Monday, 17 April 2017

Translation through the ages

Most of us are engaged with translation in many ways - think about your own use of translation in all of its variety, such as the last translated work that you read.

My friend Marie Lebert, a linguist, is researching the history of translation and has written a short, accessible, and interesting article on this history. The article includes a plea for translators to receive better recognition and higher visibility in the 21st century.

Now, Marie's current research project "focuses on the sea change brought by technology in the professional translators' working conditions, that have become a major issue in recent years." In pointing out the precarious lives of professional translators, Marie says

"As surprising as it may be in our society, bilingual people need more skills than two languages to become good translators. To be a translator is a profession, with the relevant training and a thorough knowledge of a given discipline. While this was obvious for centuries, this seems less obvious now. After being regarded as scholars alongside authors, professors and researchers for two millennia, many translators, to their dismay, see no mention of their names on press releases and book covers, and sometimes even on the articles and books they spent days, weeks or months to translate.
Are there some solutions to reverse this trend? Our society should acknowledge (again) the translators’ major impact on knowledge, science, literature and culture. My work will be based on many interviews conducted online and on-site.
Marie is also speaking at the FIT Congress (International Federation of Translators) in Brisbane on 3-5 August 2017. Please forward this to people who may be interested in supporting this work - Marie would like to advance her project, working in Australia if possible.


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