Category Archives: Events

An Afternoon of Collaborative Translation

“An Afternoon of Collaborative Translation”
At the Wheeler Centre, 7th December 2019

Thanks to all who made our last event of 2019 such a success.

In our warm up exercise, we did some “jigsaw” poetry, taking the English translations of two contributor poems (one by Vasile Baghiu and the other by Koraly Dimitriadis), and cutting them into individual words. Each group was given the individual words and was invited to create a new poetic work from these fragments.

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We were able to produce several poems in this way, some quite brief (see pictured), others more substantial in length.


Then, our wonderfully diverse group of collaborators was able to produce four independent translations of two Romanian poems.bb861501-9098-4cf8-931a-eb36508af1b8

Nicolae Coande – Tălpi mici 

Cristina Savin: “This is a love poem. There are a few challenges in the text but overall it is not too difficult. The poet, Nicolae Coande, is well known in Romania. The poem is suitable for people with a solid understanding and knowledge of poetry.

Costel Stancu 

Cristina Savin: “This is a delightful poem full of surprises (with no title!). It is a playful little story that would lend itself quite well to children’s poetry. It is about a young boy who has an imaginary friend; there is an unexpected, gentle twist at the end.

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All these translations will appear in future publications, and will be made available to all TransCollaborate members.

If you are interested in joining as a member, follow this link here.

Emerging Writers’ Festival 2018

On a cold, bright Melbourne morning, a motley crew of logophiles and poetry buffs gathered at the State Library Victoria to translate a 900-year-old Chinese ci. 

The sold-out workshop, organised in concert with the Emerging Writers’ Festival and Monash University, saw participants collaborating in small groups to tackle the translation of a ci-poem by Song-dynasty poet Li Qingzhao, one of the greatest female poets in Chinese history.

The 3-hour workshop began with a series of short introductions by the event organisers, each of whom provided insight and context on a particular aspect of the collaborative translation process.

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Literary translator, Cordite editor and Monash University lecturer Alice Whitmore kicked things off with an overview of some of the most significant theoretical approaches to poetry translation, drawing on the creative, symphonic philosophies espoused by great twentieth century poet-translators like Octavio Paz and Ezra Pound.

Poetry translator Julia Min gave an enthralling explanation of the historical context, exquisite form and symbolic complexity of ci poetry, and shed some light on the collective translation process that yielded her 1989 translations of Li Qingzhao’s poems. Julia read three carefully selected ci-poems, spanning the breath of Li Qingzhao’s life, and groups were asked to choose one for translation.

Finally, Transcollaborate President Jessica Griffiths outlined how the morning would unfold: working at tables of 3 to 4, and armed with a colourful pile of art supplies, groups would have 2 hours to come up with a collaborative translation of one of Li Qingzhao’s poems. The final draft would be presented on a single sheet of A5 paper for later compilation into a Transcollaborate zine.

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The workshop yielded five fantastic and remarkably original poems—experimental forms, concept poetry, illustration and back-translation all featured in the final products, making for a truly diverse collection of collaboratively-crafted masterpieces.

All in all, a fun and creative morning. Stay tuned for more events like this! And click here to see more photos from this event.

 

Conference paper: Collaborative translation and language learning

A paper presented at the LLAS conference held at Warwick University in July 2016: “Collaborative translation and language learning: a post-monolingual approach” 

Presented by Chris Griffiths and Jessica Trevitt. 

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In July 2016, Chris and Jessica presented the TransCollaborate model and some initial findings at the LLAS conference Frameworks for Collaboration and Multilingualism: Languages in Higher Education, held at Warwick University (UK).

The paper emphasised the value of collaborative translation as a method for supporting language learning, and they presented initial findings from the project’s German>English case study.

Due to a last-minute change in programming, the participants were lucky enough to deliver the paper twice. Each time they received encouraging feedback, and their session chair Kate Borthwick (University of Southampton) shared her enthusiasm on Twitter.

The conference gave TransCollaborate the opportunity to tap into a valuable network of language teachers in the UK, some of whom the team look forward to seeing again at their upcoming event in Prato, Italy.