist area, making contacts and keeping abreast of the language used in your area of expertise. For those of us working in the cultural and leisure industries, it can be fun, too! I left the session feeling that I had learned an awful lot. I’d also connected with a lot of
Katherine is a German into English translator specialising in culture (particularly classical music) and sport. Contact: email@example.com www.katherinewrentranslator.co.uk
people, ranging from other people like me, just starting out, through people I’d known on my MA course but not met for a while, to
Engaging audioguides? I bet you’ve used a museum audioguide in the past. Some of you might have even translated their scripts. But did you ever reflect on the translation process behind these guides and their impact on museum visitors? Here Sarah Tolley reports on an event discussing this. Edinburgh University’s Language Department held its first research seminar in the new academic year on Wednesday 23 September. Dr Sharon Deane-Cox was there to tell the 40-odd students and faculty about her research into the way translations facilitate access to the past for visitors to French museums that contextualise events that took place during World War II. Her talk was entitled ‘Engaging audioguides?’ and she used two translations of audioguides: one from the Museum in Oradour-sur-Seine and one from the Museum of Resistance and Deportation in Besançon.
Dr Dean-Cox at Edinburgh University
ITI ScotNet Newsletter
The other case study featured an English translation that mediated a more distanced
Dr Dean-Cox’s research uses the concept of ‘prosthetic memory’, a term coined by Alison Landsberg to describe the way technologies of mass culture make it possible for anyone to assimilate as personal experience historical events that they themselves did not live through.
and factual version of the original script, which was voiced by famous French actors. This example raised issues about the way meanings are negotiated, and how this can affect the ability of visitors to empathise with the museum’s presentation of past events. Indeed, Dr Dean-Cox’s research uses the concept of ‘prosthetic memory’, a term coined by Alison Landsberg to describe the way technologies of mass culture make it possible for anyone to assimilate as personal
Her method involves using the transcripts of the original text and the translation for comparative
themselves did not live through. It was fascinating to consider the extent to which
Halliday’s theory about language function.
She illustrated her approach with extracts
audience was keen to discuss Dr Deane-
relevant audioguides can
hinder or enable this process, and the Cox’s research after she finished her talk.
provides an English language voice-over, and allows the original words of the French witnesses to be heard. Some wonderful mistranslations were noted, but in general, she thought that the voice-over was less appropriating,
intonations and emotion to be heard, and providing a better sense of a real person.
Sarah translates from French and German into English. Her specialist areas are: art, art history, history, architecture, travel. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org www.Tolleytranslationservices.co.uk
ITI ScotNet Newsletter
Bookworm adventures It’s no coincidence that translators love reading, so year after year a healthy representation of the ITI Scottish Network attends various events at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. This summer, Hugh, Katrin and Barbara volunteered to report on their experience. Stories without borders
By Katrin Frahm
“cosmopolitan”, Ann Morgan had only ever
Leafing through the Edinburgh Book Festival
English in her youth and stated that she had
immediately. In “Stories without borders”, moderated by Daniel Hahn, Michael Hofman and Ann Morgan promised to enlighten their audience on the question of whether it is possible to enjoy a book in translation just as as
read British and North American literature in
2015 brochure, one event caught my eye
translation plays in introducing works of literature written in other languages to a broader, international audience.
“distrusted” translations. This provided her with the idea for her book “Reading the world”,
experience of reading one book from every country over the period of one year. The books were recommended to her by book enthusiasts from all over the world and were meant to be representative of their countries of origin. In the process, she did of course have to rely on translations. This posed a problem,
selection of suitable works available from India, compared to a very limited choice of books from francophone Africa that were available in English translation. I started wondering how many literary gems we were missing out on as they never made it to translation? Compared to Ann Morgan, Michael Hofman, award-winning poet and translator, had had an entirely different experience of reading in Michael Hofman and Dr Anne Stokes, Course Director of Stirling University’s MRes in Translation Studies and herself a German to English literary translator (e.g. of German poet Sarah Kirsch)
The event started with Ann Morgan and Michael Hofman providing an insight into their different approaches to reading in their youth.
his youth. He described that, as a young man, the works of “world literature” like those by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Gogol’s “Dead Souls” had graced his bookshelves. Hofman had just published his collection of critical essays “Where have you been” about authors whose books he had read, and was able to read, in the original.
ITI ScotNet Newsletter
As many of us have to rely on translation
Switzerland. When translating more difficult
when reading books in languages that we do
experience of life on a Paris estate), he
question of whether it is of vital importance
recommends “translating like for like”, i.e.
to the reader, namely for their enjoyment/
substitution with an element that readers of
the translation are “familiar” with in their
“trivial” part if something similar could also be written in another language. In his attempt
originally been written or if language
culture (e.g. life on an
I was somewhat surprised to learn that a general “distrust” in translation as a practice prevents many people from reading literature in translation altogether.
