German grammar: it’s good for something… Or: the difficulties of gender in translation

German grammar has a bad press, but its complexity actually lends itself to a lot of flexibility in expression – particularly when you want to indicate gender. Using the definite articles die/der, noun suffixes (like -in) or gendered adjective endings are all rather simple ways to add the information that the person or thing in question is male or female. … More German grammar: it’s good for something… Or: the difficulties of gender in translation

Advent giveaway 2: an exclusive short story extract

Today is National Short Story day in the UK, and it’s also #translationthurs on Twitter, so it seems the ideal day for my second giveaway, this exclusive extract of Silke Scheuermann’s ‘The Handover’ (translated by me), from her collection Reiche Mädchen (Rich Girls, 2005). It might seem like a tease only to post an extract, … More Advent giveaway 2: an exclusive short story extract

Translation workshop with 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 … More Translation workshop with Carmen-Francesca Banciu

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. … More BCLT / TA translation mentorship scheme

What affects the way we read books? thinking about authors, gender and translations

In my last post, I was looking at different covers for the same novel in translation across a range of languages, because I was wondering to what extent the cover image affects our expectations of the book inside. If the novel has a different cover, do we actually read it differently? could we even consider … More What affects the way we read books? thinking about authors, gender and translations

Judging books by their covers: Herta Müller in translation

Since Herta Müller won the Nobel Prize in 2009, there have been a whole host of re-issues, new publications and translations of her writing. It’s fascinating to see how the books are now being marketed (aside from the ubiquitous stickers saying ‘Nobel Prize winner’, of course), and what their cover images say about the writing … More Judging books by their covers: Herta Müller in translation

Highs and Lowlands: desperately seeking Romanian publications by Herta Müller

It might not look like much – the cover is a grainy black and white, with a picture of a rather unattractive toad – but this book, Niederungen, is probably the most sought-after of Herta Müller’s publications… or at least it is from where I’m sitting. There is only one copy to be found for sale on … More Highs and Lowlands: desperately seeking Romanian publications by Herta Müller