The Linguist

The Linguist 57,4 - August/September 2018

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 12 of 35

FEATURES what they're drawn to, the 'essence' of texts, and priorities when communicating, as well as their creative writing skills. Using my knowledge of current issues in translation theory and the translation scene, I also curated and hosted a series of panel discussions, which I hoped would engage both translators and a wider audience. Because translation is still pretty niche, it can be hard to get people to come to events if translation seems to be the only aspect to the discussion, so having a broader 'hook' can be key to drawing in an interested, mixed audience. The first event was 'Translating Gay Identities', which coincided with the 'Gay UK' exhibition at the library. This was followed by 'Multilingual Writing, Multilingual Translation' with Sophie Seita, a UK/US-based, German- born academic and artist, and Maltese writer and translator Antoine Cassar. For my closing event, I sat down with poet Sophie Collins and Head of Contemporary Archives and Manuscripts at the British Library, Rachel Foss, to discuss the presence of the translator in public life, the canon and British Library archives. The new Translator in Residence, Rahul Bery, a Wales-based translator from Spanish and Portuguese, started his time at the library in June. As my residency has been slightly extended, due to additional funding from the Institute of Modern Languages Research, we have the opportunity to work together while he settles in. We might even end up working on a joint project. I will have one final public flourish before bowing out: a movement piece Sophie Seita and I are devising, which we hope will communicate the process of untangling and retying words and sentences together in a text in translation, along with issues regarding female labour and translation. As for my life post-residency, I have been working on a few new translations, and have recently been given a second column on translation for the new print publication The Brixton Review of Books. There are plans to have more creative translation courses at the British Library in spring 2019 (see for updates). a pleasant and exciting working environment. Sometimes I would go in to translate or write articles, and I'm happy to have made some close friends along the way. Day to day, I had meetings with library staff, looked at archives in the basement, or sat at my desk organising and researching events. My central project consisted of year-long conversations with staff at the British Library sites in St Pancras, London and Boston Spa, Yorkshire. These were conducted through open forums where we could have dialogues about the languages they use at work and/or at home, and how translation figures officially or unofficially in their job at the library. These conversations are being made into a video, which will be available online later in the year. I also spent time looking through the archive of poet-translator Michael Hamburger and writing a pamphlet of poetry based on his correspondences and translation drafts, which will be published this year, and which I hope is a testament to his unique life and work. We held a weekend workshop in 'creative translation' for writers and literary translators, where we translated English-language poetry into new English-language poetry; magazine interviews into monologues; animal noises into poetry; facial emotions into descriptions; and scent into stories. These tasks were designed to make attendees think about close reading, I ended up spending more than the allotted day a week at the library as it was such an exciting environment © ROBIN CHRISTIAN

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Linguist - The Linguist 57,4 - August/September 2018