ITIA Bulletin – April 2013

  • In this issue


    Having commenced the 2013 ITIA Bulletin expressing high hopes for the forthcoming year, it is with profound regret that this edition of the ITIA Bulletin has to report the further lowering of rates paid to community interpreters as a result of the Court Services tender being awarded to a different company.

    Whilst rates prior to the new tender were very far from just, the new unilaterally reduced rates, post tender, can only result in ensuring that qualified interpreters will have no option but to leave the profession as working for a net hourly rate close to the minimum wage is unsustainable. The low rates are a major disincentive for students to train and qualify in interpreting and translating therefore perpetuating low standards across all services.

    Of equal importance are the serious questions this raises about the integrity of the judicial process in the courts in Ireland and in Dublin in particular. If untrained and unqualified individuals offer themselves as interpreters this could lead to serious undermining of a defendant’s rights to understand the process they are a part of, for their testimony to be accurately conveyed and for the resulting rulings to be based on correctly translated evidence.

    It is imperative that all key players in the court process – registrars, solicitors, barristers, judges and most importantly the defendants are aware of the current situation.

    As the representative body of professional interpreters and translators in Ireland the ITIA roundly condemns business practices that downgrade the work of our members and brings our profession into disrepute.

    Anne Larchet
    Adam Brozynski

    The Courts Service Interpreting Tender

    The ITIA is very concerned about the further deterioration in court interpreters’ pay since March 2013. The 2012 request for tender divided the country into four lots with a cascade system of three companies for each lot. The tender process resulted in three companies,, Context and Lionbridge, being awarded contracts. Lots 1 (Dublin), 2 (South) and 4 (Midlands, Border and East) went to:

    2. Context;
    3. Lionbridge

    In the West, Context is company number one, followed by and Lionbridge. Context has advertised for interpreters for courts, Garda and hospitals and said that “3rd level qualifications and interpreting experience an advantage but not a must”. According to, in Lots 1, 2 and 4, is prioritised, and the work can only go to Context or Lionbridge if ‘refuses or is unable to provide the interpreter requested for a particular case on a particular day.’ has secured the most interpreting contracts recently. has asked interpreters to email them outlining their experience of working in the courts, the courts where they have worked, and any training they may have. They also notified interpreters of new, lower rates for court interpreting work: the minimum payment is for one hour, and time over one hour is calculated per five minutes. Interpreters provided by to the courts, Refugee Appeal Tribunal, Refugee Legal Service, Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner, Legal Aid Centres and Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Services are now paid €15 per hour, plus €1.25 for every 5 minutes thereafter. The Courts Service tender set down conditions around travel time and expenses. For example, in the case of Lot 1 (Dublin), ‘no travel expenses or travel time will be sanctioned for the delivery of the Services. Public transport must be used in all cases.’ For Lots 2, 3 and 4, ‘a maximum of 1 hours travel time will be allowable.’ Interpreters who drive to courts outside Dublin were to be allowed ‘the rate of 33.79 cent per km, subject to the first 20km on both the outward and return journey to/from the designated court not attracting travel expenses.’

    However, has told interpreters that they will be paid 30 cent per mile. For example, the Courts Service will pay €33.79 for 100 kilometres but will pay the interpreter a lot less – €18.60. Tolls and parking fees are not covered. There is no longer any extra payment for work carried out on Saturdays.

    Lionbridge notified its interpreters in March 2013 that for travel outside of Dublin, their mileage rate is 23 cents per mile and that if they use public transport to travel to an assignment they will be reimbursed for a train or bus ticket and travel time at €9 per hour.

    Interpreters have no guarantee of work at all. To give a very conservative example: an interpreter who lives in a Dublin suburb and who takes public transport to a one hour assignment in the Criminal Courts of Justice, will spend a minimum of €4 and an hour or more on public transport, all to earn €15 before tax and deductions. The €15 for an hour’s work is in fact €11 for two hours of the interpreter’s time, or €5.50 per hour. This clearly is not viable for anyone. Why is the system like this? Why is it designed so that interpreters cannot possibly make a living? The answer to these questions lies in the tender documents which assume that anyone who speaks two languages can be a court interpreter. The August 2012 request for tender details three levels for court interpreters:

    Level 1: There is objectively verifiable evidence that the person is competent to interpret spoken words (including but not limited to sworn testimony by defendants and witnesses, submissions by lawyers, and judges’ rulings) fully accurate so as to meet the standard of quality necessary to satisfy the requirements of due process. The relevant competency must apply to the activities of translation from (i) English to each relevant language concerned, and (ii) the relevant language concerned to English.