Brixton) and so helping the
translated work to “stay at home”.
question, Michael Hofman highlighted the
As someone who readily grew up surrounded
differences between translating novels and
by international works of literature and has
poems. In his opinion, a novel, even in
enjoyed many books in translation since, I
was somewhat surprised to learn that a
original whereas with a poem “everything can
general “distrust” in translation as a practice
get lost in translation”. He described the task
prevents many people from reading literature
of the translator as “ferrying stories across”
and trying to meet the challenge of creating
judgement is clouded here and this topic
an “experience”. The English translation of a
would lend itself for discussion in our
ScotNet group over the Christmas lunch?
German words like “Wurst” and “Schnapps” to create a feeling for the original cultural setting. I agree with Hofman who states that a translation of a work of literature attempts to provide “as rich an experience as possible” and that in this process, the target language has at times to “express things for which it was not originally meant”. I found his view that a translator cannot be “invisible” and that every literary translation is a “game between reader, author and translator” very descriptive, engaging and — above all — reassuring. Michael Hofman, who translates works by the contemporary Swiss writer Peter Stamm into English, stated that he found it easier here to produce a translation that reads like an original as there is little in Stamm’s books that links them particularly to
Swiss author Peter Stamm (right) in discussion with his translator Michael Hofmann
Another most interesting point touched upon in Morgan’s and Hofman’s talk was the notion of “world literature”. They alerted their audience to the fact that “world literature”
ITI ScotNet Newsletter
was usually displayed on a separate shelf in
great to see a good number of ScotNetters at
bookstores (alongside other classifications of
literary works such as “women’s writing” or
“military writing”) and that separate tables for “foreign books” in bookstores, which are
Katrin’s working languages are English and German. She specialises in education, science and technology.
meant to attract attention, often made us feel like
“literature proper”. Furthermore, they stressed that it is a selective process which determines which books are actually translated — in the past,
publishers often had a special interest in particular books from certain countries to emphasise selected aspects they wished to draw attention to. Interesting points to consider when trying to determine one’s understanding of “world literature”. Is the latter simply literature from all over the world and should we have a further classification of “global
successful literature? Hofman stated that translators play another important role — it is the translator who often spots talented young writers from another culture, and new media like Twitter with
cooperate in looking for new talent. I found it encouraging to hear that there is an expectation of a translator to “champion a cause”, of starting a wider discussion on topics like what expectations we have of literature. With their engaging talk, which touched on so many interesting points too numerous to mention here, Ann Morgan and Michael Hofman certainly provided much food for thought and time just flew by! It was also
Nothing but the poem - Poetry in translation By Hugh Fraser Having done some poetry translation in the past, I went along to this workshop at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. The event was led by Jennifer Williams of the Scottish Poetry Library (gorgeous place — if you haven’t been there, I warmly recommend going along to soak in the airy, liberating vibe). The audience consisted of about 15 people sitting round in rather a cosy circle in the “Writers’ Retreat”, a particularly intimate little tent at the Book Festival. Jennifer was assisted by a Polish writer called Agata Maslowska. In short, the event involved us giving our opinions on existing English translations of various Polish and Hungarian poems. Before we started, Jennifer pointed us to a lovely quotation by the recently deceased Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer, which is probably the thing that made the biggest impression on me at the whole event:
ITI ScotNet Newsletter
“Let me sketch two ways of looking at a
poem. You can perceive a poem as an
readings of the Polish poems, although
expression of the life of the language itself,
incomprehensible to most of us — me
something organically grown out of the very
included — gave us real insights into the feel
language in which it is
of the original poems,
written — in my case,
and hence into what had
The event definitely did its job of deepening my enthusiasm for reading and translating poetry.
written by the Swedish language through me.
been lost, or retained, or added,
Impossible to carry over into another language.
The event was not aimed especially at translators. I, as a translator,
“Another, and contrary, view is this: the
already knew that it was possible to translate
poem as it is presented is a manifestation of
the same text in very different ways; the
same was not true for the non-translators
language behind the common languages.
present, however, and much hilarity ensued
as five different existing translations of
Malayalam is merely the invisible poem’s new
(Niektórzy lubią poezję) were read out. As an
attempt to come into being. The important
example of the kind of variation we saw, the
thing is what happens between the text and
last two words (“zbawiennej poreczy”) were
the reader. Does a really committed reader
variously translated as “a saving hand-rail”,
ask if the written version he reads is the
“a saving bannister”, “a redemptive handrail”,
original or a translation?”
“a sustaining railing” and “a life line”!
Jennifer was very much for the second
I didn’t learn anything very concrete at the
workshop, but arguably nothing to do with
poetry should be about “learning anything
traduttore, traditore). But she also urged us,
concrete” anyway. The event definitely did its
if ever we are reading a bilingual book of
job of deepening my enthusiasm for reading
poems, not to ignore the “foreign language”
and translating poetry.
part of the book (even if we don’t know a word of the language), because even the physical shape of the original can help us to better understand the poet’s intentions. Once we had got into the main part of the workshop, we read poems by three different
Hugh works from German and Russian into English, mainly doing promotional and technical texts.
poets, none of whom, I am afraid, I had heard of: Wislawa Szymborska, Zbigniew Herbert
(Hungarian). It was very helpful to have
Contact: email@example.com www.frasertranslations.co.uk
ITI ScotNet Newsletter
Translation duels: French — Ros Schwartz
given the first chance to see each other’s
vs. Frank Wynne
work while the audience took their seats.
