METM18 presentation 

To oak or not to oak… profiling the wine translator

Karen T Neilson, Madrid, Spain 

In line with this year’s theme of giving credit where credit's due, and appropriately recognising authors, translators and editors, this presentation aims to raise awareness about the profile and work of wine translators. It will touch on the need not only for linguistic expertise but also hands-on experience, ranging from soil analysis and vineyard husbandry to wine tasting and marketing to the end consumer. Often overlooked and undervalued by winemakers and merchants alike, wine translators must fight their corner by providing seamless services from grape to glass.

Aimed at anyone with an interest in wine translation, this presentation takes a look at key areas in translating the Spanish and Portuguese wine industries into the English-speaking world, with emphasis on promoting translation services through continuous learning and added value. Via a short PowerPoint presentation I aim to give useful insights into cultural dos and don’ts, highlighting the importance of meaning over words and terminology.

This year’s METM – in the Empordà DO, one of Spain’s most famous wine regions – is the ideal occasion in which to lift the lid on this underexplored subject. The audience should walk away with a better understanding of what lies behind, or what should lie behind, a well-crafted wine translation.

About the presenter

A native English speaker and EU resident in Madrid, Spain for more than 30 years, Karen Neilson translates for the Spanish wine industry, Spanish universities in social sciences, NGOs, government bodies, as well as a wide range of colourful and dazzling commercial enterprises.