Translators in the spotlight

Volha Kalackaja (from the Belarusian PEN Centre,

The invisibility of the translator is a commonplace. The profession is notoriously lacking in glamour and recognition. But on occasion translators are put in the spotlight and theirs can become a dangerous profession: not because of excellent work or tireless devotion to tolerance and understanding between all people but because they are seen as purveyors of foreign wickedness.

The past few weeks have seen a growing international outcry over the detention of Volha Kalackaja, a translator of Margaret Atwood, Virginia Woolf, and Tennessee Williams, who was arrested by the Belarus authorities on 15 January 2021, allegedly having participated in organising actions against public order. Belarus is currently in the grip of a political, economic and cultural crisis, further to the Covid-19 pandemic. Continue reading

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Open webinar translation season

Cápsulas de traducción is a series of online conversations between prestigious specialists in various fields of translation and teaching staff of the UVic-UCC Department of Translation, Interpreting and Applied Languages. #conversatrad2021

The season opens on 23 February at 17:00 with “Audiovisual translation in the 21st century: a conversation between Frederic Chaume and Eva Espasa”. The following sessions cover feminist translation (Olga Castro and Caterina Riba), machine translation (Carla Parra and Marcos Cánovas) and conference interpreting (Josh Goldsmith and Maria Perramon).

Access is free. Just sign up to follow the conversations live or later on YouTube.

See the events calendar on the right. Further details and sign up in Spanish or Catalan.

Coordinators: Eva Espasa and Caterina Riba

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Open journals and events

Open Access logo PLoS transparentJanuary is a good month to take stock of supplementary reading and activities of possible interest over the coming months. At Tradiling we have occasionally published book reviews of interest to language, translation and culture specialists, and we are plan to continue with this over the coming months. Here, however, we are revisiting the topic of open translation journals, which we last covered in November 2019.  Open access academic materials are on the increase in every field, challenging traditional models of quality, pricing and restricted circulation.

For exhaustive up-to-date information on open-access translation journals, the best resource is the RETI online index, a project set up by the Department of Translation and Interpreting and East Asian Studies and the Humanities Library of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, which gives direct access to almost 150 journals worldwide. This is well worth a visit!

The Covid-19 pandemic has stimulated interest in open acess educational materials. Many commercial publishers have opened up their catalogues in social outreach schemes that aim to support the educational community at all levels during this time of limited mobility. The UVic Library has published a page, Recursos de acceso abierto temporalmente, with details of online study resources made freely available during the pandemic.

The Covid-19 crisis has also created a demand for open online events of specialist interest. In the translation and language field one publication is leading the way in this regard. In their own words,

MultiLingual magazine is published in print and digital form every two months. Since 1987 this has been the primary source of information for the language industry, covering news, events and in-depth articles on localization, MT development, international business and more. You may sign up for as little as $28 per year at Check out for daily articles and other free resources.

Over the past few months Multilingual have organised a series of open panel discussions with international specialists on a range of hot topics. The next talk, on Globalization, is scheduled for 4 February. Sign up for free on the Season Series page, where you can also access recordings of all the previous sessions.

Congratulations to Multilingual for this great initiative, which we are happy to support with this call out to Tradiling readers.

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¿Está el acuerdo comercial de Brexit plagiado?

Foto adaptada de original de Dave Kellam, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

El acuerdo se firmó entre las dos partes el 24 de diciembre y se aprobó en la Cámara Baja del Parlamento de Westminster el dia 30, un día después de su aprobación provisional por los 27 paises miembros de la Unión Europea. Los demás parlamentos y el mismísimo Parlamento Europeo tendrán que escrutinar el acuerdo a pelota pasada, ya iniciada su aplicación el 1 de enero 2021.

Si esperamos que todo esto va a marcar algún tipo de punto final, me temo que vamos a sufrir una  decepción, ya que el acuerdo prevé la puesta en marcha de diversas comisiones permanentes entre Bruselas y Londres, con lo cual las negociaciones sobre la interpretación y la aplicación de lo acordado van a alegrar nuestros días a lo largo de los próximos años. Continue reading

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What do a bear, a wagon and a pan have in common?

Ursa Major, based on an original Creative Commons image by Libby White ( Here the seven stars of the Big Dipper are highlighted.

They are popular names for the seven most well-known stars in the Ursa Major constellation, which becomes very prominent in the night sky at this time of year.

This group of stars, a so-called asterism, has been known since ancient times, receiving many different names around the world, particularly in the northern hemisphere, where it is most visible.

In the USA it is known as the Big Dipper, referring to a ladle or pan for dipping into liquid. In the British Isles, it is usually known as the Plough. In Catalan it is known as “el Carro Gran” (among many alternative names1), and the wagon name is most popular in other European languages too.2 Continue reading

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