By Barbara Bonatti Divers
They both looked a little nervous as they set out to justify their stylistic choices. Just as Daniel began assuring us that the word “duel” does not imply violence on stage, Ros murmured
conceded that blood may be shed after all: he observed how fitting it was that both translators had won a Dagger Award and suggested they throw trophies at each other at the height of discussions. We were all handed a copy of the original excerpt and both translations, a PDF of which Frank Wynne, Ros Schwartz and Daniel Hahn
Translation duels are a relatively new and hugely popular feature at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Their formula is simple: give two English translators the same excerpt from a foreign book to translate prior to the event, then ask them to comment on dissimilarities in front of an audience. Knowledge of the original language is not required, which is why my basic French and I were happy to attend: I had met Ros Schwartz at the ITI Conference in May and simply wanted to see her in action. On the stage with Ros, who since 1980 has translated authors such as Simenon and St Exupéry, was Frank Wynne, author of I was
Vermeer and translator from Spanish and French of Allende and Lemaitre, among others. Daniel Hahn, author and translator in his own right, competently chaired the event with tongue-in-cheek humour. Frank and Ros had been assigned a piece from Flaubert’s Madame Bovary; they were
you can find in a ScotNet Yahoo folder. The translated pieces were first presented one after the other, then again side by side and sentence
dissimilarity. It was clear from the first paragraph that both translators had taken some liberties and Hahn was not going to let them pass unobserved: Structure
semicolons and tends to use full stops instead.
sentences more than Frank’s. Whose voice is it anyway? Both translators were clearly familiar with Flaubert’s novel and felt the urge to influence the readers’ perception of the characters: they could not help putting their own words in Charles Bovary’s mouth, to either make him sound more pleading (Ros: “Tell me I did”) or hurt by Emma’s rudeness (Frank: “Well, now...”). Frank went a step further by writing that Emma “pretended not to hear”, rather than “seemed not to hear”, but readily admitted it was a liberty he should not have taken.
ITI ScotNet Newsletter
Accuracy Ros did not like Emma’s elbow “on the edge of her plate” (“It would tip over,
surely!?”) so she opted for elbow “on the table”. The rendition of “ancienne pouliche” (old filly) spurred quite a debate: both translators opted for “mare” (or “old mare”), but Sabine Citron from the audience remarked that Flaubert’s intention had presumably been to show
matters, which was lost in both translations.
As for the poor animal’s knee problem (“un peu couronnée”), Ros went to great lengths to find out exactly what it was (she even
whereas Frank preferred to go for a simpler, more colloquial rendition (“buck-kneed”). “Son mari [...] lui trouva bonne mine” was respectively
husband remarked that she had some colour on her cheeks”, by Frank as “Her husband [...] felt there was a healthy glow about her” and by Google as “Her husband found her good looks” (comment by Hahn: “One wonders
Then Frank said something that caused a stir among the Romance languages speakers in the audience: he claimed that the Spanish and French LOVE repetitions — unlike the English
ABHOR repetitions — unlike English! — I had my doubts about this, which were confirmed by numerous shaking heads in the audience. For lack of a Dagger, a senior French lady grabbed the microphone to challenge him, but still left him unmoved (and mercifully unscathed).
Moses. He blamed his Sunday school memories it,
languages to translate. Knowing how Italians
Frank could not bear to
Overall, it transpired that
Frank’s translation, with its poetic and antiquated language, evokes the right atmosphere, flows harmoniously and arouses more emotions in me as a reader than Ros’s does.
replied that she is Jewish and they have Moses, too, but the bulrushes gave her no trouble. However, she did spend quite some time listening to recordings of wind blowing through them, to finally establish whether they whistle, whisper or sigh.
Ros had strayed a bit more from the source than Frank. A translator chap
asked Ros what makes her go for more liberal translations
explained that he also translates rather liberally, possibly to rebel against his very strict mother (a maths teacher). Her answer was that her aim is to achieve the same feeling, music and general response as the original, rather than to be loyal to individual sentences.
ITI ScotNet Newsletter
Throughout the event Ros appeared a little
say” and his “lofty heights” and his “lyric
more defensive than Frank, while he readily
throng of adulterous women”. I felt a little
offered her his admiration for her work and
sorry for my rushed judgement of him and
more than once conceded that her renditions
rather wished he had been less gallant and
were better than his. I wonder now whether
more assertive. This is of course just my
he did it out of gallantry, or because the best
humble opinion. I wonder about yours.
defence is flattery. It certainly did not do him much favour at the time: I remember being unimpressed by his lack of assertiveness and
Barbara translates English into Italian. Specialisms: tourism and environment.
