MET opening workshop — Barcelona, 2 March 2012

MET medley: introduction to the 2012 workshop season

1) Brief update on MET’s 2012 Sea of Words project on editing for literary authors and literary translators

  • A look at the types of textual and ethical issues the working groups dealt with in 2011, for discussion

    Mary Ellen Kerans, freelance translator and editor, Barcelona, and Mary Fons, conference interpreter and translator, both based in Barcelona


  • Preliminary report on feedback on the 2011 working groups and new plans

    Kelly Dickeson, freelance translator, Tarragona, and Barnaby Noone, Universitat de Barcelona

2) Co-working: an interesting option for the housebound freelancer

Simon Davis, freelance translator, Spanish or Catalan to English, Barcelona

3) Introduction to MET’s ‘Grammar pathway’ project, to offer minisessions on style and grammar conundrums

  • English grammar for professionals: making rules, questioning rules

    Christian Brassington, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona

    As language professionals, we can feel that our clients expect us to always know what is grammatically right or wrong; nevertheless, we can still sometimes feel uneasy about stating that something is always right or only sometimes right. And we harbour doubts about our knowledge of grammar and about some of the decisions we make when translating or correcting our clients’ texts.

    To explain how this situation has arisen, this session will start with a very brief overview of English language developments in the eighteenth century and the emergence of a prescriptive approach to grammar in the nineteenth. Grammarians once sought to make usage comply with arbitrary rules, influencing people’s perception of grammar up to the present day despite the emergence of descriptive thinking in the 1950s, when a more reasoned, evidence-based approach to grammar was adopted.

    We will present and examine examples of language that break prescriptive rules to determine how they transgress and how a descriptive approach can give us the confidence to choose whether we obey such rules or not.
  • Grammar pathway, overview of the first “minisessions” in the pathway

    Mary Ellen Kerans and Irwin Temkin, freelance, Barcelona

    We will present a few brief discussion tasks that bring out the types of conundrums we plan to address later in the spring, at the first minisessions on 24 May.