Centre for Translation Studies


Past Seminars: 2009 - 2010

21 October 2009
When Two Languages Co-exist: The Translation of Code-Switching
Dr Nieves Jiménez Carra, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Seville, Spain

Code-switching, understood as the alternation of two languages in a discourse by a bilingual speaker, usually emerges as a tool that individuals use to identify with two cultures. The existence of a large group of Spanish-speaking people living and working in the United States has led to a growing use of English/Spanish code-switching in that country and even to the creation of national security warnings or local advertisements in both languages. This code-switching has been present in American literature for quite some time and, over the past few years, it has also become a subject for several films and television shows. Although there is some research on code-switching from a linguistic point of view, little has been studied on the problems that its translation poses. In this talk, I will analyze several novels, films and television shows where English/Spanish code-switching is used, and I will focus on the various ways in which American authors and speechwriters integrate Spanish into the English discourse, as well as on the strategies employed by European Spanish translators when this bilingual situation occurs in a novel or a script.

18 November 2009
Audiovisual Translation as a Gender Lens
Dr Marcella De Marco, London Metropolitan University, UK

Since translation became one of the main areas of interest among Linguistics and Cultural Studies scholars, it has become increasingly clear that not only linguistic, but also cultural and ideological differences between source and target cultures come to the fore in the act of translating. These cultural and ideological connotations often reflect assumptions and ways of thinking which may vary from one culture to another, thus revealing the different ways in which social and, in particular, identity-related issues may be approached. Cinema, as a medium of representation, is part of a socio-cultural context whose influence upon it is remarkable. Values, myths and clichés mirroring and strengthening common assumptions about what it means to be a woman or a man easily proliferate in it. Cinematic language and screen translation play, therefore, a fundamental role in the transmission of stereotypes from one culture to another. The present talk provides an overview of the ways in which gender tends to be portrayed through this language and of how its translation may contribute to perpetuating, enhancing or hindering the transmission of gender bias.

2 December 2009
Software Localisation: What to Watch out for in Translation and Engineering
Mr Vicente Forcada, Operations Manager, Xerox Global Services, Welwyn Garden City, UK

Space limitations, missing context, build kit updates or interaction with third party software are some of the challenges that Translators, Engineers and others involved in software localisation encounter on a daily basis when trying to provide timely and cost-effective multilingual solutions to the software market. This talk will discuss some of those challenges, how they are being addressed and how the localisation activities are integrated and are affected by the wider software development cycles.

13 January 2010
Investigating Signals of the Value-systems of the Translator / Interpreter 
Dr Jeremy Munday, University of Leeds, UK

Translating and interpreting function as a sensitive channel through which new texts and ideas enter a target culture. Understanding how such ideas are processed, evaluated and mediated is therefore crucial for translation theory and for the practising translator/interpreter. This paper will report on a investigation of the ways in which meaning is dynamically negotiated linguistically and communicated between writer, translator/interpreter and reader. The focus is on identifying the linguistic signals that indicate a translator's/interpreter's evaluation of an argument in a text and on the subjective value systems that inevitably come into operation.

20 January 2010
Quality in Interpreting and Translation. From the 'Ideal' to the 'Real'
Dr Emilia Iglesias Fernández, Universidad de Granada, Spain

The notion of total quality management has permeated Translation and Interpreting studies, and the qu ality of transla tions is subject to intensive scrutiny. Traditional definitions express quality in terms of the output: the close and complete rendering of the original message. The study of the output has followed a quantitative approach: the interpretation not suffering from significant losses or additions. Interpreting, however, is a two-fold communicative act involving speakers and interpreters. Interpreting is one of the most stress-inducing professions, and working conditions are far from ideal: speakers' articulation rates are very high, and they usually deliver written-to-be read speeches lacking in natural prosody. As a result, views on quality are starting to change, and compression and abstraction strategies are seen as quality strategies that should be taught. This workshop aims to help students reflect upon quality by fostering a debate about quality expectations and the parameters that most significantly add to this notion.