conviction in his own choices. When I got home, however, and had a chance to properly read the two translations in full, I rather changed my mind. Frank’s translation, with its poetic and antiquated language, evokes
the right atmosphere, flows harmoniously and arouses more emotions in me as a reader than Ros’s does. I really like his “Do
Song in translation: Scotland, Russia and the music of language So far in this issue, you’ve read about poetry in translation and the impact of translated audioguides on museum visitors, among others. Not quite the work we deal with on a daily basis, right? What if we now added that translations sometimes need to sing? Read Elena Zini’s report if you’d like to find out when! On Friday the 9th of October I spent an
enchanting evening listening to the songs
and translations performed by Russia-
Scotland and Russia through past and
based Scottish bard Thomas Beavitt at
the Wee Red Bar, in Edinburgh’s Art College. I came to this event not knowing
Thomas Beavitt is a Highland-raised,
exactly what to expect. The atmosphere
Scottish musician and linguist who, at
was warm, intimate and welcoming. The
some point in his career, found himself
stage, dimly lit, induced the audience to
naturally looking for a ‘bigger place’ than
sit close to the speaker. By the end of the
his home country, but the American, Bob
evening, we had been transported to a
Dylan-centred folk music scene was not
ITI ScotNet Newsletter
the answer he was looking for. After a
“The sounds of the languages carry the meaning in a way that maybe the semantics don’t”.
chance meeting with a Russian group in Edinburgh's folk pub Sandy Bell’s, he was impressed by their positive attitude and surprisingly
Scottish Bard Robert Burns. Following this, he was invited to perform at the Moscow City Day festival, where he truly fell in love with Russian language and culture. Since then, Beavitt has been invited to perform at numerous events in Russia, among which was a sell-out concert in Moscow dedicated to Robert Burns’ 250th birthday. Beavitt reflected that this closeness in the sensitivities of Russians to those of the Scots was one of the driving forces in his move to Russia, a country
"addicted to" today.
to certain types of texts in translation. Similarly, Thomas Beavitt told us he found that the Scottish register was more apt than standard English to translate certain songs from Russian. The common thread of the evening was the idea of a translation of sounds, rather than words, for, to quote Beavitt, “the sounds of the languages carry the meaning in a way that maybe the semantics don’t”. Music
needs to take into account aspects such as the rhyme scheme, syllable count and the stress patterns of the original song. Furthermore, the translator of a poetic song needs to have a musical sensitivity. For example, when translating a song from
performed in two versions, one in 3/4 and one in 4/4, in his English version He
hasn’t returned from the battle, Beavitt used 3/4 and 4/4 rhythms in the same version. This time signature duality drew a parallel with the story of the song’s
Thomas Beavitt on stage
protagonist, a soldier who has lost a
I was fascinated by the fact that, from the very start,
something I had previously heard from Massimo Bocchiola, an Italian translator of
language of a country does not do justice
comrade and, while adjusting to his death, is living between two realities. The evening continued with translations and performances drawn from Thomas Beavitt’s
translations into Russian and English
ITI ScotNet Newsletter
respectively of Burns and Vysotsky. The
were vocal admirers of his translations.
latter could be said to have a similar role
to that of the Scottish bard, as a poet
touching Russian song in its English
who is “as Russian as they come, but with
translation, the daughter was moved to
a universal character”. To those who may
tears, and the father proclaimed: “You did
that translating poetry is not
possible, Beavitt opposes the idea that “if
confirmation could a translator ask for?
these translations help you into your appreciation of Vysotsky — and, I would
add, of any poetry and music worth
sharing — my job will have been done”.
translating, as well as developing and
performing his bilingual repertoires in When
process, Beavitt explained that he uses
writers and translators. He is the initiator
tools such as Wordfast to aid with
and promoter of a project called the
terminology, and his approach involves a
first draft translation, then amendments
translators, songwriters and bards in an
taking into account the rhyme scheme,
“attempt to revitalise the traditional role
followed by a final adaptation. His focus
of the village bard in the context of the
is on the fact that “the main point of the
present globalised situation”. You can
song is to be singable, only then I think
listen to Beavitt's songs, watch his videos
about the meaning. You have to capture
and learn more about his project on the
the emotion of the song, if you do that
people will be more forgiving of your adaptation”.
This event was part of the ‘Scotland and Russia: cultural encounters since 1900’
And indeed, his translations were well
done. Despite having no knowledge of
University and sponsored by the Royal
Russian whatsoever, I thoroughly enjoyed
Society of Edinburgh.
life and work. The songs translated into English seemed to flow naturally, they an
their origins and anecdotes of Beavitt's
opinion might not take into account the Russian text, the members of a Russian family, who were sitting in the first row,
Elena translates from English, Portuguese, Spanish and French into Italian. Her specialisms are: law, media, literature and art. Contact: www.elenazini.com
ITI ScotNet Newsletter
Cool customers Some time ago, Helen Robertson contacted me about writing a piece on an unusual translation project of hers. As we discussed the details of her contribution, her interesting pro-bono work turned into a deeply satisfactory experience. Go on, you know you want to read all about it! When a client in Stuttgart first recommended
of interest to ScotNetters from both the
me to Die Brueder she told me “I hope it
linguistic and the content point of view). The
works out, they’re incredibly creative”. One
transformation of the media to digital and
look at their website confirmed that and I
the major publishing houses’ search for new
was hooked. I’ve supported them on a few
business models make this a super-exciting
communication projects from racing bikes to
field, as the men and women of the indie
wheeled caravans that convert into boats to,
scene play their part in supporting the rise of
most recently, a music festival — the latter
caused quite a stir on the ScotNet e-group in the hunt for an English term for “Wegbier”.
