All posts by jesslouisegriffiths

TransCollaborate and MITN Revisited: Multilingual workshop

By Giulio Serripierri

On May 27, TransCollaborate teamed up again with MITN (The Monash/Warwick Migration, Identity and Translation Network) to host a multilingual workshop for students in Monash University’s various language programs, as well as the Master of Interpreting and Translation Studies and the Translating Across Cultures undergraduate unit. The workshop was attended by over 100 participants in total, making it TransCollaborate’s largest event to date – which might be more remarkable considering it was held on Zoom!

Students worked with several different language combinations, including Chinese to French, Japanese to Spanish, and German to Italian,with all groups using the primary language of exchange. The translations continued for over an hour, after which students and facilitators had the opportunity to discuss the outcomes. Participants acknowledged the challenges encountered throughout the translation process itself, and the cultural exchanges that occur when working with languages that might share some similarities (in terms of vocabulary or grammar, such as the European languages) but also considerable differences.

By organising this event, TransCollaborate and MITN provided Monash students with the opportunity to experience firsthand the benefits of collaborative translation as well as understand how translation contributes to forging the identity of languages and cultures. The positive feedback we received suggests that we should expect more collaborations between TransCollaborate and MITN in the future. So stay tuned…

VicHealth project 2021

We are happy to announce we are a recipient of a VicHealth Reimagining Health Grant!

Working in collaboration with the amazing Marco Polo Project, we will be supporting individuals in the the Romanian and Nepali communities in Victoria to connect, share experiences, create literature and develop new community groups through ongoing collaborative translation meet-ups.

We look forwarding to updating you on this project!

If you are a part of, connected to or interested in getting to know the Romanian or Nepali communities in Victoria, we would love to hear from you – reach out to us below!

Zoom in to the Spanish-English collaborative translation group

by Gabriella Munoz

Earlier this year, TransCollaborate invited me help to facilitate a Spanish-English collaborative translation group.

I sent invitations to friends, colleagues and Latinx Facebook groups to join the project and the response was overwhelming. Given the COVID-19 situation in Australia and the challenges it brought, we started the group with three source collaborators and a target collaborator in June this year. The COVID-19 restrictions meant our evenings of translation took place in Zoom – a first for TransCollaborate – and that collaborators from all Australia, not only from Victoria, could join.

As a facilitator, it was important to ensure the texts the collaborators were going to translate from Spanish to English were challenging and also a reflection of our times. For the first session, the group worked on the poem ‘Un dia’ by Argentinian poet Alfonsina Storni and the micro-play ‘Un Mundo Entero’ by Mexican writer, director and producer Alejandro Ramírez. Storni’s poem reflects on what could happen after two individuals reunite and try to recognise each other and Ramírez’s micro-play introduces us to four characters who are looking for a home and what that means for them.

The group worked using the Zoom chat function to exchange ideas and work on the translation. The chat allowed me, as a facilitator, to see how they worked with language and made me part of their project in a way that, perhaps, wouldn’t have been possible in a physical space. As the session progressed, the participants found a rhythm of their own, working on the translation collaboratively and taking time to discuss what certain words could mean for Spanish speakers in Mexico and for Spanish speakers in Argentina before weaving their translation into English of each text.

During the second and third sessions, the collaborators worked on a fragment of the short story ‘Corredores’ by Nabucodonosor, which examines the estranged relationship between a father and his son. The short story posed a different set of challenges for the group as they embarked on a longer project which required two sessions to be completed.

The sessions also triggered several questions, for example, when we translate Spanish collaboratively and people from different Latinx countries participate, is there a need to first discuss and agree on the meaning and nuances of certain words and then translate to English? How would these translations look if the group decided to mix both English and Spanish, allowing themselves to experiment with multilingual writing? These and other questions remain open.

The collaborators and actors from La Vida Teatro will read online the micro-play ‘Un Mundo Entero’ in Spanish and English and discuss the translations process on 23 October. You can register for the event here.

One Whole World / Un Mundo Entero: An Online Play Reading

TransCollaborate and Mexico-based theatre company La Vida Teatro came together to present an online reading of Un Mundo Entero, a micro-play by Mexican playwright Alejandro Ramírez – in its original Spanish and in two versions of its English translation, One Whole World.

The translation was completed by a group of collaborators including Australian playwright Emilie Collyer, facilitated by Mexican-Australian author Gabriella Munoz. The idea to present it as an online reading was an initiative of the group and from a TransCollaborate point of view, they have opened us up to a whole new world of possibilities. We hope to do many more collaborations like this one!

Thank you to all who joined us to hear the play in its different versions, and to hear playwright and collaborators discuss the translation. We now have available to watch a video of one of the readings.

If you’re interested in collaborative translations of theatre, please get in touch to be a part of our next project!