Distinguished Professor Visit to Aston

February 20th, 2015 by translationataston

Dear all,

Distinguished Visitor to Aston, Prof. Ricardo Muñoz-Martín, will deliver a public lecture on Thursday 26/03/15. These are the details of the session:

4.30-6: Public Lecture: ‘Nailing some theses at language department’s doors’ (MB708B)

Cognitive Science has shown that some of our basic ideas and constructs about language and communication are either misleading or empirically false. In this talk I will summarize some of these not-so-new insights on language that are challenging some deeply ingrained ‘idees reçues': Languages do not exist. Meaning can never be transferred from one language to another. Comprehension is an active process, not totally aligned with language command. Context is not out there, but only in our minds. Culture is in the eye of the beholder. All these notions derive from a basic truth we have also always known: the divide between letters and sciences is deadly wrong.

IT promises to be an exciting event! Venez nombreux!

Booming demand for interpreting services!

February 13th, 2015 by translationataston

Dear readers,

More evidence has emerged that interpreting is a fast-growing service, and that demand is on the rise for good, qualified interpreters. In a new article on the topic written by Common Sense Advisory, the following reasons were given for this growth in the sector:

1. Overall demand is on the rise.
2. Population displacements modify interpreting needs.
3. Regulated organizations emphasize compliance with legislation.
4. People better know their rights to access an interpreter.
5. The need for interpretation follows economic and business trends, e.g. when a company enters a new market.
6. Force majeure (natural, political events) disrupts language priorities.

For more information, read the full article here.

TS Party on Tuesday

December 8th, 2014 by translationataston

Dear readers,

Don’t forget the Christmas party for LTS on Wednesday 10th, starting at 5pm in MB652. There will be Stollen, Glühwein and Lebkuchen. Drinks will be provided, but we are counting on you to bring some bakes.
It’s a great occasion to meet students from other years, other countries (hello fellow Erasmus students!) and chat with professors in a less formal setting.

PDF poster LTS Christmas Party 2014

Click on the poster to zoom.

Sofia’s Story in Translation

November 26th, 2014 by translationataston

Some of our readers may be interested in a new piece published in the AALITRA Review (peer-reviewed online journal of the Australian Association for Literary Translation).

It is a translation (with short commentary) that Severine Hubscher-Davidson (Lecturer in Translation Studies at Aston) produced with one of her former Masters student, Jill Leatherbarrow. The translation is a short story about the experience of an expatriate Frenchwoman saying goodbye to her latest home, in Shanghai, as she prepares to move her family to the next destination in their transnational existence.

It is freely available here:

Careers in Translation and Interpreting

November 18th, 2014 by translationataston

An event entitled “Careers in Translation & Interpreting” will be held at Aston on December 17th. The staff strongly advises students to attend, as it will offer multiples perspectives on the different kinds of jobs translators and interpreters can have. There will be speakers with different backgrounds and working anywhere from freelance or public service to the EU or GHCQ, and even volunteer interpreters.


The event will start in Cafe Tierra for refreshments and the talks will be held in the room MB544, starting at 1:00pm. Please follow the link to the programme for more information about the different talks.


November 4th, 2014 by translationataston

Let’s start the week with something less serious. A comic strip by Mox, who is also a translator and whose comics portray the life of a translator with dark humored twist. Nerdy, crazy or sometimes downright insane, his characters show the different aspects of working or living as (or with!) a translator in a very funny comic.

Here is one of my favorites:


But will it blend?

Click the image to see it in full size


Image credit: Mox’s blog

A podcast to keep an eye on….

October 30th, 2014 by translationataston

If you’re not familiar with the Radiolab Podcast, you should definitely keep an eye on it. “It’s a show about curiosity”, writes the staff on the website. Eight little stories in last week’s episode about translation tackle poetry, philosophy, the dangers translators sometimes face, science, and many other things.

Here’s the link to the episode!

Introduction, and first post: Google Translate might be sexist…

October 22nd, 2014 by translationataston

Hello dear readers! My name is Yann, and this year I am a teaching assistant in Translation Studies and French at Aston University. I’m French and Austrian, and I study English and German translation at Institut Libre Marie Haps. I will be the one updating this blog for the next few months.

I want my first post on this blog to be about a subject that is very current in French media, namely gender, but with a linguistic twist.