    Level 2: The person is a Native Speaker of the language concerned and can be shown meet the above Level 1 competency standard regarding English, OR is a Native Speaker of English and can be shown to be competent in the language concerned.

    Level 3: The person is a Native Speaker of English with a Third Level Qualification in the language concerned, OR a Native Speaker of the language concerned with a Third Level Qualification in English. The only ‘objectively verifiable evidence’ that a person ‘is competent to interpret spoken words’ would be a test but in Ireland interpreters are not tested and there is no requirement in the tender documents for a test.

    Level 1 replaces the previous level 1 where the interpreter could be a native of Albania who interprets between two foreign languages, English and Spanish. But the new level 1 is no improvement. Basically, what the Courts Service is saying in the tender is that court interpreters do not need any qualification at all, and certainly not in translation or interpreting. Contractors are expected to provide some training to interpreters but we expect the usual token half-day or one-day training will be considered sufficient. The companies’ job is to make a profit and if the Courts Service decides to cut its costs, the cuts are passed on to the interpreters.

    The ITIA executive committee has made a number of submissions to the Courts Service over the years (see our website). In April 2013 we raised the issue of pay and conditions with in writing but have not received any reply to date. It is particularly disturbing that downgrading is happening at a time when Ireland has agreed to implement Directive 2010/64 on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings. Article 5.1 of the directive provides that: Member States shall take concrete measures to ensure that the interpretation and translation provided meets the quality required under Article 2(8) and Article 3(9).

    We have not seen any evidence of ‘concrete measures’ being taken to ensure quality; on the contrary, the move is away from seeking qualifications in translation and interpreting. The Courts Service was invited to send a representative to the TRAFUT (Training for the Future) meeting in Antwerp in October 2012 but did not take up this opportunity. Representatives from the Department of Justice, ITIA and King’s Inns did attend.

    An online petition organised by practising interpreters to protest against’s reduction in rates is available on

    Mary Phelan
    Honorary Secretary/PRO ITIA

    A translator’s life: chasing black cats in a black room in pursuit of the art of losses

    Translators are the unsung heroes of literature and poetry – so what are the secrets of the trade? Without translation, we would never have been gripped by the story of Anna Karenina, been influenced by Greek myths, read Anne Frank’s diary, or brought a trio of thrillers about a female Swedish computer genius with us on holidays.

    Last week, Trinity officially marked the launch of its new Centre for Literary Translation, with a public reading by poet Seamus Heaney and some of his translators. At the end of last year, Ireland Literature Exchange (ILE) – the national agency for the promotion of Irish literature abroad – moved to new offices in Trinity. The Centre for Literary Translation is a three-way partnership between the university, the ILE and Dalkey Archive Press.

    Among the translators in Dublin last week for the launch of the centre were Hungarian Andras Imreh, Russian Grigory Kruzhkov, and Italians Anna Ravano and Francesca Romana Paci. They all translate from English into their own language. So what language do they think in?

    “I would not dare to think in any other language than Hungarian,” Imreh says. “I think in other languages for a time. But I suddenly get to a point where things are complicated enough to get back to my own language.”

    “When I’m in an English-speaking environment, I think in English, rather than Italian,” Ravano says, while Romana Paci says she dreams in English.

    “I definitely think in Russian,” says Kruzhkov.

    They are all agreed that, as translators, they are the closest readers of a poet’s work. “We read more closely than critics. We have to take into account every word, every comma, every colon,” Romana Paci says. “Critics can skip lines.”

    All four have worked on Heaney’s poems. “I almost envy future translators of Heaney, because they will now have Dennis O’Driscoll’s wonderful source book about him, Stepping Stones,” Kruzhkov says. They talk about understanding the cultural context of where the original work has come from. “I had never been to any bog, because there are none in Hungary,” Imreh says.