Held at the palatial Heine-Villa in Hamburg, this year’s Indiecon included a conference on 28th and 29th August followed by a big Free Trade Zone for Printed Goods at Hamburg's Oberhafen on the Sunday which was open to everyone, independently of Indiecon, a great chance for people to sell and publicise their magazines. It’s aimed at independent magazine (indie mag) makers, and this year was so small —
Photo credit: Malte Spindler/Die Brueder
Last year they asked for a quote on a nonprofit project of their own, but I quoted at normal rates and lost the chance. This year, I
100 places were available — that if you weren’t a mag maker you might have been pushed to get a ticket. Voluntary helpers are welcome, though I am very sure their input is nothing to the unpaid work the creators did.
wasn't going to let it get away and said “tell you what, I'll do it for free”. Rare words from an Aberdonian.
I think it would be a great conference for linguists to visit, scrutinise your training budgets!
That’s not the interesting bit, though. The fun freebie was “Is Indie Forever?”, the second outing for Indiecon, an annual festival
Indiecon has some public funding and also
for indie mags (independent magazines: with
generates revenue from ticket sales, but is
presentations in both German and English —
far from breaking even at present. While any
ITI ScotNet Newsletter
additional money will be channelled back
named — were still recovering the last time I
into the Conference — co-organiser Urs
was in touch.
Spindler makes it clear that Indiecon will always be non-profit — it would be great to
Why am I telling you about this in such a dry
be able to pay contributors. The theme was
fashion instead of producing an up close and
therefore of crucial interest not only to
personal reportage as planned? I was meant
to be there helping out and was prevented at
organisers. An excerpt from the programme:
the last minute by urgent personal affairs — nothing tragic, not even work-related, but it
“The governing question of Indiecon 2015 is:
had to take priority. Maybe I was just scared
‘Is Indie Forever?’ — and it's a question that
of “sitting in [someone’s] lap and interpreting
really pushes our buttons. We've been self-
simultaneously” as offered by the website
employed for some years now ourselves and
Q&A! I’m told that in the end two interpreting
live by selling our ideas, marketing our
students helped out. Anyway, there’s always
creativity and, not least, from our labours as
another year, and hopefully many more. I’d
copywriters, photographers, graphic artists
love to meet these guys in person.
and programmers. I think it would be a great conference for The question of survival — what will pay the
linguists to visit, scrutinise your training
bills at the end of the day — will also be part
budgets! I don’t think it conflicts with the
of this year’s Indiecon. However, we won’t be
ScotNet summer weekend workshop, either.
content with mere survival. We want to go a
There’s one snag — or incentive: bear in
step further and ask: what can our work
mind that to get right to the top of the list
achieve, for our environment, the world
for tickets you need to be making an indie
around us, the social context we operate in?
mag. There must be room for a few of those
What can it contribute to making our world a
in translation and interpreting…
ourselves and others?
GANSKE VERLAGSGRUPPE, one of the largest It’s under this banner that we want to talk
publishers in Germany.
with you about independent magazines and the working and living models behind them: how they function, what drives them, how they become stabilised — and what they can accomplish.” It was clearly a vibrant event, and my greatto-work-with
Helen is a German and Dutch into English translator. She translates business, management and marketing material.
Malte Brenneisen — one half of each the two pairs of brothers for which the company is
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org www.hertranslations.co.uk
ITI ScotNet Newsletter
An Edinburgh translator in Italy On a warm summer day, Lynda Hepburn decided to tell us about her lengthy stay in Italy. But her descriptions of the Italian way of life and the stunning pictures she attached pushed me to save this article for the snowy winter days. I hope this piece will warm you up and Italian members will reply to Lynda’s cry for help! While it is not uncommon for translators to
For, with the dolce vita on the doorstep,
live in the country of their source language —
there were just too many things out there
this probably applies to half the ScotNetters I
that I wanted to see, do, eat and experience.
know — it is probably less common for a translator to go off to live in a country whose
So the very first weekend saw us climbing the
language they don’t speak at all. Why would
biggest mountain we could see from our
anyone choose to do that?
Pentlands, don’t think of bog and moorland, think of something very nearly vertical, gleaming white limestone (actually dolomite), 2000 metres high and covered in the most fantastic wild flowers. Then the old town of Trento (famous for being the seat of the Council of Trent in the 16th century), with medieval winding streets, a stunning central piazza, countless churches Lynda’s photo of Rifugio Pedrotti in the Brenta Dolomites
But this was my choice, nearly two years ago, when I arrived in Trento in the Dolomites in northern Italy knowing only the 3 Ps, i.e.
in pale gleaming stone, beautiful mansions decorated
castle… plus the energy added by a vibrant university. All this is just a 10-minute walk from our flat beside the river Adige where I sit typing on this hot June evening.
pasta, pizza, polenta. I was here, as some of you know, because my husband had landed a research post at an Italian institute and, thanks to the great portability of our job, it was no problem to follow him here for what, I was later to learn, the Italians quaintly refer to as “motivi sentimentali”. I knew from the start that I was not going to just shut myself away for 2 years with broadband and a punishing work schedule.
