I seldom go to conferences. In fact, I think the last conference I went to was Translate in the Catskills, four or so years ago. There was a follow-up event, Translate in the Townships, very close to home last year, but we’d just had a baby and it was easier to stay
in bed at home. This week, though, Translate in Québec City is a very short city bus ride away so there seemed no excuse. And after Day 1, I’m so glad I went.
There was a useful discussion between Chris Durban and Ros Schwartz, each answering questions as an interested audience slowly picked their translations apart. Of particular interest to me was Ros Schwartz’s defence of a longer sentence or two for reasons of rhythm. Like me, it seems she doesn’t slavishly follow the rule that shorter is apparently always best. (Quite why, I’ve never understood.) I don’t think it’s a coincidence that, like me, she writes in British English.
Grant Hamilton gave the mother of all hands-on talks as he armed us with hundreds of possibilities the next time we find ourselves falling into lazy, knee-jerk translations of innocuous words like pertinent, dynamique, and confirmer.