Recently in Specialisms: Fashion and Beauty Category

A bit of drama

Isn't it wonderful when your chosen profession dovetails nicely with your other interests?  I spent a pleasant hour on Sunday afternoon visiting Bath's Museum of Fashion and taking the opportunity to do a little light Continual Professional Development.  The museum is a fascinating place for not only is it located in the city's famous and beautiful Assembly Rooms, it has an ever-changing programme of exhibitions.

I indulged my love of costume dramas by visiting the latest exhibition called Dressing the Stars: British Costume Design at the Academy Awards.  I was fascinated to see costumes from some of my favourite films including the wedding outfits worn by Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman in Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility, the fabulously evocative cloak and dress in which Meryl Streep, as the mysterious Sarah, wraps herself when she stands on the wind-lashed Cobb in Lyme Regis in The French Lieutenant's Woman, and the clothes worn by Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean series. (It almost looked as if he was actually in the costume!)

Although visitors were not allowed to touch the costumes, there were samples of fabrics to feel. It's good to remind oneself of what certain fabrics are like to touch especially if called on in a translation to describe a type of material. I shall have to do a little research on a term used to describe a dress worn by Kiera Knightley in her role as Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (scenes of which, incidentally, were shot in the Assembly Rooms and in the town). It is called a "drunk dress". Does any one have any ideas what this means? Here's an image of it taken by Aylwen Gardiner-Garden and can be found with other images from the exhibition on her blog .

KK drunk dress.jpgIt was good to see costume designers getting a bit of well-deserved acknowledgement as they are an integral part of film-making and can often be overlooked. Perhaps there are parallels with the role of the translator whose contribution when performed seamlessly (pun intended) can also go unrecognised. If costume designers put an actor in the wrong clothes for the period, or a translators use the wrong word for the context of the piece, it can jar and audiences in both cases notice the faux pas. If we do our jobs well, we blend into the background and our role is unacknowledged. So I, for one, am pleased that there are Oscars for costume design. Perhaps we should have them for translation too?

The exhibition continues until 29 August so there's still time to see it if you're interested.

Handbags and gladrags

I have not posted any new entries on the blog recently but this does not mean that nothing has been happening here at TrànslationWörks. Far from it. Much has been achieved in two of my specialist areas of Immigration and Travel and Tourism.

In addition to the conventional translating and proofreading aspects of my work, I have also been out and about.

As last year, I visited a local secondary school to talk to students at the Careers Fair about translation. Once again, I was delighted by the enthusiasm of the young people for languages in general and hope that all of them will be weave their language skills into their future careers, even if they decide not to become translators.

Earlier in the month, I attended a couple of events at Bath in Fashion Week. It is important for translators to keep up to date with the latest developments in the subject areas they translate and so this was a perfect opportunity to combine a bit of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) with some fun!  Bath has been a fashionable place for several centuries. The rich and famous of past eras have visited the town for its spa and entertainments. And nothing has changed in this respect. The town seemed to be really buzzing with greater numbers of the fashionably dressed, and all the shops also appeared to be putting their best foot forward. I learned more about what happens behind the scenes in this world that has a cachet of glamour. Like many professions, the end result is a culmination of hard work and creative thought and lateral thinking all working together to look effortless.


This blog has been receiving inordinate amounts of spam comments recently. All seem to be promoting the benefits of purchasing replica designer bags (also known as "genuine fake" as I once saw on a sign in Turkey!). I say "seem" because the English is so mangled that it is actually not always clear what the comments are trying to convey.

Here is an example: "If you're serious about buying Cheap [designer brand name] Replica Handbags at discounted prices, you should be the ads in the newspapers of the season slip and tend to the shops, we know that selling big brands buy, offer authentic reproductions and a price of more than his actual value."

One day, I may blog about machine translation. I suspect the above is the product of machine translation and an excellent example of why everyone should employ a well-qualified human translator if they want to promote their goods and services to a discerning market.

For the time being, I have disabled the Comments function. I hope normal service will be resumed in due course.