METM22 presentation

The French to English Snippet Slam: a fast and fun way to up your game

Louise Normandière, Angers, France; Séverine Watson, Toulouse, France

By the very nature of our profession as translators, we tend to work on our own. And yet there are times when you may feel like you’re in a translation rut and could do with bouncing around ideas with others. It’s at moments like those where the beauty of a snippet slam can really kick in.

This year two members of a snippet slam group, born from an off-METM activity, will give you a taster in an informal session designed to be accessible to all: seasoned translators and newcomers alike. If you’ve ever stumbled across a particularly tricky sentence, spent hours thinking about how best to translate it, only to end up going back to your very first translation, this session may well be for you. 

Get your thinking hats on and pens and paper to the ready for this quick-fire session. In small groups, you’ll have up to 10 minutes to tease a French snippet (a short sentence or snappy title) into English as best you see fit. Everyone will get an opportunity to contribute. First, write down your translation on a piece of paper without the others seeing it, fold it up, and mix it up with the other translations. Once everyone is done, reveal each translation, read them aloud, and then discuss. 

This slam is designed to get you to think on your toes and, more importantly, not seek a pitch-perfect translation. It is a great opportunity to work with others and get you to think outside of your box. You may be surprised at just how effective it can be in spicing up your future translations.
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About the presenters

Séverine Watson is a French and Spanish to English translator based near Toulouse, France. She specialises in technical and certified translations, where conciseness and clarity are key. She’s a strong advocate for snippet slams, which foster spontaneity and inventiveness, and avoid her getting stuck in a translation rut.

Louise Normandière is a French to English marketing translator based in the Loire Valley. After initiating a regional translator mentorship scheme in 2017, she now contributes to Boussole, the Société Française des Traducteurs’ national mentoring programme.