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