Translation workshop with Carmen-Francesca Banciu

Carmen-Francesca Banciu

Last week I went down to Bristol to take part in a translation workshop with Carmen-Francesca Banciu, a Romanian-born author who writes in German. The workshop was the opening event of a conference organised by my lovely colleagues Debbie Pinfold and Sara Jones on ‘Remembering Dictatorship‘. Together with a group of students and translators from Bristol and nearby, we worked on extracts from two novels, Vaterflucht (Fleeing Fatherand Ein Land voller Helden (Land of Heroes) for a public reading which also formed part of the conference.

It’s always a privilege to work directly with an author, particularly one who herself has a lot of experience moving between different languages: Carmen-Francesca told us how up till the age of 10, when she went away to boarding school, her family spoke a mixture of Romanian, Hungarian, German and Italian; and that she picked German up again at the age of 35 when she moved to Berlin after the Romanian revolution. She hadn’t intended to write in German, but found the language creeping into her writing, and decided to make the switch. Continue reading

BCLT / TA translation mentorship scheme

I’m delighted to be taking part in a new translation mentorship scheme run by the British Centre for Literary Translation and the Translators’ Association for the next six months.

As part of the programme, I will be mentoring translator Jamie Lee Searle, a London-based translator of literary fiction and non-fiction from German into English, and part-time tutor at QMUL. Here is Jamie’s response to being selected for the mentorship:

I was delighted to find out I had been selected for the mentoring scheme, and especially when I heard who I’d been partnered with. Having already worked with Lyn on a translation project last year, I am very much looking forward to sharing ideas and learning from her experience in the world of literary translation. I’ve been concentrating on translation full time for a couple of years now, and am sure this partnership will inspire me even further to pursue new projects and raise my profile as a translator. Read more on her blog!

The mentorship scheme, in its second year, supports talented up-and-coming translators by pairing them with mentors for six months. This year the languages included in the scheme are: Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, Dutch, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian and Spanish.

The programme is sponsored by the Foyle Foundation and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation UK, and the German mentorship is supported by the Austrian Cultural Forum. You can read more about the programme, and the mentors and mentees, on the BCLT website.

And they’re off… farewell to the 2011 graduates

‘Tis the season of gowns and mortarboards. A time of rewards for hard work, hopes for the future, goodbyes and new beginnings…

I’ve blogged elsewhere (in my departmental guise) about the graduation ceremony for the School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies, but wanted to say in my own name too: good luck to all the students I’ve taught over the last four years, happy travels wherever you go!