by Tanja Ronalter
On 30 September 2016, the Federal Association of Interpreters and Translators (German: BDÜ) held an event at the Zeughaus Museum in Mannheim to celebrate International Translation Day, and the museum is just a stone’s throw from our office in B7. International Translation Day was launched in 1992 in honour of Saint Jerome. The scholar translated the Old Testament into Latin and is regarded as the patron saint of translators and interpreters.
Two members of the exact! team seized the opportunity and took the hot seat in an interpreter’s booth. As part of this interpreting exercise, they tried their hand at interpreting the fairy tale “Little Red Riding Hood”. A reading was staged as a fun way of showing what can go wrong when translation is left to non-experts – in this case the operating instructions for a reading lamp. Strange translation slip-ups can sometimes have unintentionally humorous results. In addition, a professional subtitler used the film “Hockney” to demonstrate the challenges that musical wordplays can pose for the translator. An example: The musical note A flat (in German As) results in the actors making a remark about “a small flat”.
The highlight of the event was the presentation of the Hieronymus Prize. The BDÜ has awarded this prize each year since 2012 to a company that has stood out due to exemplary work in the area of multilingual communication. This year, the prize went to the translation group of the US medical equipment manufacturer Medtronic. The company employs a large number of in-house and freelance translators and takes multilingualism into account right from when its products are developed. exact! also knows from experience: Quality is the result of constructive collaboration between the customer and the translator.
In addition to the items on the agenda, we had the chance to chat to freelance colleagues and former fellow students. Our conclusion: A successful event that highlighted the level of fascination for language and the importance of multilingual communication.
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