    “I was taken to one here. I don’t remember any concrete words or individual metaphors that were solved as a result of the visit, but seeing the bog gave me a wall to put my back to.” “It was most helpful for me to see Northern Ireland,” Romana Paci says.

    While it’s possible to put a query to a living author via phone or email, those puzzles can’t be solved when the author is dead. Kruzhkov alone has translated poetry by Donne, Keats, Tennyson, Yeats and Frost.

    “You can still have a relationship with the poet,” he insists. “It’s like having a conversation with someone who is very alive to you, and continues to live on.”

    They talk about the process. “I maybe start with a line,” Romana Paci explains. “It can be anywhere in the book. It will haunt me for a couple of days. That goes on, poem by poem. It’s like creating a leopard skin: the spots here and there are images.”

    “I start with a poem I like,” Imreh says. “I like to see something solid; that I am making at least half a house, if you like, in what I am building. Your mind can grab it too hard and you have to leave it then, and come back to it later.”

    Ravano does a rough translation first, focusing on meaning. “I go through the book poem by poem, with the intention of going back to the beginning again. Later poems cast light on earlier ones.” Kruzhkov describes starting a translation as “trying to catch the black cat in the black room.”

    Got to pick a poet or two

    Kruzhkov, Imreh and Romana Paci are all poets themselves. Does it help with translating poetry when you are a poet?

    “By translating, you are always loitering around the workshop of another poet and by this it is easier to steal,” Imreh says. “The temptation is there to steal but you also have the anxiety of influence,” says Kruzhkov.

    What makes a good translation? “It allows you to look at the work through another window,” suggests Romana Paci. “It’s both familiar and new. There is an old saying that says it is all about ‘the inter-traffic of the minds’.”

    “It’s a piece that originated from the original, but stands out on its own merits,” says Imreh. They all mention the importance of capturing the voice of the original writer.

    “You have to get the register; the voice,” Romana Paci stresses. “That’s what makes us know it’s Seamus Heaney in any language.”

    Like writers, translators can feel they are never fully done with the work. “You are almost never finished with a translation,” Ravano says. “Every now and then you’d like to go back and change things,” agrees Romana Paci.

    “With a good translation, you are not only following the ideas of a genius, but you follow the thoughts of a second person, by looking at the decisions he has made,” suggests Kruzhkov. “Translation is the art of losses, you always have to lose something.”

    There is little consensus on how often classic texts need to be updated. “Languages move and change,” Romana Paci points out. “You update, but it can’t be too modern,” says Ravano. “Jane Austen can’t sound like Sophie Kinsella.”

    “I beg to argue with all of you,” says Kruzhkov. “They say every two generations, texts should be translated. But with poetry, I don’t agree. If they are little jewels, they are little jewels. They stand over time.”

    Towards the end of the conversation, Kruzhkov recalls something he bought the first time he visited Ireland. It was a print in a market, with these well-known lines on it:

    “God grant me the serenity To accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; And wisdom to know the difference.”

    It’s now on his wall at home. “That’s the wisdom that a translator must have,” he declares, and the others laugh in recognition.

    Rosita Boland
    Original source:

    Interpreters’ Accomplishments Fail to Translate Into Visas

    On the battlefield, individuals with language skills are rare and highly prized. “Your interpreter is way more important than your weapon,” explained Cory Schulz, an Army major embedded with Afghan troops. Indeed, an adept interpreter can help a soldier avoid the need to use a weapon in the first place. An interpreter in the field not only translates sentences from one language into another, but can help identify a local accent or tell soldiers what the graffiti on a wall means while peering out of a moving vehicle. Small actions like these, while not technically even part of the interpreter’s job description, often protect troops by keeping them out of harm’s way.

    However, interpreters do not always receive a similar level of protection from the militaries they serve. They soon become prime targets for death threats and assassination attempts. Interpreters in Iraq were 10 times more likely to be killed than the American troops they supported. Accurate numbers of interpreters killed in battle in both wars are difficult to obtain, but most sources agreed that at least 300 were killed in Iraq, and at least 80 in Afghanistan. When the soldiers go home, interpreters and their families often have no choice but to flee, becoming refugees or asylum seekers. A visa can make the difference between life and death.