10 February 2010
An Introduction to Dubbing in Europe: Professional Conventions
Prof. Frederic Chaume, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain

Whereas new technologies seem to favour globalisation in many areas of translation, dubbing shows a reluctance to embrace this trend of globalisation. Translation memories are now used to make translation easier and faster all over the world. In the area of audiovisual translation, new subtitling software has been developed, which is now widely used among both practitioners and companies. Also in subtitling, most microtextual practices (line segmentation, subtitle segmentation, typographical usages, synthesis of information, etc.) are followed by the majority of professionals. But dubbing seems to refuse to bend to homogenisation. Perhaps due to notions of nationalism and singularity attached to this concept, dubbing still shows different macro- and microtextual practices in the European countries in which it is the most popular type of audiovisual translation.
This talk introduces audiovisual translation and dubbing and also examines four different dubbing practices at a microtextual level -those carried out in Germany, Italy, Spain and France. Before considering new failed attempts to globalise this practice, and also some major advances brought by new technologies, the paper focuses on the differences in layout, take segmentation and dialogue writing in these four countries. These differences show that dubbing practices are still very conservative, and resistant to change and homogenisation (Linguistica Antwerpiensia, 6/2007, pp. 203-207)

3 March 2010
Narrating the Arab World 'Accurate' Translations, Suspicious Frames
Prof. Mona Baker, University of Manchester, UK

Constructing and disseminating 'knowledge' about the Arab World is now a big industry in the West. Much of this industry relies heavily on various forms of translation, and in some cases is generated by a team of dedicated translators working on full-blown, heavily funded programmes that involve selecting, translating and distributing various types of text that emanate from the Arab World: newspaper articles, film clips, transcripts of television shows, selected excerpts from educational material, sermons delivered in mosques, etc. Examples of organisations engaged in such programmes and employing a large number of translators include the Middle East Media Research Institute, Palestinian Media Watch, and The Medialine, among others.
Drawing on narrative theory, this talk will attempt to demonstrate that recent efforts (for example, by MEMRI Watch) to discredit Zionist-led organisations like MEMRI by questioning the 'accuracy' of their translations miss the point. The narratives we elaborate about any aspect of the world through translation do not have to be linguistically 'inaccurate' in relation to their source in order to mystify and mislead. Because translation is a textual activity that is closely scrutinised and often treated with suspicion, undermining a narrative encoded in the source text does not necessarily mean direct intervention in the text itself. Often, this is done around the text (footnotes, prefaces, addition of visual material) and by the very selection of texts to be translated. This is particularly the case in politically sensitive contexts, where the translators or those who commission them are aware that other advocacy groups working on the same or similar issues will be scrutinising their translations carefully.

10 March 2010 - this talk will take place in Huxley Building, Room 140
An Introduction to Transcreation: Making Advertising Copy Work Locally
Ms Meritxell Guitart, Director of Internationalisation, Native, London, UK

As founder and Director of Internationalisation at Native, Meritxell Guitart will discuss here the goals and objectives of this agency. Native's remit is to help internationalise global brands' advertising and marketing communications, minimizing risk and enhancing local relevance in the most efficient way. Native works with experienced freelancers (strategic planners, copywriters, voice-over artists and TV producers) based in their home markets, with a focus on cultural and linguistic adaptation: of concepts, of copy, and of executions, be it print, online, radio or TV.

17 March 2010
From Opera to Rap: Singing in Translation
Dr Lucile Desblache, Roehampton University, London, UK

In this talk, we shall consider the translation of music which contains words. After defining what we consider vocal/lyrical music to be, we shall show the wide range of translations present in this field. A brief survey of song transfer types will lead us to consider a few examples of how music is translated today through opera, songs, film and music programmes in a wide variety of musical genres.

12 May 2010
Translation and Creativity
Prof. Susan Bassnett, University of Warwick, UK

This talk will focus on translation as a creative act of rewriting, and will consider ways in which translators have been perceived and have perceived themselves in different cultural contexts.

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