ITI ScotNet Newsletter
But what of daily life, we surely can’t have spent all our time in the mountains or enjoying the art and architecture? Daily life is leisurely, involving cappuccino and brioche (more of a croissant), but only before 10.30, after that coffee is drunk black and strong. Italians still eat a cooked meal in the middle of the day, followed by the siesta, even here in the north, and shops all shut until 3.30. I stuck to my bread and cheese for lunch — but what cheese! So many local cheeses to choose from — but the bread proved a
River Adige and Lynda’s house on the left bank Photo credit: Visit Trento website, 2015 Trentino Marketing S.r.l.
problem, probably because it is really an “extra” to the meal and not its basis, Italian
And then the Italians… we have made so
varieties all seem very insubstantial — so
many friends here that leaving is already
bread baking was regularly on the agenda.
weighing heavily, like one of the brooding thunderstorms. As we enjoy making music, my husband quickly joined the local band
A surprise at the beginning was that supermarkets are full of Italian food.
and I found a choir. So I’ve had 2 years of singing Italian style — with much feeling — and performing in concerts singing excerpts from Italian opera with incredible soloists
supermarkets are full of Italian food. This may sound obvious, but whereas in Scotland we have acquired a taste for food from the Middle East, India, China and much of the rest of the world, here there are 5 aisles of pasta, 1 aisle of risotto rice, 1.5 aisles of coffee, lots of cured meats, cheeses and what I unkindly refer to as scrapings from the bottom of the sea i.e. seafood. It can be hard to locate a packet of tea and there is usually no couscous, bulghur, houmous or any of that sort of thing. But probably the most stunning thing for my northern eyes are the fruit and vegetable markets — so many kinds of green things I’ve never seen before, such wonderful fruit (in season of course), all the freshest of the fresh, no Italian housewife would accept anything less.
and an atmosphere that you might be forgiven for mistaking for La Scala Milan. But what about the language — did everyone just speak English to us? No, Italians do not seem especially inclined to foreign languages (and we thought that was just a British trait). Here, being next to Südtirol/Alto Adige which is bilingual, everyone learns German at school… but no one admits to speaking it. There are cultural and political reasons for this which I can’t go into here. But of course we wanted to learn the language — it is a must in a foreign country. We ended up at a school for foreigners run by an organisation which does a variety of cultural and other work for Trento’s many non-Italians. Lessons are free and happen four times a week with different
immersed in the Italian language, along with
ITI ScotNet Newsletter
fellow students from so many countries I’ve
dishes. Needless to say, I’m coming back to
lost count: Indonesia, the Czech Republic,
Edinburgh a few kilos heavier than I left.
Albania, Pakistan. Is Trento particularly multinational? Probably not, though the university and research institute bring in many foreigners. Added to this are the economic migrants from Eastern Europe and some of the huge influx from Africa and the Middle East currently arriving in the south and dispersing northwards. Being
Castello Buonconsiglio, Trento
background, you are all in the same language boat, so to speak.
And now our time here is nearly over: just a few weeks to cram in one or two more mountain walks, say goodbye to our friends, get rid of all the extra things we’ve acquired out here, sing in one more concert, have a few more cappuccinos and one or two of the best ice creams you can imagine and — whitewash the whole flat! Yes, it’s standard procedure (for extra stress when leaving the country).
Piazza Duomo, Trento Photo credit: Visit Trento website, 2015 Trentino Marketing S.r.l.
But I’m planning ahead for my return: where do they do really good coffee in Edinburgh? Where can I find an Italian class? Who will chat to me in Italian over a glass of Prosecco?
I’ve been in a rather special position as a
I know there are Italians in ScotNet, so I’m
native English speaker, in high demand to
banking on you having all the answers.
help Italians with their English. So I’ve peppered my days with “language tandem” sessions where you meet up and spend half the time speaking English and half speaking Italian. I’ve also been the guest of honour in a group of Italian ladies who meet monthly to improve their English. After several hours of
Lynda works from German into English. Her fields of expertise are environment, technical, science and philosophy.
hard work there is always a wonderful supper to
ITI ScotNet Newsletter
ScotNetter turns published author Next spring, Jonathan Downie’s book Being a Successful Interpreter: Adding Value and
Delivering Excellence will be published by Routledge. Now that he’s putting the final touches to it, Silvana Vitale has discussed the writing process with him. If you’d like a preview of what’s coming in 2016, don’t miss this interview! with that amount of experience are most likely to be open to the main messages of the book. A secondary audience would be those who are currently training as interpreters as I would love to see them pioneer a whole new way of looking at our profession.
