A question of ethics…

June 5th, 2015 by translationataston


Here in the Aston Translation Studies programmes, we take the issue of ethics very seriously. Not only do our students learn about ethical issues in translating and interpreting theory and practice classes, but obtaining ethical approval is required for any dissertation project. Why? Because as future professional translators, students will have to deal with various kinds of ethical dilemnas and we want them to be prepared to handle these in a reflective and fair manner.

But ethical issues come in different shapes and sizes, and opinions often diverge on the best way to handle these. For example, would you work for a company that wants to scan your computer and carry onsite checks of translators? No? What if it’s a really really prestigious client?

This blog post provides some good advice on this issue: http://translatorsdigest.net/2015/06/01/the-creepy-spy-clause-in-translation-ndas/

In the end, it is up to each translator to make up their own mind as regards what they think is or is not ethical practice, in accordance with their interpretations of the professional codes of ethics they agreed to abide by. All we can do as translator trainers is hope that we have provided them with the right tools to empower them to make the best decisions for the good of the profession.

Aston Lecturers gain SLD Trados Certification!

May 6th, 2015 by translationataston


On Tuesday May 5th 2015, lecturers in Aston’s translation team underwent an intensive day of CAT Tools training, led by Mr. David Pollard, Learning and Teaching Support Manager for the School.

We are delighted to announce that Dr. S. Hubscher-Davidson and Dr. B. Sudlow were successful in passing the ‘Getting Started’ SDL Trados Studio 2014 for Translators Certification Exam!

Now that they are SDL certified, they have personal certification pages and are allowed to use the SDL certified logo (see above).

Congratulations to them both!!

SWATI Event at Aston

March 28th, 2015 by translationataston

About 100 aspiring translators and interpreters came to Aston University on Saturday, 14 March 2015, to get information on Starting Work as a Translator or Interpreter (SWATI) and benefit from the experience of professionals working in the translation industry. This SWATI event was jointly organised by the Translation Studies group of the School of Languages and Social Sciences and the Institute of Translation and Interpreting.

Feedback from participants has been great:

“I found this event very interesting, the skills that translators need for each type of translation was very helpful as some of us can still be uncertain about what we would like to do. I also found the pricing very helpful, as it gave me an idea of the amount of work and the different salaries which correspond to them, as well as the different work places which were mentioned (EU, UN, etc) and their requirements.”

“I found it very useful hearing about other people’s experience and how they managed to get to where they are now. It also helped me in getting to know new institutions that I could apply to for work experience and also create connections. It gave me an insight of what I will need to obtain in order to get into the translation or interpreting careers. Overall I enjoyed the event, it made me realise that there is more to translation than just translating words!”

We hope to be able to co-organise such an event again soon!

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!