September 2011 Archives

Events in Bath for translators

There are two events taking place in Bath this month that I think will pique the interest of fellow translators. (Thanks to Cherry for the heads-up whilst blackberrying yesterday evening!)

The first will take place on Wednesday, 7 September at Topping & Co's bookshop. David Bellos, a translator and biographer has been invited to talk about the process of translation at the shop as part of its regular programme of events. Bellos, who currently teaches French, Italian and Comparative Literature at Princeton University has won awards for his translations. His most recent work published by Penguin is a survey of translation theory Is That a Fish in your Ear? More information and tickets from Toppings.

On Tuesday, 20 September, Maureen Freely, who is perhaps best known for her translations of Orhan Pamuk's novels from Turkish into English, will be giving a talk at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution. Freely also lectures at the University of Warwick and is an entertaining speaker. I heard her talk at the Bath Literature Festival last year and thoroughly enjoyed her lecture.

Improving your spoken language skills - Part II

Traditionally in the UK, the new school year begins on September 1st or thereabouts. And it is also the time of year to enrol on evening classes and other activities to dispel the gloomy prospect of long dark winter evenings. Since I moved to Bath six years ago, I have been involved in the Bath German Society and have had the privilege of being Chair of the Society since April 2009. 

Bath German Society meets once a month and offers its members the opportunity to chat informally in German before engaging in the evening's main activity. The Society's members range from native speakers to enthusiastic learners of the language. It provides a forum for the latter to hear the language without being locked into the intricacies of grammar and for native speakers to speak their own language which they may not do very often as they live and work in an English-speaking country. There are benefits for all!

The committee endeavours to provide a programme covering a wide range of interests. In addition to lectures on topics from Engineering to Literature and Japanese culture, in recent years we have introduced a book group style meeting allowing everyone to read a specified novel in advance and then chat about it of lectures on a wide range of topics and for the musical amongst us we have assembled a small but enthusiastic choir to sing German carols at Bath's German Christmas Market.  This autumn, we are planning to visit the theatre to see a production of Goethe's Iphigenie auf Tauris, newly translated into English by Meredith Oakes - a rare opportunity to see a German play without having to leave the country!

In addition to our monthly meetings, the Society also hosts a Stammtisch on Wednesday mornings in the Strudelbar in the Hansel and Gretel shop on Margaret's Buildings in Bath. This conversation group is run on a "drop in when you can" basis. It starts at 11.30 am and often runs until after 2 pm. It is attended by a mixture of people ranging from shift workers with a morning off (nurses, catering staff, etc), to retired people (who often stay for the whole morning) to office workers using their lunch break to polish up their German whilst eating some delicious strudel and drinking coffee.

New members of all ages are always welcome to all our activities. We hope you will be able to join us!