    Visa policies vary significantly from one country to the next. New Zealand, which deployed only 145 troops to Afghanistan, resettled 23 interpreters and 50 dependents. Denmark sent just 545 troops to Iraq, but the country gave asylum to 120 military interpreters plus family members. Canada, which sent 3,000 troops to Afghanistan, granted 550 visas to interpreters.

    By comparison, the United States sent more than two million troops to Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2007 and 2008, a special immigrant visa program was created to allow Iraqi and Afghan interpreters to receive visas. The number of visas was limited to 500 per year, but was reduced to just 50 per year starting in 2009. So, a total of 1,200 visas were authorized under this program from 2007 through 2012. Visas can be obtained under other programs, but an enormous backlog of interpreters still waits to receive an answer.

    Meanwhile, language-skilled individuals are in high demand and low supply in the United States. Many government agencies face a severe shortage of skilled linguists for “critical languages,” those deemed important for defence and intelligence activities. These languages include Arabic, a dialect of which is spoken in Iraq, and Pashto and Dari, which are spoken in Afghanistan.

    …an adept interpreter can help a soldier avoid the need to use a weapon in the first place.

    The government’s lack of translators is longstanding. On September 10, 2001, Al Qaeda operatives warned, “Tomorrow is zero hour,” and “The match is about to begin.” It is not clear whether these intercepted messages, which were spoken in Arabic, were a reference to the impending attacks. But regardless, they were not translated until September 12. Similarly, the F.B.I. failed to review 7.2 million files collected by counterterrorism investigators from 2006 to 2008, due in great part to a lack of translation resources.

    Government agencies continue to struggle to find enough people who can teach critical languages to diplomats, translate documents, and even do monolingual work like scanning news media or listening to recordings in another language for intelligence purposes.

    The agencies face several barriers. The number of candidates who speak these languages and live in the United States is limited. Military contractors can offer higher salaries to language-skilled workers, leaving the government with even fewer potential recruits. Many people cannot obtain the required security clearances, and not everyone wants to relocate or work for the Defense Department.

    In short, the government has reduced the number of visas for interpreters who are skilled in some of the very languages it requires for national security but cannot successfully recruit from its existing population. President Obama plans to overhaul the immigration system in the coming months. The new legislation reportedly will enable “highly skilled foreigners” to remain in the country.

    But will the list of desired skills include language skills? The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics has data showing that translation and interpreting are among the fastest-growing professions in the country. The language services market supports not only government agencies, but the manufacturing and automotive sectors, the health care industry and many other important areas of the economy.

    Many military interpreters have language skills that could instantly be put to use here at home in the public and private sectors. Granted, not every interpreter in Iraq or Afghanistan is perfectly bilingual.

    Most never had the opportunity to perfect their skills in an English-speaking country. However, even in the cases of interpreters with relatively limited English, it would likely be faster to help them improve their basic English than to teach an Anglophone to speak Arabic or Dari from scratch.

    Not all interpreters deserve visas. There have been several cases of interpreters who misrepresented their abilities or even lied about the languages they spoke, putting troops’ lives at risk. Others have been guilty of abandoning troops, stealing and other charges.

    Government agencies continue to struggle to find enough people who can teach critical languages…

    However, there are thousands of interpreters out there who served bravely alongside American troops and who do deserve visas. Their lives were at risk when they served, and they remain at risk today.

    Helping those interpreters is simply the right thing to do, but adding more language-skilled individuals to the American workforce would also benefit our government and economy. The wars in which we are engaged today and the battlefields on which we carry them out are changing. If anything, the need for linguistic preparedness is only intensifying.

    For that very reason, perhaps if we pay closer attention to our country’s language strategy and create immigration policies that support it, those interpreters and translators can prevent us from getting into situations where we need to use weapons in the first place – just as they do on the battlefield.

    Nataly Kelly is the chief research officer at Common Sense Advisory, a market research firm in Boston. She is a co-author of Found in Translation: How Language Shapes Our Lives and Transforms the World (Perigee/Penguin USA).

    Nataly Kelly
    Original source:

    Conference Report: First APCI International Conference

    The first International Conference of the Association of Police and Court Interpreters took place in London in April and brought together interpreters, researchers and policy makers as well as representatives from various civil society organizations and magistrates.

