Anglophoner Tag is an annual event for German–English and English–German translators and interpreters that brings together members of several different professional associations. This year, it was the ITI German Network’s turn to host. The beautiful city of Chester in north-west England was chosen as the location for a one-day workshop on the theme “Food for thought”. The programme also included various social events throughout the weekend, such as a cheese-tasting session and a tour of the city (neither of which I attended, unfortunately). I only dabble occasionally in food-themed translations, but I’d heard good things about previous editions of the event, so I took the train up from Cardiff to join around 20 other translators at the workshop, which was held at Chester Racecourse.
Translating academic texts is an area I’ve been increasingly concentrating on in my work. Due to my own interests and academic background, I enjoy working on such texts and feel more confident that I can produce good translations, even if German academic language can sometimes be rather daunting (to put it mildly). However, it’s a field that’s often neglected within the translation industry and translation associations. This is especially true at the humanities/social sciences end of the spectrum, which tends to be bundled together with literary or arts translation if it’s taken into consideration at all (it’s not covered by any of the ITI subject groups, for instance).
One notable exception is the Facebook group SOS!-Academic Translators, which was set up specifically to cater for this gap in provision and brings together translators specialising in various academic fields. It was through this group that I was alerted to a BDÜ event that sounded right up my street: a two-day workshop on “Die Übersetzung (populär-)wissenschaftlicher Texte im Sprachenpaar Englisch-Deutsch” (translating academic texts for general and specialist audiences in the language pair English–German). It sounded like a great opportunity both to improve my skills in one of my preferred fields of work (building on my mentoring from earlier in the year) and to meet other translators working in this area, including members of the SOS!-Academic Translators group. So last week, I travelled to Osnabrück in northern Germany to attend the seminar.
Until this year, I’d been to lots of translation workshops but never to a big conference. I’ve always been uncertain whether the investment of time and money would be worthwhile. I was particularly sceptical about the Elia Together conference, whose stated aim is to bring together freelance translators and translation agency project managers, since I am more interested in acquiring more direct clients than in expanding my work with agencies. However, friends who had been to the previous edition of Elia Together in Barcelona were enthusiastic, and so when I was invited to speak on a panel at the 2017 conference in Berlin I thought this would be a good opportunity to see what the fuss was about.
Last year, I wrote about my experience of the ITI German Network’s mentoring programme, where I was mentored on the topic of legal/contract translation. I found it a very useful experience and decided to complete a further course of mentoring, this time in one of my areas of specialisation: academic translation. My reasoning was that in many ways it would be even more useful to have some input with regard to an area that I do more work in.
Dr Michael Loughridge, an academic and translator who has even written a book on the topic of translating from German, very kindly agreed to act as mentor. In a procedure modelled on the German Network mentoring scheme (although it was not officially part of that scheme), Michael provided three short texts that he had previously translated himself and gave comments on my own translations of these texts. Below, I discuss some of the things I learned from the experience.
In February, I attended the Elia Together conference in Berlin to speak on a panel about the working relationship between freelance translators and translation agencies (or "independent language professionals" and "language service companies", if you prefer). I'll be writing a full report on the event as a whole for the next ITI Bulletin, but in the meantime my fellow panel members have put together a summary of the main themes from our presentation.
In the autumn of last year, I completed the course Proofreading 1: Introduction offered by the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP). I blogged about the course here. I’ve now also completed (and passed) the SfEP’s second online proofreading course, Proofreading 2: Progress. In this post, I briefly describe the experience and what I learned.
As the year draws to a close, it’s time to take stock of the past 12 months. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had a steady stream of work, including some very interesting projects and new clients, and have enjoyed regular networking events with fellow translators. At the same time, it’s also been a rather exhausting period, as I’ve regularly found myself working long hours and grappling with difficult translation problems in seemingly almost every text I encounter, so I’m more than ready for some time off to rejuvenate my energy and regroup for the coming year.
This time last year, I wrote a list of “resolutions” for 2016. In this post, I’ll look at how much progress I made with those goals, and take a brief look ahead to 2017.
Around a year ago, I wrote a post about my “personal app wishlist”. I still haven’t managed to find technical solutions to the first two items on my list, better email auto-reply management and automatic email attachment/folder word counts (though I now think the former would be possible with programs like Outlook, and I’ve realised a simple workaround for the latter is simply to ask clients to state the character count of attached files in their emails). But I’ve tried and tested quite a few different solutions to the third item on my list: advanced quality control and search tools. Below are brief reviews and thoughts on some of the things I’ve tried.
Earlier this year, I finally joined the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP). Although I have worked as both a translator and proofreader ever since my initial in-house training at a German translation agency, proofreading has often played second fiddle to translation in terms of professional development, so I wanted to focus some more of my attention on this aspect of my work. This month, I completed my first online training course with SfEP – Proofreading 1: Introduction. This post shares some reflections on my experience of the course for anyone else who is considering taking it.
It's been exactly a year since I moved to Cardiff from Southampton. As I'd hoped, Cardiff has proved to be a great city to live and work in. I feel so at home now I'm even thinking of starting Welsh lessons. But Welsh wasn't the only language besides English I've spotted in Cardiff. I've also been surprised at how often I've seen another European language while wandering around the city: namely, German. So I thought it would be fun to mark the occasion with a special blog post celebrating the traces of the German language to be found in Cardiff.
Dr Andrew Godfrey, MITI