Mediterranean Editors and Translators Meeting Report 2012

Written by josecarlos

Like last year, our blog is once again proud to present a guest post on the Mediterranean Editors and Translators Annual Meeting, which is actually a summary of the article published in the January-February issue of the ITI Bulletin by Laura Bennett (@culturetrans). She is a freelance translator based in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, UK, that I was lucky enough to meet in Venice. She translates from Italian and French into English, specialising in Art History, Travel & Tourism and Food & Drink. You can also see my presentation at METM12 here.

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The Mediterranean Editors and Translators association is a forum for translators and editors who work mainly into or with English. With 190 members, it hosts a conference every year in a Mediterranean country with the aim of promoting opportunities for peer sharing of knowledge and expertise. The title of METM12 was Craft & Critical Vision: Diving Beneath the Surface of Discourse and it took place at the Don Orione Artigianelli Cultural Centre in Venice on 9 and 10 November, 2012.
The conference began for me on the Friday morning with a workshop entitled Translation Revision: how, why and how much. Led by Barcelona-based freelance translator Ailish Maher and in-house translator and editor Luci Vázquez, the workshop was fully-booked and included translators and editors with a range of languages, specialisations and experience. Ailish and Luci's intention was to provide a systematic overview of revision, including assessments to make and procedures to adopt when approaching a revision project in our working lives, rather than getting into the grammatical nitty-gritty of specific examples.


Stressing the importance of determining fitness for purpose of a text when revising, Luci began with the following quality scale: 0 - unacceptable, 1 - intelligible, 2 - accurate, 3 - well-written, 4 - very well-written, with only texts in the last two categories generally considered suitable for publication. With reference to Brian Mossop's Revising and Editing for Translators, we discussed the importance of revision elements falling into one of the four categories of Transfer, Language & Style, Presentation and Content. Ailish urged us to carry out a risk assessment when revising a text, in order to work out which of the four categories requires the greatest attention. Knowing when to exercise restraint was also stressed as being essential in a good reviser; over-revision being just as damaging to a text as under-revision.


Friday afternoon was destined for a distinctly literary flavour with a first session entitled Editing and Translating Literature for the Sea of Words International Short Story Contest. A group of Barcelona-based translators and editors discussed their involvement in MET’s project organised to provide publication-ready versions of four winning stories in this short story contest run by the Anna Lindh Foundation.


Next up was a ground-breaking MET event. Chaired by Sarah Griffin-Mason, the bulk of the presentation was given by Sarah Ardizzone via a live link with London. Introducing us to the Translation Nation project, Sarah gave an overview of the initiative's aim of engaging second language English- and native English-speaking primary school pupils in translation in a way that promotes literacy, confidence and understanding among children and benefits communities as a whole.
Saturday morning began with another round of panel discussions and presentations and for me these began with a session focusing on practical tips for translators. The panel's first speaker was freelance translator Timothy Barton. He amazed the audience with a number of automated hotkey processes set up to streamline his own invoicing processes, searches and file maintenance.


MET Treasurer Helen Casas spoke next and chose to recommend a number of smartphone apps, ones that sync with PCs and laptops in particular. An avid smartphone user myself, I found this particularly enlightening.
The final speaker of the session was Bluebird Translation’s José Carlos Gil who began his presentation by recommending two pieces of software: ApSic Xbench, an integrated QA reference tool, and the free LF Aligner for aligning previously translated or bilingual files, with which José Carlos reported great results. Co-working spaces, something I find a particularly interesting proposition for combating freelancer isolation, was the next topic before José Carlos finished with a discussion of Gmail Labs tools; the “undo send” feature for emails found a particularly appreciative audience. The session drew to a close with plenty of audience participation providing queries and positive feedback.
The next presentation was given by Ailish Maher and was entitled Quotations: lost in translation? Focusing on a topic that regularly comes up in my own work, Ailish was inspired to investigate this field on realising that there seems to be a lack of consensus among translators as to how best to tackle this issue.


METM12 concluded with a delicious closing dinner at a traditional restaurant near San Marco, giving us all a great opportunity to see the city one last time and to consolidate connections made earlier in the weekend. For me it had been an extremely positive event. One of the organisers made mention of a conscious effort to ensure that a variety of specialisations and interests had been catered for during this year’s event, and, as a non-medical or scientific translator, that was certainly my experience. I would encourage other arts translators to attend future events on that basis.


Laura's full report on METM12 has been published in the January/February 2013 issue of the ITI Bulletin. For more information about MET and METM13 please see www.metmeetings.org

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Last modified on maandag 21 januari 2013 09:36

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