    The conference was entitled: ‘The Challenges to Professional Translation and Interpreting in the Justice Sector’. Among the topics covered were the Implementation of Directive 2010/64/EU on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings.

    The presentation by keynote speaker, Andy Slaughter MP, Shadow Minister for Justice was very interesting and particularly relevant as he referred to criminal law, youth justice and the Freedom of Information Act and Legal Aid.

    Dr Harald Lacom of the Austrian Association of Court Interpreters (OVGD) explored the field of Community Interpreting in Austria and discussed how to achieve professional status in the Community Interpreting/Public Interpreting field. Zuzana Hanelova and Dominika Winterova from Palacky University referred to the legal regulation of court interpreters in the Czech Republic.

    PhD student Katia Peruzzo, from the University of Trieste (Italy) in her presentation entitled “Term variation in EU legal texts: A change in terms, a shift in concepts” analysed the terminology variation in European documents.

    Maribel Del Pozo Trivino, from the University of Vigo, gave a paper entitled “Speak Out for Support ‘SOS-VICS’ Project, on gender violence interpreter training in Spain. As this project is being co-financed by the EU’s Directorate General Justice and partner universities the purpose of SOS-VICS is to facilitate assistance to gender violence victims and at the same time contribute to raising awareness on the need for professional interpreters in such cases. Maribel del Pozo Trivino also presented a second Project called JUD GENTT Project, which is a tool for electronic management of legal translation.

    Kate Higham, a caseworker with Death Penalty Team, spoke about “Delivering justice and saving lives: the work of Reprieve”. Her presentation looked into the nature of interpreting in death penalty cases and she referred to the disadvantages faced by to foreign nationals and explained how in 2009 the European Commission granted funding to identify and assist European nationals facing the death penalty in various regions around the world. Reprieve is a legal action charity founded in 1999.

    On a related topic, Emily Smith, Policy Officer, Fair Trials International presented “Why effective interpreting is essential to a fair trial”. She referred to the legal translator and interpreter as a faithful channel through which human dignity can express itself – and justice has a chance.

    Despite internationally recognized fair trial standards guaranteeing access to effective interpretation for those who need it, in 2010, 33% of the people that contacted Fair Trial International from EU countries reported that they had not been given access to an interpreter or gave shocking evidence about the challenges obtaining effective translation and interpretation.

    Latha Sukumar from the MCIS Language Services in Ontario spoke about language testing and training for bilingual individuals of various professional or academic backgrounds seeking to become accredited interpreters. Training includes court interpretation, healthcare interpretation, translation skills, and the use of technology for language services.

    As explained by APCI’s chairman, Geoffrey Buckingham the threat of “outsourcing public services” has brought all together to stand consistently for quality and increasing professional standards in Public Service Interpreting in the United Kingdom. Buckingham explained that the service of Justice is now being challenged in many countries, to the point where liberty of the citizen with imperfect knowledge of the native tongue is now in danger. The European Convention on Human Rights and the European Directive have something to say on all of this. The challenge now is to ensure that EU wide law has a real impact on the availability of high quality translation and interpretation measures for suspects who need them. The Directive raises many practical challenges. It’s important to continue to push the National governments on the implementation of the Directive in order that both good working conditions for interpreters and translators and fair trials can be assured.

    For more info see

    Miren Maialen Samper

    5 Red Flags the Freelance Translator Cannot Ignore!

    The life of a freelance translator can be dreamy. We can work from home, design our schedule, and set our own pay rates. Peachy, right? Most of the time, sure. But as many of you know, certain types of clients can quickly turn your dream life into a nightmare.

    Although seasoned freelance translators may already be hip to the proverbial red flags indicating a nightmare client is headed your way, we thought we’d offer those new to the profession five signs to watch out for.

