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Translators on Translating: looking over the translator's (invisible) shoulder



Lecture begins at 6.30pm

Speaker: Andrew Wilson, author of Translators on Translating: Inside the Invisible Art

The assignment:

 Write a book that will reveal translators to themselves and to the general public. Not a history. Not a book of theory (though not ignoring theory). Not exactly an anthology, though with texts by many translators. And not an autobiography, though his own experiences as a translator were to be included. Andrew Wilson - a translator, writer and editor - set to work, and three years later, Translators on Translating: Inside the Invisible Art (CCSP Press, 2009) was published.

As Wilson states in his introduction, "one of the pleasures of compiling this book was seeing how different translators approach the job, how they feel about texts and authors, and the ways they have dealt with different problems - technical, professional, political and even philosophical - that the work has thrown at them. Fortunately, translators are not at all like magicians, jealously guarding their trade secrets from each other or (above all) from their audience: they generally enjoy talking or writing about what they do, and, as I hope this book shows, they often do the latter with grace and eloquence".

 Full of vivid examples (including his own best and worst moments as a translator), the lecture will cover the author's exploration of our "invisible profession" through the writings of translators from around the world, past and present.

Speaker biography

Born in Vancouver, Andrew Wilson has variously been a logger, civil servant, publisher, and consultant in Canada, Central America, and Europe. Most recently, he has worked as technical writer and editor for UN organisations such as UNICEF and the World Health Organization. His translations include Amélie Nothomb's novel Loving Sabotage and Laëtitia Atlani-Duault's Humanitarian Aid in Post-Soviet Countries: An Anthropological Perspective from the French, and Zoe Berriatúa's The existentialist dog and other tales from the Spanish. He currently lives in England where, in addition to his other work, he is a magistrate.

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When & where

6.30pmWednesday 16th March 2011

City, University of London Northampton Square London EC1V 0HB United Kingdom