Translators at work

Ambika Shaligram
Friday, 14 July 2017

Vidula Tokekar, director, TranslationPanacea, talks about the translation workshop that will be held over two weekends, starting today

Does one translate the words or their implied meaning? How colloquial can one be when writing subtitles for web content/ cinema? How do you ‘break down’ complicated sentences? All these and similar questions that you might have about a translation assignment, will be addressed at the Weekend Workshop on Translation conducted jointly by TranslationPanacea and ELTIS. The workshop will be spread over two weekends — July 15 and 16 and July 22 and 23. 

Explaining the concept, Vidula Tokekar, director, TranslationPanacea, says, “This is a 16-hour course and focuses entirely on skills required for translation. We are not going to hold modules on language/s. When it comes to translation, you don’t just have to be fluent in two languages, but you also need to be equipped with translation skills, which can be learnt and practised. So what are these skills? What are the tools required for translation? How to use them?” 

As of now, the domain of translation covers these areas: a) professional translation, which include academics and commercial documents, b) Screen reading — subtitles of films and web content. Talking about the specifics of the workshop, Tokekar says, “We teach participants, not more than 15 in a batch, the theory of translation. Once you know the theory, and undergo formal training in a subject, then you can do well in your chosen work. Besides theory, plenty of home assignments are given to the participants. And, in the workshop, their assignments are analysed. Importantly, the workshops are gender neutral. We will equip you with skills to translate from French to English and vice versa or from Punjabi to Urdu. While we don’t screen our participants, we expect them to be fluent in at least two languages, well-read and seriously inclined towards this work.”

“The general impression,” adds Tokekar, “is that translation can be done by anyone. It’s quite easy. But, it’s quite strenuous. You do get joy out of this work and earn good money too.” 

The workshops will also include a chat with the end users including publishers, media company and agencies. The end users will outline their expectations from translations, so that the translators can align their work accordingly. The participants will also be taught unicode language, which will help them adhere to Indian standards when it comes to translating Devnagari scripts. 

“At the end of the workshop,” says Tokekar, who will be conducting the workshop, along with Anagha Bhat, “the participants will get a participation certificate and if they are really good, they will be absorbed in TranslationPanacea.”

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