Glendon’s 2009 graduate student conference attracts translators from far and wide

Members of the translation community came from Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and as far as Massachusetts and Barcelona to Glendon’s historic manor for a wide range of academic talks at Glendon’s 2009 Graduate Student Conference in Translation.

The conference, titled Changing Landscapes: Contemporary Issues in Translation Studies, took place on Nov. 21 with a keynote address by Professor Annie Brisset (right), former director of the University of Ottawa’s School of Translation & Interpretation. In her address, “Translation Today: Between Sociography and Sociocritique”, Brisset outlined different issues surrounding the state of translation today, speaking of translation in terms of a discourse and showing that these issues often bleed into other domains.

Glendon Principal Kenneth McRoberts spoke about the need for, and opportunities created by, the field of translation. Marie-Christine Aubin (left), program director of Glendon’s Graduate Program in Translation, welcomed the audience, while Joël Savary, cultural attaché for the French Consulate in Toronto, emphasized the important and positive aspects of the consulate’s partnership with Glendon.

In the absence of Fadi Kodhr, a PhD candidate at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris III, Glendon translation Professor Aurélia Klimkiewicz (right) read his talk on literary translation, literary creation and authorship. The presentation addressed the application of translation writ large in translating Edgar Allan Poe’s famous poem, "The Raven". The next lecture, “Pulling Out the Rug: Pierre Menard, Authorship and Ownership”, was given by Brandon Moores, a PhD candidate in humanities at York. Moores compared the merits of author-based and text-based translation in the translation of Don Quixote. He stated that our comprehension can’t merely be based on “…understanding the intellect that put the words on paper, because it is possible that several intellects could arrive at the same product independently.”

Adrià Martín of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and York PhD candidate Mara Reich addressed the translation process, pedagogy and tools. Martín spoke about the amount of linguistic interference in texts translated with and without computer-aided translation (CAT) tools found in the exploratory test of the TRACE Project.

“The exploratory test compared translations using CAT tools with translations carried out using Word,” said Martin. “The test looked for errors in areas such as coherence, false friends and textual conventions – the use of punctuation, for example.”

Left: Aurélia Klimkiewicz presents the Dictionnaire en Déplacement

Next, Reich outlined her research on “Competence-Based Translation Pedagogy: Defining Translation Competence”. She explained her plans to explore the translator’s competencies as well as the way they are acquired, looking at not only experienced translators but also students of translation.

Following lunch, speakers touched on themes of translation, representation and identity. Professor Deborah Shadd of the University of Ottawa presented “On Translation, Education and Identity”, followed by Cristiano Mazzei of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, with a presentation of his research on the use of paratext in the US translation of Adolfo Caminha’s Bom-Crioulo, titled “Representation of Queer Others – How Adolfo Caminha’s Bom-Crioulo Was Outed in Translation by the US Gay Press”.

Tanita Muneshwar, a York PhD candidate in humanities, spoke of the issues in translating from Creole to English in her presentation ”Decolonizing Language: Exploring David Dabydeen’s Self-Translation of Slave Sone”.

The final grouping of talks concentrated on the figure of the translator. Both Aura Navarro and Hugo Vandal-Sirois of the University of Montreal touched on the theme with their presentations, titled “The Translators’ Role in Venezuelan Separatist Press” and “Adapting Advertisements: Portrait of a Renewed Industry”. Finally, Gaafar Sadek of the University of Ottawa, spoke about “The Formation of the Translator’s Self-Image”, going as far back as ancient Egypt to understand the translator’s association throughout history with concepts of loyalty, suggestion and invisibility.

Klimkiewicz’s closing presentation on the Dictionnaire en Déplacement (the Dictionary of Displacement) was followed by a wine reception provided by the Consulate General of France, and a visit to Lorène Bourgeois’ exhibit Enveloppes du Corps/works on paper and slate at the Glendon Gallery.

Submitted by Kathleen Dodd-Moher, Glendon translation student