I had a fascinating conversation the other day with a friend from Germany who told me that it was more and more common in German universities to use gender-neutral language when addressing students. Having never noticed that in my French-speaking university, I started to read a little bit about the subject (Wikipedia has a few entries about gender-neutrality in languages) and I found out about the pronoun s/he, and how some grammatical constructions in Japanese are traditionally associated with women and men!

The study of gender in language is often said to have begun with Robin Lakoff’s book Language and Women’s Place (you can read it on Google Scholar), published in 1975. Since then, numerous articles have been written about gender and language, in the fields of sociology, sociolinguistics, linguistics and of course, gender studies.

Here at Aston, our own Dr. Olga Castro is currently studying gender in translation. And without further ado, let me point you to an article about why you shouldn’t use Google/Bing Translate or Systran for your homework: it doesn’t work very well (seriously, why even bother), but it might just make you look sexist!

PhD student writes published preface to Maltese translation of ‘Monsieur Ibrahim et les Fleurs du Coran’

March 23rd, 2014 by translationataston


Eric-Emmanuel’s Schmitt captivating novella Monsieur Ibrahim et les Fleurs du Coran is now available in Maltese. To date, this short story has been translated in around 35 languages and the Maltese version Is-Sur Ibrahim u l-Fjuri fil-Koran, translated by Toni Aquilina, was published in February 2014. The tale forms part of Le Cycle de l’Invisible, a series of books dealing with the themes of childhood, religion and spirituality. Monsieur Ibrahim et les Fleurs du Coran revolves around an unusual friendship between an old, wise Muslim and a Jewish adolescent who lives with his depressed father. Claudine Borg, a PhD student in translation at Aston, has closely followed the translation process of this literary work in the context of her research project. She has also written the preface of the Maltese translation.


The translator, Prof Toni Aquilina and Claudine Borg during the launch of the Maltese translation


More beautiful poem translations by our final year students…

February 18th, 2014 by translationataston

My Dad


Under your strong exterior

You are loving and tender

A face in front of me

Defence and protection you guarantee


Each of your words is like a caress

Even when they cause distress

When you look at me you see

The baby you created, it was me


Out of all

The men in the world

You’d be the one that I’d pick out

You’re my hero, there’s no doubt


It’s in your support

It’s in your words

It’s in your loving gaze

That forever, for always


I will get through the storms

I will face the worst mornings

I will give you my love

Forever, for always


Happy Father’s day, Dad

Without you I would not exist



My Father


Behind your tough outer shell,

Hides a soft kernel,

A cloak to keep me safe,

Guardian of my being, defender of faith


Sometimes your words hurt,

But into acts of kindness they convert,

For in me you see,

The newborn child, the face of you in me,


Above all,

Of all the men in the world,

You’re my heart’s inspiration,

You’re my flawless champion,


It’s in your eyes,

It’s in your assistance,

It’s in the things that you say,

Forever and always,


I will triumph the storms,

And will face the harsh dawns,

I’ll give you my love everyday,

Forever and always,


Dad, Happy Father’s day,

Without you, I wouldn’t be who I am today…



My father.


Behind his hard shell,

Hides his tenderness as well,

You are a facade before me,

Protector of my life and defender of belief


Occasionally, your words are hurtful,

But they are beautiful,

Because in me you see,

The fruit of the other you, the new-born baby,


Amongst everything,

Of all the men in the world,

You are the model of my heart,

You are the hero, who never falls apart,


It’s in your eyes,

It’s in your support,

It’s in your long stories,

Forever and always,


I would defeat snow storms,

I will confront tough mornings,

I will give you all my love and praise,

Forever and always,


To my Dad, Happy Father’s Day,

Without whom I wouldn’t exist by the way…




My Father


Behind all circumspection

You hide the affection

Before me a façade,

My life’s protector, and defender of faith.


Sometimes I consider your words to be sharp,

But to me they’re endearing, a hug for my heart,

Because I know that you see me too

The baby that was born,


When I take into account

All the men through my years,

You are without doubt, the beat of my heart

The hero who’s caused me no tears.


I can see it in your eyes,

It’s in your support,

In the way that you guide me

For now and forever more


I’ll brave the bad weather

I’ll face the rough days

It’s you I will always adore

For now and forever more


Happy father’s day Clive,

Without whom I wouldn’t exist.