The Problem with Metaphors

Translation is a dance. Interpreters are ninjas. Translators build bridges. Interpreting creates conduits. Whenever we try to describe the power of translation and interpreting, we instinctively reach for metaphors. In fact, even the etymologies of the English words are metaphors: translation as carrying over, interpreting as standing between. But there are two fundamental problems with … More The Problem with Metaphors

What if Interpreting Studies had started without Conference Interpreting?

It’s the 1950s and much of the world is recovering from the pain of the Second World War. In a desperate attempt to rebuild and stop future conflict, international organisations are springing up. The United Nations, the Council of Europe, the European Coal and Steel Community, and other all get their start in the late … More What if Interpreting Studies had started without Conference Interpreting?

Translation theory without literary translation?

“Alternative histories” are growing in popularity. People love to imagine what might have happened if big historical moments had gone a different way. Here is one that might seem to be rather strange but actually says a lot: imagine if translation theory had never been led by literary translation. Where have translation theories come from? … More Translation theory without literary translation?

In Interpreting, the simplest questions are the hardest to answer

There are some thoughts and musings that just don’t fit either on my business blog or in a magazine or book. At least, not for now. Here’s one that doesn’t belong in those places but is still worth thinking about. Pick any simple question about interpreting, like “What is good interpreting?” or “Which is better: … More In Interpreting, the simplest questions are the hardest to answer

Euphemisms for “My Data are Rubbish”

It’s a descriptive analysis. It’s just an exploratory study. It fails to confirm my initial hypothesis. I’m using a deconstructivist approach (*ducks*). My case lies outside the bounds of established theory (… way outside the bounds). Statistics/Replicability/Rigour/Testing is/are irrelevant for this kind of data. The relationship between this study and previous work on similar questions … More Euphemisms for “My Data are Rubbish”

Academics, Blogging and The Real Meaning of Impact

Irony alert: this post will do exactly what it says not to do. It’s even more fashionable than tweed jackets with natty leather patches, academics are jumping on the blogging train. Wherever you go, another university is jumping on the back carriage and hoping that they can say something interesting to the passing crowds. In … More Academics, Blogging and The Real Meaning of Impact

Translations are Meant to Work: the World of Skopos Theory

In the world of commercial translation, noone ever translates for the sake of it. We translate because someone out there has decided that they want a document in a certain language for a certain purpose. If we want them to hire us again, we’d better make sure that our work fulfils the purpose they had for it in the first place. … More Translations are Meant to Work: the World of Skopos Theory