Monday, 23 February 2009

OYEZ, OYEZ: Trinity Translation Conference coming up

The second Trinity College Dublin translation conference

'Translation, Right or Wrong'

will take place on

Friday 6th and Saturday 7th March 2009

The latest version of the programme is available here.

Keynote speakers are Josephine Balmer and Lawrence Venuti.

The website includes a booking form;
further information can be obtained by contacting

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Contracts & new work

Well, it's been a while, but that means I've been busy and that's why we're all here, right? As a fellow freelancer reminds me, busy is good.

While it was all Dutch, all the time before Christmas, the new year has brought a lot of Norwegian work my way, and some Swedish. Funny how these things build in waves, but of course one successful translation rights sale begets more attempts. Sadly, the Swedish project, a non-literary job, remains unconfirmed – Parkbench's first and only interaction with the dread Current Economic Climate – but two full-length literary projects are confirmed and going ahead. Details on signing!

Made a Brazilian friend on Twitter, and through the meanderings that such interconnectivity encourages, found her blog. There (stay with me, now) I was reminded of PEN's excellent details for literary translators, to be found here. Listen up: PEN provides a model contract for literary translators, in addition to dos and don'ts and a heap of very useful bits and bobs for those of you who mayn't have a lot of experience in these things. OK, it's US-based, but it still gives you general structures and bare-bones information that is much the same the world over. I should say that from a Parkbench point of view, it's infinitely easier to work with translators who know a bit about what they want, and more importantly, what's reasonable to expect, and what they're likely to get from negotiating a publishing contract. 

I've also had a new kind of business – and I do like a new income stream. The Parkbench name is making the rounds in (non-literary) institutions on the Continent as a place to go to get your translation edited. This is something of a head-scratcher, insofar as I'm surprised, not being an expert in business translation, that there are so many translations out there that need fixing up, but I suppose to a point it's no different to a source text needing a thorough going-over. Some jobs are monolingual (i.e., editing an English version) and some bilingual (i.e., checking the French against the English translation). It's work that I enjoy – although I'd very much like to get in some editing of literary translations – but I'd love to hear from anyone who has experience of this kind of work, as it raises interesting issues for the translator who edits.