Today’s the day to show your love for translators — whether it be to the one who translated the last foreign title you read, a friend, a colleague, or even yourself. If you’re reading this I’m pretty sure you’re already familiar with the concept of ITD, but if even a few more people stumble across the tag on social media and pause to think about how translators have enabled them to read some of their favourite books, then all the better.
This year, I’d like to give a big shout-out to all the wonderful, tireless, inspiring translators who I consider myself very lucky to know. Over the last seven years since I ventured out of the world of financial translation and found my home in the world of literature, so many of you have become valued colleagues and friends. As Rosalind Harvey commented in her recent top ten tips for emerging translators: ‘‘If you see it [networking] as a chance to talk about the books you love with other people who also love them and can make things happen with them, rather than that horrible word networking (or schmoozing), it becomes less scary. And the more you network, the more emergers you’ll meet, so each subsequent event becomes more like just hanging out with your mates.” I couldn’t agree more. This was the first year in many that I haven’t been to the ITD event in London due to my relocation across the ocean, but I’m so thankful to social media for enabling me to remain part of the greater translation community, and I already know that Europe trips will be scheduled around translation events as much as possible.
Perfectly timed, copies of my latest collaboration with Shaun Whiteside arrived yesterday: Post-War Lies, by Malte Herwig, and published in English by Scribe Publications in Australia. As I always mention when speaking at events about getting into literary translation, collaborating with another translator is an excellent way to get started and learn more about the trade. I jumped at the chance to do this back in 2010, with Limit, and since then Shaun and I have worked on two more together, 1913 by Florian Illies, and now Post-War Lies. It’s great to see another product of our teamwork realised.
Translators — when you look at the considerable progress of recent years in highlighting and expanding the work of literary translators, I have no doubt that we’re ‘Better Together’!