Renewed Interest

I have begun to share some ‘pre-blog’ items that may be of interest:

Here’s an article written for the ITI’s Scottish Network on a renewable energy industry event I attended. Among other information, I gathered a useful overview of developments in Scotland and in UK policy.

This event was held by the British Chamber of Commerce in Germany in 2013, against the backdrop of an impending Scottish Independence referendum. It’s interesting to look back on the uncertainty in the UK constitutional, political and policy landscapes which even then was said to be affecting business prospects. The Chamber is now holding events to help its members prepare for Brexit, including one in London on climate change and emissions trading.

Post-Conference post

For now, I am still reading my notes and reflecting on my many experiences at ITI’s 2017 Conference in Cardiff.

I thoroughly enjoyed sharing some insights into what’s involved in translating advertising material.

I didn’t want to keep you in the dark any longer, so while you wait for a more considered response, here are some images from my talk.

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Thanks to Paul Appleyard of Manzana for the photos.

Conference countdown

The date of ITI Conference 2017 is fast approaching, and the buzz is certainly audible! I’m really looking forward to a second stint as a speaker, this time with a presentation entitled More than meets the eye: translation in the advertising world.

Advertising and promotional material is something I’ve worked on from a variety of viewpoints, throughout my career. I’ll share some insights gained over the years and reflect on how translators can really add value when it comes to creating advertising copy. There are many different facets to the linguistic work behind the scenes.

This is a world that’s constantly changing, as illustrated by my experiences – indeed that’s one reason translators might feel at home here. We’re used to being in learning mode all the time as the world and its words evolve…

What work will the future hold for translators, who will provide it, and in what form? I don’t promise to have all the answers, but I do aim to discuss with my audience how translators can best prepare to meet the demand.

In the meantime, I’m enjoying the series of short programmes Marketing – Hacking the Unconscious on BBC Radio 4.

Love your translator!

Many people in the UK consume translated text without thinking about it. From instruction manuals to classic children’s books, from news reports to foreign films. Languages and cultures other than English tend not to have a high profile, and the same applies to the means of moving between them – including translation.

When prompted to think about it, many people will realise that if the text is from somewhere where they speak a different language, then a translator was probably involved in producing the English-language text. Once they appreciate that a translator played a role, they can start to appreciate the work that went into the translation.

There are several newish ways to raise awareness and show appreciation for translators. It’s important to make sure their name features on the work alongside the author. The translator is in many ways a co-author of the translated material, who writes it in the target language. If a translator’s name doesn’t feature on something and you think it should, you could ask the publisher to #NameTheTranslator.

Imaginative solutions that draw attention to translation include wearing badges and sticker bombing! There are also various social media campaigns, such as targeted hashtags like #IConnectWorlds, Love Your Translator on Twitter or Facebook, or Translated World on Twitter.

These are small steps towards increasing respect for translators’ work: let’s spread the love.


Planning meets social research

I have translated a variety of texts about planning, and this one focused on the discipline’s impact on society. It is a chapter by Jean-Pierre Garnier for Urban Revolution Now. Henri Lefebvre in Urban Research and Architecture, the title of which I translated as: ‘Greater Paris’: Urbanization but no Urbanity – How Lefebvre Predicted our Metropolitan Future.

The quotation below from a translation of Lefebvre’s work provides a flavour of the ideas explored in the chapter, and is quoted at the beginning.

“It is worth remembering that the urban has no worse enemy than urban planning and “urbanism”, which is capitalism’s and the state’s strategic instrument for the manipulation of fragmented urban reality and the production of controlled space”.

Henri Lefebvre, ‘The Survival of Capitalism: Reproduction of the Relations of Production’, 1976, translated by Frank Bryant, New York: St. Martin’s Press.

For further details of the publication, see the table of contents in English. A debate was held when the book was launched, and the audio recording is available here.

Traduire l’architecture / Translating architecture

A volume was recently published on architecture and translation, following a conference series: the Journées d’études ‘Traduire l’architecture / Translating Architecture’ held at the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art in Paris.

I wrote a report about the first conference for the ITI Bulletin. A summary of the book is available, and it can be ordered from the publisher.

When is a square not a square?

– Forays into architecture translation I spoke at ITI’s 2015 Conference on this subject. My presentation employed concepts and terms used in architecture and urban planning to illustrate my journey towards a specialisation. Architecture is an interesting example because, along with the usual particular terminology, it also requires a new way of looking at the world. Although architecture is all around us, even familiar terms can pose difficulties: some ‘squares’ aren’t actually ‘square’ in shape. The best way of expressing a particular term is different depending on your point of view. In German, a single word can denote either ‘floor’ or ‘ceiling’ (or both). This is where imagination and lateral thinking come into play, alongside researching subject-specific use of language. I believe many of the issues which arise in tackling this domain are also relevant to specialising in other areas. And beyond the analysis of individual terms, I touched on the overall translation process. Which in some ways can be compared to the architect’s work process!

Germany in 2050 – a greenhouse gas-neutral country

The German Umweltbundesamt (UBA) has now published an English translation of its report on Germany’s plans regarding greenhouse gas emissions. I was involved in this project as a translator, and am very pleased to see the translators and proofreaders credited on the inside cover of the English version. If you want to peruse the translation, you can find it online here. The original German report is available here.

Translating architecture – terminology

During my career as a translator, I have increasingly specialised in particular subject areas. One such area is architecture and planning. The article below describes some of the challenges posed by the specific terminology I have encountered. I wrote this in the early stages of translating a dissertation on the manuscript ‘La Construction des villes’ by Le Corbusier. It describes some of the challenges posed by the terms used in the book, which contains both the German essay and the French manuscript. My article was first published in the ITI’s Construction and Environment network newsletter. In pursuit of the intangible

…et en français l’article: À la poursuite de l’intangible traduit par Pierre Fuentes, qui est paru dans la revue Traduire.