CULTURE

A translation symposium in Thessaloniki to ‘bridge the gap’

«Translation in the University and the Workplace,» a symposium at the Teloglion Foundation of Art in Thessaloniki next week (November 3-4), will give a welcome boost to practitioners and scholars of the craft. Kathimerini English Edition asked David Connolly, associate professor of translation studies at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AU) and chairman of the organizing committee, about the symposium. «We have invited distinguished translation scholars from universities throughout Europe, as well as experienced freelance translators and professional translators from European institutions to share experiences and to bridge what has always been a traditional gap between theory and practice of translation with the purpose of starting fruitful dialogue so we can help each other,» Connolly explained. «Courses in Greece could be better designed to meet the needs of the workplace, and perhaps professional translators in the workplace could be convinced that translation studies can indeed help. There’s a traditional distrust on the part of professional translators toward theory and the theoretical approach. «The main emphasis is on what we can do in Greece, because those problems have already been tackled to a large extent in other countries.» Proceedings begin at 7 p.m. on Friday with an opening address by Connolly and a keynote presentation by Professor Jeremy Munday from the Center for Translation Studies at the University of Leeds, and continue on Saturday with sessions on translation and interpretation in the university and in the workplace, as well as a panel discussion. Jointly organized by AU’s Department of Translation and Intercultural Studies and the School of English, the symposium is free and open to the public. Invitations have gone out to universities, freelance translators and translation agencies and, of course, students are expected to make up a large part of the attendance. The symposium is sponsored by the AU Research Committee, the Education Ministry, the British Council, the Goethe Institute, the Austrian Embassy and the Panhellenic Association of Translators. For the full program, log on to http://www.enl.auth.gr/events/conf-trans-2006.htm. In fact, next week offers a feast for translation specialists who can spend a few days in Thessaloniki. Another event for students of translation has been organized to dovetail with the symposium (starting November 1 and finishing early November 3). Run jointly by the Translation School and French Department at AU, it is an attempt, said Connolly, «to get all the young translation scholars in Greece to meet and talk about what research they’re doing.»