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My old German classroom, a.k.a. my favourite place at school…

I have a confession. I was one of those kids in my school days; I got bored of the summer holidays by mid-August and starting longing to be back, stockpiling notepads, sharpening pencils and excitedly looking over reading lists. Even now, once the nights start to draw in, I still get that newly-focused and inspired ‘Back to School’ feeling. In my mind, a new year starts in September, not January. So now that time of year is with us once again, I’m currently stacking up a big pile of autumnal reading, and, in the absence of a new ‘timetable’, have been scheduling in events for the coming months.

International Translation Day is approaching and there are a number of events taking place around London (as well as other in other cities around the world). First up, the prolific translator Anthea Bell will be in conversation with Daniel Hahn about her fascinating career at the London Review Bookshop on Friday 28th September. And if you feel like dedicating your whole weekend to translation, the LRB will also be hosting a ‘programme of masterclasses led by a team of Britain’s most distinguished literary translators’ the very next day. Workshops are on offer in German, Spanish, French and Italian, led by Anthea Bell, Margaret Jull Costa, Ros Schwartz and Howard Curtis, all experienced and respected literary translators.

The following Friday, International Translation Day 2012 will be held at Kings Place. Launched just two years ago, this day-long event brings together industry professionals to explore issues and challenges within the field of translation. Having been to last year’s ITD, I can’t recommend this highly enough – it’s a wonderful opportunity to meet up with people who are equally passionate about translation and literature, and the day strikes a perfect balance between celebrating the success already achieved and exploring ideas for the future. In fact, both the Free Word translator-in-residence scheme and the BCLT/TA mentorship scheme which I took part in last year emerged partly from discussions at ITD. Book a ticket now before they run out – last year was over-subscribed! That same evening, the winner of the 2012 Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize will also be announced at Kings Place as part of a round-table discussion.

On Sunday 7th October, and as part of its Notes & Letters Festival 2012, Kings Place will also host a day of Poetry Translation Workshops introduced by poet and translator David Constantine. Workshops will be held in German, French, Russian and Italian, and according to their website, expert knowledge of the foreign language is not a pre-requisite: ‘the one requirement is enthusiasm.’

If you’re keen to explore and develop your audiovisual translation skills, there will be a full-day subtitling seminar at Europe House on the 26th of October aimed at students of modern languages and translation. It looks very interesting indeed, and is also free of charge, although registration is required.

Phew! It looks set to be an inspiring, event-packed, translating-frenzy of an autumn. In the meantime, I’ll either be immersed in that pile of reading or checking this out – an exhibition of Argentine urban graffiti art –  in London for one week early. See you back at school…

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