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Past Seminars: 2008 - 2009

22 October 2008
Translating for the Market Research Industry
Mr Bertrand Abadie, The Language Factory, St Albans, UK

Talk outline:

  • The Language Factory: presentation, history, work handled...
  • Specifics on servicing the market research industry as opposed to other industries.
  • Working as a freelance translator with translation agencies today.
  • Quality standards and use of translation memory tools.
  • Working as a freelance translator with translation agencies today.
  • Working as an in-house translator vs. as a freelancer: some differences, pros and cons.

5 November 2008
Corpus-based Translation Studies and Translation Universals: Claims, Disclaimers and the Work Ahead

Dr Josep Marco, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain

Corpus-based translation studies has converged with the kind of descriptive approach advocated by Toury in that they both seek patterns and regularities beneath the apparent chaos of translated texts. Some of the regularities perceived are claimed to be universal, even though universality is the last thing one would expect in such a variable reality as translator behaviour. However that may be, the only way of ascertaining just how universal so-called universals are is empirical research which piles up evidence (both for and against universality) in a cumulative way. In this talk, some of that evidence will be examined, including a piece of research based on COVALT, a parallel multilingual corpus of literary texts developed at Universitat Jaume I.


19 November 2008
The Role(s) of Philosophy in Translation Studies and in Translation Theory
Prof. Kirsten Malmkjær, Middlesex University, London, UK

In light of recent advances in empirical studies of translation processes and outcomes (e.g. TAPs, TransLogging, and Corpus Translation Studies), and of the masses of data derived from these, the more speculative branches of the discipline may appear redundant. In this talk, I suggest two reasons why it is important to have a philosophy of translation. One is that it is reassuring to have a basic understanding of what translation is that underlies our various approaches to it, and holds together our various theories of it and of its constituent concepts and descriptive notions. The other is that we need a philosophy of translation if we are to provide satisfactory answers to so me of the chal lenges that the discipline faces both from outside of itself and from within itself.


3 December 2008
The Trouble with Technical Translation
Dr Jody Byrne, University of Sheffield, UK

Technical translation has always played a key role in human activity and today it represents the lifeblood of many aspec ts of th e global economy . Whether communicating new ideas, facilitating scientific co-operation, developing and selling new products and services or learning to use new technologies, technical translation continues to play a pivotal role. Indeed, technical translation, it has been argued, is one of the most important areas of work for professional translators and it is also one of the most interdisciplinary forms of translation. It is this interdisciplinary nature which makes technical translation so challenging and at the same time rewarding for translators. This talk will examine various areas which play a role in technical translation and it will outline some of the challenges for translators and students alike.


17 December 2008
Methodology for Research in Translation: A Comprehensive Approach
Dr Isabel García-Izquierdo, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain

In this talk I propose a methodology for carrying out research in (specialised) translation. Emphasis is placed on the need to choose the research methods that are best suited to each case and to clearly define the phases and resources to be used in the research. This process of selection must be based on careful thought about what is to be researched, why and, above all, how to go about it. I also propose the concept of text genre as the main organising parameter of the research, since its multifaceted character allows for different theoretical models to be integrated into the analysis.Interlingual Subtitling - Past and Present from a Professional Perspective.


14 January
Interlingual Subtitling - Past and Present from a Professional Perspective
Ms Kajsa von Hofsten, Subtitling and Localisation, Deluxe Digital Studios, London, UK

In my talk I will compare the subtitling process as it looked some 20 years ago with that of the present day. I will discuss how the profession has rapidly evolved, paying special attention to the impact that technology and new working practices have had (and are having) in the work of subtitlers, both in the UK and beyond.


28 January
Localisation Project Management at ITR
Ms Helen Eckersley, Director ITR International Translation Resources Ltd, London, UK

This talk will take you behind the scenes into a large technical translation company (ITR) where the emphasis lies on streamlining translation workflows, combining the use of technology with fully integrated quality assurance measures. From this picture you will gain insight into the pivotal role of the project manager, the key processes involved in localisation project management and an awareness of some of the key challenges involved.


11 February
Playing with Words: Challenges of Videogame Localisation
Mr Marsel de Souza, Translation Team Leader, Jagex Ltd, Cambridge, UK

Videogame localisation is probably one of the most challenging segments in the localisation industry, not least because localisers have to develop key creative and cultural awareness skills, but also because game localisation inherently imposes certain constraints. The speaker will discuss some challenges involved in the localisation of browser-based MMORPG and casual games, outlining certain distinctive features of each genre. Some practical examples and suggested approaches to solving them will be provided, and the speaker will also try and look at the nature of such challenges from different perspectives.


4 March
Media Access: Pleasure and Pain
Ms Claude Le Guyader, Production Manager, itfc, London, UK

Accessibility to the media means making an audiovisual programme available to people that otherwise could not have access to it, always bearing in mind a degree of impairment on the part of the receiver. The professional practices that allow for social inclusion in this respect are subtitling for the deaf and the hard-of-hearing (HoH) and audio description for the blind and the partially sighted (AD). The purpose of this talk is to present the progress made over the last 20 years and look into the challenges of the future, particularly in the UK one of the pioneering and leading countries in the domain of access. It is my contention that despite all the advances to date, there is still a lot to be done and great scope for development I also take a look at the challenges that lie ahead.


18 March
Translation of Scientific Discourse
Prof. Myriam Salama-Carr, University of Salford, UK

The transmission of knowledge, which owes much to translation, is often assumed to be non-controversial. Although it is rarely seen as culturally-loaded, scientific discourse, through the language it uses, can encode a given vision of the world and is framed by the writing conventions it follows. Moreover, a historical perspective shows that the transfer of scientific knowledge has played a key role in the construction of national projects (Delisle 1995; Montgomery 2000) and that such transfer frequently entailed the negotiation of competing cultural paradigms.


7 May
The Translation of Humour in Audiovisual Texts: Research and Practice
 Dr Juan José Martínez Sierra, Universidad de Murcia, Spain

The answer to the question of what humour is does not seem to be an easy one. If we assume that humour is a complex and culturally embedded subject, how can it be translated? The job even becomes more complicated when we consider how humour is handled in audiovisual translation. The main purpose of this talk is to introduce a descriptive approach to the study and translation of humour in audiovisual texts. Using a series of humorous extracts selected from the television animated show The Simpsons, a taxonomy of potentially humorous elements will be suggested. Such a classification makes it possible to scrutinize humour and to identify the different elements that compose jokes, so that the translator can handle them and try to render solutions that keep similar catalogues of humorous elements in the target text.


14 May
Upper Class English: a Sociolinguistic Approach in the Translation of Audiovisual Texts
Ms Irene Ranzato, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy & Imperial College, London, UK

The upper classes are often conspicuous by their absence in sociolinguistic surveys. Part of the reason for this is due to the relative smallness of the upper class as a group if compared to the working class and middle class, but another reason is also the inaccessibility of this group to outsiders. We still have to rely on a quite impressionistic but effective (and amusing) analysis by the linguist Alan Ross as divulged by the writer Nancy Mitford in her delightf u l Noblesse Obl ige book (first edition in 1959) to have an account of the peculiarities of lexicon and pronunciation of this particular class. The lack of exhaustive, more recent sociolinguistic research accounts, in the opinion of the speaker, for some of the difficulties in the translation of upper class speech in films and TV series. Through some examples of audiovisual texts translated for dubbing from English into Italian, this talk will illustrate some of the most common strategies adopted by translators.

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