Training New Literary Translators: Teaching Through Practice

One important component of “Forging the future of the profession” (the conference theme) is the developing of a new generation of translators. But what exactly does this entail? Daniel Hahn has been involved in a number of schemes that seek to encourage new translators into the profession, and to help them as they begin, and to make them better at what they do, so his talk will consider a number of practical ways in which translation – and in particular literary translation – can or should be taught. And are there some things that can’t be taught at all?

Daniel Hahn is a writer, editor and translator with sixty-something books to his name. His translations (from French, Spanish and Portuguese) include fiction from Europe, Africa and the Americas, and non-fiction by writers ranging from Portuguese Nobel laureate José Saramago to Brazilian footballer Pelé, as well as children's books and occasional plays and poetry. His work has won him the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, the International Dublin Literary Award and the Blue Peter Book Award among others. He is a past chair of the Society of Authors, the UK writers' union, and on the board of a number of organisations that work with literature, translation, education and free speech. Recent books include the new Oxford Companion to Children's Literature, and a translation of a Brazilian novel.