    1. Auditions.In the old days, especially when working for a firm, clients might request spec work before committing, and that was fine. These days, freelance translators are better off sending them to get someone else’s specs. With today’s technology, clients can easily communicate with your references, read your blog/website, have instant access to samples of your work, etc. That should be enough for them to make a commitment or go elsewhere.
    2. Drip-Drops Now, Waterfall Later.Clients will often request that you lower your rates because they will have X amount of projects per month, every month. The sheer work volume, and your need for steady business make this proposal more tempting. “This is what it means to be a freelance translator. I have to build my business,” you said to yourself. Unfortunately, the promised future work rarely materializes. Provide high quality work, remain pleasant/professional in client communications, and you will build a business making your desired rates.
    3. Adjusted Pay Schedule.Don’t let a client bully you into adjusted pay schedules. Stick to your payment policies. Your fear of losing a client might mean doing all the work for a client that doesn’t pay you. You may make one graduated payment plan concession, such as a 50/50 split (client pays 50% up front the remaining 50% after), but firmly stand by your one option. When you don’t get paid up front, there’s no guarantee you’ll ever see the remainder.
    4. High-maintenance Clients.The first time the client says, “This is a rush project! We need it ASAP!” it’s one thing. The second and third time, you realize it’s the client who has the panic issues—not the project. Stay out of the “Urgent-Project-Flow” or you may never get out of it unfrazzled. Clearly explain your timing, work process and client feedback needs and only take jobs if the client is agreeable.
    5. Multi-tiered Approval.When an army of people is involved in approving your work, you should hear Warning Bells in your head. Working with one or two people throughout the project is much more likely to yield quick and consistent approvals. In addition to knowing what kinds of clients to avoid, we suggest that you also have a few networking strategies on hand to help you find the ones you do want. We cover this topic in one of our recent blogs, “10 Networking Tips for the Freelance Translator.”

    Reproduced with permission from Marygrove College
    Original source:

    Book Review

    Scientific and Technical Translation Explained: A Nuts and Bolts Guide for Beginners

    by Jody Byrne. Translation Practices Explained Series Vol. 15. (2012). 230 pp. Manchester: St. Jerome. ISBN 978-1-905763­36-8 (pbk) £20.

    Technical Translation Explained: A Nuts and Bolts Guide for Beginners was created as a tool to help bridge the gulf between classroom-based translation and realistic professional practice within the domain of scientific and technical translation. Byrne attempts to accomplish this feat by drawing on a combination of research theories, real-world scenarios and proposed strategies in order to equip students with the appropriate skills and knowledge required for dealing effectively with texts in this often vast and complex field of translation.

    The first part concentrates on defining and identifying the professional and theoretical background of scientific and technical translation. The emphasis here is on the evolving view of translation for communicative purposes while briefly touching on the theory models relevant to this type of translation. Byrne tends to favour Vermeer’s Skopos theory in thinking about technical translation due to its focus on the source text function and the importance it places on identifying the needs of the target language audience. He also notes how obtaining the Skopos or translation brief is quite difficult within a real-world interaction with a client (13).

    Byrne continues in this pragmatic vein with an overview of the current components that constitute a professional translator’s daily working life, such as text types and tools of the trade. What is most beneficial is a description of the array of document formats that many technical and scientific translators are expected to work into, as most translation students still primarily work into and out of Microsoft Office documents. It may have also been useful to mention tailor-made project management platforms that some translators and clients use for collaboration. An example that comes to mind is the growing popularity of Globalsight.

    Byrne also highlights certain negative aspects of working as a professional translator that are rarely mentioned in an academic context and that can often deter uninformed students that embark on a career in professional translation on completion of their studies (22). Indeed the guide includes information that is implied yet not always obvious to novice translators.

    One such example is that translators tend to acquire specialisation in a particular discourse area over time and do not immediately choose what genre to specialise in. There are also helpful tips on research techniques that can sometimes be a little too specific. One suggestion in particular involves befriending local engineers in their free time (45). Byrne proceeds to define the key features of technical and scientific texts and later to categorise these texts into groups such as “Juridical-Normative” and “Didactic-Instructive” (72). However, this categorisation may be too general as the genres within this vast field tend to become blurred. It does prove helpful when considered as a starting point.

    The next section sets out a more practice-oriented approach. In the fourth chapter Byrne presents a selection of scientific and technical texts to exemplify potential translation challenges within different genres and suggests several methodologies for analysing these text types. The author provides two sample case study profiles where the subject, audience, text function, key features and possible translation issues are identified.

