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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After giving away last year’s Belgian Pralines, the Spanish bishop who kicked Santa’s backside out of this country (aka Sinterklaas) has once again visited the offices and homes of several of our collaborators, clients, and friends in the Netherlands, USA, UK, Germany, Spain, and Japan to deliver these beautiful notepads made of recycled materials.

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The artist behind this idea is Lilian Urquieta, a half-Danish, half-Spanish creative designer based in the gorgeous coastal town of La Herradura in southern Spain. She has used real leather remnants from her artworks to cover our navy-blue recycled notepads and hand painted our smiley Bluebird on their cover. The results are unique items that are ready to be filled with your favorite poems, your grandma’s best recipes, or your hand-drawn sketches while traveling during 2013!

The theme of METM12 has evoked the elements of craft and critical vision (in writing, translating and editing) that make discourse effective.

 

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Sharing the panel with Helen Casas and Timothy Barton.

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Beautiful sunny autumn days and...

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... Acqua-alta as a farewell.

La Linterna del Traductor is the specialized translation journal of Asetrad (Asociación Española de Traductores, Correctores e Intérpretes):

PDF version

ePUB version

MOBI version

Online version of the article

Online version of the interview with Josep Condal

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Background This is the third edition of a popular panel designed to build on the philosophy of MET, which is to help one another improve as professionals through the exchange of ideas and practices and so improve the service we provide to our clients as well as our job satisfaction. We have recruited three new presenters this year to provide a brief overview of tools and tricks that help them get the most from their working environment.

Purpose To present functional, easy-to-implement ideas that will make a difference to the practical aspects of your work and to exchange ideas on how to be more productive, faster, and more efficient.

Session content We will present take-home ideas designed to make your working life easier, help to improve productivity, and ultimately enhance job satisfaction. We will briefly look at the advantages and disadvantages of each and tell you how to start using them, and what they cost, if anything. Each panelist will present three or four ideas and there will be an “openˮ 30-minute session afterwards for questions and further sharing of ideas. Input from participants is strongly encouraged, so if you have a trick or tool that you simply could not live without, we will be happy to hear about it.

Anne Murray is a freelance translator and authors’ editor based in Girona, Spain. She has been a member of MET since it was founded in 2005 and is a firm believer in MET’s underlying philosophy of sharing knowledge among peers.

Helen Casas, an engineering graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a freelance translator based in Barcelona who specializes in pharmaceutical and medical translation and editing. She has 20 years’ experience working for a variety of clients including translation agencies in Spain and abroad, as well as direct clients in business and academia.

José Carlos Gil is a freelance translator based in the Netherlands. He specializes in technical and legal translation, as well as marketing transcreation. He is an avid blogger and collaborates with the translation journal, La Linterna del Traductor. For more information: www.bluebirdtranslations.com.

Timothy Barton (Anglo Premier Translations) is a freelance translator based in Sant Quirze del Vallès in Catalonia. After completing degrees in French Studies, Translation, and Translation and New Technologies, he now specializes in higher education, economics, and sport. He translates from French, Spanish, and Catalan into English.

Join now and vote/propose example questions in order to ensure that this community becomes reality!

 

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There are a growing number of Q&A communities in which the posed questions are directed to experts who share their knowledge and answer to the best of their abilities, but most of these sites do not focus on a general specialization or a specified content, nor are their users sufficiently qualified, thereby resulting in platforms lacking in efficiency and credibility.

In order to ensure the quality of the specialized topic in question and to move away from the obvious wiki or generic forum, some of these sites have decided to solely accept specialized subject matters which, after being proposed by a considerable number of users, will generate a large following of experts along with a substantial community of users who also happen to share in the same specialization or interest of said subject matter.

Among these sites is the renown StackExchange which, at present time, has a recently-proposed platform on the promising subject of Q&A on translation tools located in their Area 51 (i.e., the platform will be created if enough interest is proved to StackExchange during its first stages by the increase of an active community).

 

Ok! I am interested in cutting-edge technologies applied to translation and it would be great if a site of such calibre would be created. What would then be necessary in order to ensure the advancement of that first stage?

 

Simply follow these steps:

  1. Enter the following website: http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/40567.
  2. Click on “Follow” and type in your e-mail address.
  3. As suggested in the displayed message, inform your colleagues/friends so that the site may gain more followers.
  4. Read the example-questions which have been offered by other users and vote on the five you deem most interesting (keeping in mind that you are meant to rate, nor answer those questions as of yet), or add your own related question(s).
  5. After this, and if we can demonstrate its relevance and ongoing future, this platform will undergo various phases, of which you will respectively be informed through e-mail, until it is successfully established and officially created.

 

In case the platform does not reach rapid popularity, it may not meet with the standards of StackExchange. Therefore, the more users interested in translation and its technologies that are made aware, the better, because, as far as I am concerned, this venture has the potential of becoming an exceptional project in which we all will collectively profit.

 

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