MET workshops

Second session in MET’s Sea of Words Project: a reminder of translation theory and writing process

This session provides an opportunity for MET members – whether or not they are participating in the current Sea of Words (SoW) Project – to discuss language, psychological, ethical and cultural issues related to helping authors and their translators achieve the texts they wish to publish. While keeping English language issues as our prime focus, we will explore the creative, social and ethical issues that affect how English versions of manuscripts are produced for and with authors who require help. We have the great good fortune to do so by using some of the creative work of national winners (finalists) and final prize winners in the SoW writing contest sponsored by the Anna Lindh Foundation (ALF) for Dialogue between Cultures.

We discuss both translation theory and writing process in this session. Individual authors – and in some fields, author groups – are an important part of Mediterranean markets for English language service providers. To work effectively with and for authors, we need to understand their practices and motivations as well as our own varied roles in giving them voice — whether we work with literature, personal narratives, institutions or groups with a message to deliver in English, or researchers and other knowledge producers.

Purpose: To discuss some of the principles and concerns that underpin our translation or editing of texts for authors or when we edit unpublished translations.

Developers and facilitators: Kelly Dickeson and Mary Ellen Kerans. We are grateful to Ron Puppo for setting us in this direction in 2012.

Description and structure: We will compare and discuss translations and name some of the key concepts literary translation theorists have suggested. We use literary texts because working with this interesting, creative corpus is a pleasant way to explore the issues that come up in working with the texts of authors in many fields. A brief discussion of the results of research in writing processes (in native and second languages) is included because many English language supporters find they’re working with texts that are not yet finished: giving support is easier if we understand writing well.

Who should attend? Participants in the SoW working groups in the current year. MET members who are interested in helping authors bring their work to publication level, or who are interested in becoming involved with non-technical/literary texts.

Pre-workshop information:
Some suggested reading is listed on the description for Session 1.

About the facilitators:
Kelly Dickeson translates freelance in a range of fields and has recently been focusing on medicine. She joined the Sea of Words Project in 2011 out of pure curiosity and was enthusiastically involved with the working groups for two years.

Mary Ellen Kerans is currently MET’s continuing professional development chair on the association’s council. She is mainly a medical translator and author’s editor who also occasionally teaches academic writing. She has lived in Barcelona since the late 1970s.