    The reader is then encouraged to complete the blank profiles for the six remaining texts. Byrne has selected realistic examples that illustrate the types of specialised content translated today while also highlighting the complexity and sheer scope of scientific and technical translation. However, this reviewer would have preferred to see a broader range of examples that reflect the variety of this field such as additional pharmaceutical and life science-oriented material. Interestingly, Byrne also touches on common typographical issues experienced by translators such as the lack of source texts available in 0electronic format. Many source texts in this field come in non-editable format which often need to be re-created entirely from scratch in the target language.

    In the next chapter Byrne continues by discussing theories such as recategorization, modulation and adaptation in an effort to overcome the translation issues previously identified. Building on the Skopos theory outlined in Chapter 2, there is an emphasis on formulating translation briefs in deciding which strategies to implement for certain documents. Byrne does not deny that direct or literal translation is common in the industry, but maintains that the most fundamentally basic and important factor in producing a translation is determining the type of translation required by the client (132).

    There is further discussion on standard industry practices. Among these are the ethical implications implied when using CAT tools without the client’s knowledge and the financial implications of working as a freelance translator to brace students for the reality of the profession. For example, Byrne suggests that translators keep a pricelist of their translation and editing fees in order not to underestimate their market value (135). This is indispensable advice for those new to the profession as cost evaluation is considered a thorny subject and often avoided in academic discourse.

    There is also a useful section on quality control measures, including back translation and peer review, where Byrne gives practical instructions on objectively reviewing and editing the work of other translators. The final chapter covers a range of features, challenges and issues when translating technical documentation including the translation of graphics, brand names, units of measurement and even contact details. A series of pragmatic strategies are proposed in order to overcome these challenges.

    Overall the present volume is highly recommended and essential reading for any translation novice who wishes to work as a professional translator. Given that technical and scientific translation account for such a large portion of the industry and are the ‘bread and butter’ for many professional translators, the lack of resources and training material in the field is rather frustrating. Thankfully, this guide is a positive step forward and one hopes that it will be followed by future volumes in the same vein.

    What’s Hot, What’s Not

    What’s Hot

    Sue-Ann Harding received her PhD from the Centre for Translation & Intercultural Studies in 2009. Selected as one of 10 winners of BBC 3’s New Generation Thinkers in 2012 (see, she has recently recorded a very powerful short film entitled ‘Monuments to History’ which you might like to watch.

    Go to and scroll to the end of the page.

    What’s Not

    Expecting community interpreters to pay for their own travel time and transport costs on top of sub-standard payment for a professional service. Unacceptable!

    Upcoming Events

    Edith Grossman in Conversation

    Irish Writers’ Centre, 19 Parnell Square

    Tuesday May 28th 2013, 7.30 pm

    Translator of Miguel de Cervantes, Mario Vargas Llosa, Gabriel Garda Marquez, Carlos Fuentes, Ariel Dorfman and many other Spanish-language writers, and author of Why Translation Matters, Edith Grossman will be making a rare visit to Ireland in May 2013 for a public interview with Translation Ireland editor John Kearns. The event will take the same format as our very successful interview with Frank Wynne last September.

    Admission is free and all are welcome!

    Go to to sign up to the event’s Facebook listing.

    Audio-Description in Close-Up: A Workshop with Agnieszka Szarkowska

    Irish Writers’ Centre, 19 Parnell Square

    Thursday June 20th 2013, 6.30-9.30 pm.
    Recent years have witnessed a growth in interest in audiovisual translation and media accessibility.

    Following EU Directive 2007/65/EC, European broadcasters are obliged to provide their programmes with subtitling, sign language interpreting and audio description (AD).

    This 3-hour workshop will begin with an overview of audio description – the technique used to make audiovisual content accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired. AD is an audio account of the visual and aural content which is important for understanding audiovisual material. AD can include information in relation to actions, scene changes, on-screen text, descriptions of characters, their movements and body language, explanation of sound effects, etc.

    In the workshop we will discuss the fundamentals of AD, its target groups, AD standards in various countries, and objectivity vs. subjectivity in description. The workshop will use film clips to show the challenges faced by audio describers and the choices they have to make when working in this constrained medium. Among such challenges are content selection, film language, description of characters, emotions, settings, and actions. Participants will get hands-on experience in drafting an AD script using clips from feature films. The workshop is targeted at translators, academics, students and all who are interested in media accessibility. Participants will be provided with extra reading materials but are requested to bring their own laptops and earphones/headphones.