When you say interpreters, do you mean conference
interpreters or both? Jonathan Downie
It is aimed at interpreters of all stripes. I
First of all, congratulations on your new book. I’ve only read a taster and can’t wait to
deliberately used stories and research from every form of interpreting I could find.
read the rest. How did the idea of this book come about?
That’s a good question. I was in the final stages of my PhD thesis (now submitted) and had been writing for the ITI Bulletin for a couple of years and had started writing for the VKD Kurier. Almost everything I had written
interpreters are a lot more than “dictionaries on legs”. You also challenge one of the main tenets
neutrality/impartiality. Can you elaborate on this?
They are actually closely linked. What we
applying it to practice. I started wondering
recognise now as neutrality is very much a
whether that might form the core idea of a
book. Being a wise man, I had a chat with my
professionalised in the 40s, 50s and 60s. In
wife about it and her response was to ask
those days it was all about conference
why I hadn’t started writing it yet!
international Wise man indeed — and ever wiser wife! Who are your target readers?
learning their craft around diplomats. Even now, people still talk about interpreters
The main target is interpreters with less than
being like channels, or ghosts or the ‘voice
20 years of experience, as I feel that people
of the speaker’. It is a short walk from there
ITI ScotNet Newsletter
to the ‘dictionaries on legs’ or ‘google
why we are being asked to do at each
translate in a suit’ idea. As I mention in the
book, this same ethical and professional stance would be passed into other forms of
The second way of being seen as valuable is
interpreting as they professionalised, without
to be more open about the impact of our
anyone ever asking if that was either realistic
confidentiality but saying something like,
“my work at a press conference for a leading It turns out that it certainly was not realistic.
player in the construction industry led to two
Just about the only established result of
articles in the French press” or “this month, I
research into real-life interpreting is that no
one ever finds traces of interpreters taking
medical treatment” is absolutely fine. Those
on that kind of neutral and invisible role.
kinds of hard numbers and real-life case
What might be surprising is that this applies
studies, couched in terms that make sense to
right across the board, from courts to
our clients, can go a long way to improving
business negotiations, to the point where
our position as businesspeople.
research on the ‘position of the interpreter’ is now seen as old hat by some researchers. I looked at that in more detail in a recent article in the ITI Bulletin called ‘Interpreting by the book?’.
“pyjama-wearing/CAT-tool using colleagues” in terms of how to become successful entrepreneurial linguists?
A bigger question is whether this neutral, impartial,
Do you think we have a lot to learn from our
interpreting is actually any good for us as professionals. That one I will leave for those who read the book.
Absolutely! It still stuns me that translators have cottoned-on to the fact that they are businesspeople and service providers while interpreters are still arguing over whether remote interpreting is a bad thing, rather than how we can use it effectively. I would
You say, and rightly so, that interpreting is not seen as valuable. We must work on increasing our value. How can we do that?
recommend that all interpreters read The
Entrepreneurial Linguist by Judy and Dagmar Jenner and do a course like the ITI Starting Up as a Freelance Translator course so we
That is a big part of the book but I can briefly
get exposed to the realities of being business
give two ways of doing that. The first is to
people. We also need to get used to being
work hard to actually listen to what our
more flexible in our approach to work.
clients really need and want from us. The
Obviously, we need to use our common
sense and not be taken advantage of but the
providers hired to do a specific job, the
truth is that people who keep saying “that’s
better. Of course, to start with we are likely
not my job” are likely to find that they end up
to get the same old pat answers but there are
with no job at all. If it’s okay for translators
good ways of really getting to the heart of
to offer copywriting services and give advice
on layout and style, surely interpreters can
ITI ScotNet Newsletter
find it in their hearts to offer training for the
fine to disagree with certain policies and to
professionals who might work with them
choose not to work under a given contract,
and, as part of the pre-job brief, give a few
we need to be very careful not to get stuck in
notes on any likely cultural clashes, without
‘protest mode’. The people who make cuts
favouring one party over the other.
are doing the job they are told to do and even senior officials make decisions for
A very biased question: how does all this apply to PSI? As a PS interpreter, I feel I am highly valued by clients and end users, and yet this is not necessarily reflected in the amount I bank for each job. How can we change the perceived value of interpreting in the public sector?
certain reasons. Until we make an effort to understand the pressures on them and talk their language, we are unlikely to see real and lasting change. Graham Turner’s work on the Sign Language Bill is a great example of how you can mobilise a community and work with government to make real change. It’s an example we should follow.