    Booking fee: ITIA members: €25 / Student members: €15 / Non-members: €35. To book, please contact the ITIA at (+ 353) (087) 6738386 / [email protected]

    NB As places are limited, all bookings must be made and paid for in advance!

    Go to to sign up to the event’s Facebook listing.

    Dr. Agnieszka Szarkowska, is assistant professor at the Institute of Applied Linguistics, University of Warsaw, and founder and head of the Audiovisual Translation Lab. Her research interests include audiovisual translation, especially subtitling for the deaf and hard of hearing and audio description. Her book Forms of Address in Polish-English Subtitling was published by Peter Lang earlier this year. She also works as a freelance subtitler and certified translator.

    Ewa Stanczyk’s Book Launch

    Irish Polish Society, Dom Polski, 20 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2.

    Thursday May 9th 2013, 7 pm.

    The Irish-Polish Society in conjunction with the Irish Translators’ and Interpreters’ Association invite you to the launch of Contact Zone Identities in the Poetry of Jerzy Harasymowicz: A Post-Colonial Analysis by Ewa Stanczyk, with translations of Harasynmowicz’s poetry by John Kearns. Ewa Stanczyk will present her new study of the life and work of the 20th century Polish poet Jerzy Harasymowicz, with translations of the poet’s works by John Kearns.

    Go to to sign up to the event’s Facebook listing. Admission free, wine reception, all welcome!

    Joining the ITIA

    The Irish Translators’ & Interpreters’ Association is pleased to welcome new members to the association. We currently have the following categories of membership:

    • Professional
    • Associate
    • Corporate
    • Institutional
    • Student
    • Honorary

    Professional Membership is awarded to translators or interpreters who meet the strict criteria of the ITIA based on qualification and level of experience.

    Applicants must also achieve a PASS in the annual Professional Membership Examination (translator or interpreter) set by the ITIA.

    Associate Membership is available to translators and interpreters who are starting out on their careers and to those who do not work full-time as a translator or interpreter. Many members avail of Associate Membership until such time as they have acquired the requisite experience and/or qualifications to apply for Professional Membership. Associate Membership is also availed of by people with a professional interest in the professions of translation and interpreting (e.g. terminologists, translation/interpreting tutors etc.) and by those who have a general interest in these professions.

    Corporate Membership is available to translation companies. As this category is currently under review, we are not accepting applications at the moment.

    Institutional Membership is available to bodies that do not function as commercial agencies, for example university centres for translation and interpreting studies or cultural institutes. Application documents for Institutional membership are currently being prepared.

    Student Membership is available to persons undertaking undergraduate studies in any discipline or those undertaking postgraduate studies in translation or interpreting.

    Honorary Membership is awarded by the ITIA AGM to persons in Ireland or abroad who have distinguished themselves in the field of translation or interpreting.

    For further details and application forms, please see our website at

    New Associate Members of the ITIA – Feb/March 2013

    Marta Dzikowska

    English to and from Polish – medical, legal, cookery, foods

    Andrea Jankovics

    English to and from Hungarian – business

    Grainne Maguire

    English from French, Italian – financial, economic

    Lucia Motta Woods

    English to and from Portuguese (Brazilian) – literature, general

    Liam Michael Quinn

    English from Italian, Spanish – social sciences, religion and spirituality, social work and social justice

    Nina Rewizorska

    English from Polish – history, linguistics, EU, education, HR

    Anna Wrobel

    English to and from Polish – medical, technical, general. Interpreting

    Tarig Misbah Yousif

    English to and from Arabic – interpreting

    New ITIA Certified Translators

    Adam Brozynski

    Polish to English

    Irina Dundon

    English to Russian

    Penelope Eades Alvarez

    Spanish to English

    Mehmet Hascan

    English to Turkish

    Marta Wilczynska

    Polish to English and English to Polish

    For more information, visit official Irish Translators and Interpreters Association website.

    You can subscribe for free to ITIA Bulletin and receive a monthly pdf copy: simply send a blank email to [email protected]

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