That is something that is very much on my mind at the moment. I think there are two dynamics at work that need to be addressed. The first is interpreting has a real image
I couldn’t agree more. A topic for your next book perhaps?
problem. People still tend to see interpreters
Funny you should say that, I do have an idea
as doing a job that can and should be done
for a second book. I will wait until book 1
by computers and our own ways of talking
hits the shelves before burdening my editor
about the profession haven’t exactly helped
with another proposal, though!
us. We need to be pro-active in seeking and publishing cases where interpreters really added value, especially when the value can be written up in politically valuable terms, such as reductions in follow-up doctor’s appointments or increased integration. In short, we need to be talking about the results of interpreting in terms that politicians and business leaders will understand. The second dynamic is that we need to be very careful about our stance to our clients and their management. While it is absolutely
Silvana is an English into Italian translator specialised in criminal law & with a penchant for literature and the arts. She also works as a public service and liaison interpreter. Contact: www.silvanavitale.co.uk
ITI ScotNet Newsletter
Member news With the introduction of the new ITI membership structure recently, quite a few people have recently moved category within ITI. If this applies to you, please remember to notify the Membership Secretary of any changes to your ITI membership status since you joined the network. In particular, let the MemSec know when you upgrade to MITI, as your details will then be made available to Joe Public online. New members:
stages, so while looking for clients I keep
Jennifer Alexander: I am a Portuguese to
myself busy studying some law, trying to
English translator, not long getting started
again as a freelancer after some years out
interpreter for the public services in Tayside.
(mostly working as a teacher). At the moment
I do all sorts of general work, but my
ScotNetters and making some connections in
subjects, literature and marketing/websites etc. My Portuguese was learned in Brazil
Claudia Cuero: I am a Colombian bilingual
where I lived for some time — in Rio, Porto
Alegre and Salvador — and I still love all
and interpreter. I moved to Scotland in 2012
things Brazilian! In the past I have also
and recently completed an MSc in Translating
studied German and Danish language and I
and Conference Interpreting at Heriot-Watt
hope to translate from Danish again in the
University. My work as a translator includes
future. I work from a wee village in Fife and
the translation of legal documents, manuals,
am so pleased to be joining the network and
business presentations, product descriptions,
meeting similar people in such a friendly
applications, Trados, and WinCAPS. As a Elisa Cristobal: I am an English/French into
Spanish and Catalan translator, and a sworn
translator (EN-ES). I specialise in legal, IT,
dialect and its translation in an audiovisual
marketing, tourism and travelling, literature
text. I am also a certified TEFL teacher with
and environmental translations, and have
been doing quite a few sworn translations
lately. I come from the east coast of Spain, where I studied Translation and Interpreting. After finishing my degree, I was a language
Finally, please note that Deputy Convenor
teacher for a while, translated two novels and
Elena Zini now has her own Scottish Network
worked as an interpreter for the Spanish
Police. A year ago, after 3 years working for a big translation company, I decided to move to Scotland, settled down in Perth and started my freelancing career. I am still in the early
ITI ScotNet Newsletter
ScotNet grants The ITI Scottish Network offers 2 levels of
General conditions: Maximum one grant per
grants to members as a contribution towards
person per subscription year. You must be a
the costs of attending ITI events:
member of ITI, so Friends of the Network are
1) Grants of up to £30 are available for
not eligible. Also members living in the
attending Scottish Network meetings.
central belt are not eligible to receive grants
2) ScotNetters may also apply for grants of
for network meetings in Edinburgh/Glasgow.
up to £70 for attending national ITI events.
All recipients must be willing to contribute a report on the event they attended to the ITI
How to apply for a grant Contact our treasurer (currently Norma Tait) at
availability and meeting the eligibility criteria, she will approve the grant and notify you. In due course, forward her a copy of the receipt for the event or transport expenses and provide her with your bank details. She will then pay the respective amount into your account.
ScotNet Newsletter. The level of grants is reviewed every year at ScotNet’s AGM. Under the current budget, 10 grants of £30 and 10 of £70 are available each year. From time to time the committee may also decide to offer additional grants to enable
events, such as they did for the 2013 ITI Conference.
So who needs a translator anyway? Remember this?
Ahem! Apologies to all avid readers of this section and thank you to the eagle-eyed member who alerted us to our mistake in the last issue. Barbara Bonatti Divers wishes to apologise to our readers and the wider francophone community for having mistaken "baby foot" for a wrongly spelled offer of baby food at a Swiss restaurant. Thanks to Hugh Fraser she now understands that this is what the French call "table football". She blames her miserable knowledge of French (and football) for her last newsletter’s bloopers’ blooper, and considers herself lucky to have managed to survive unscathed for a week in the beautiful French Swiss Alps. Sacrebleu, quel bordel! P.S. Our editor Isabel Hurtado de Mendoza and our proofreader Kay McBurney wished to apologise, too, for failing to notice, but they have been gagged and tied and thrown into the boot of the car until they become more reasonable... Never argue with an Italian! Next time you’re sure about a translation blooper, please send your own So who needs a translator anyway? photo to email@example.com.
Looking forward to the next issue… With Christmas around the corner, you’ll be busy buying presents, baking cookies and entertaining the in-laws but, after all that fun is over, remember that I’ll still be here, waiting for your contributions. I already have some proposals, but there’s room for a lot more. Could I ask, for example, for our first review of a foreign film? Do drop me a line (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
ITI ScotNet Newsletter
Your committee at a glance Convenor
& Deputy Webmaster
Marian Dougan 0141 9420919 email@example.com
07765 987207 firstname.lastname@example.org
Isabel Hurtado de Mendoza
Events Coordinator (East)
Events Coordinator (West)
Webmaster Iwan Davies 01738 630202 email@example.com