Winter Walk around Elsecar- Stephen Dugdale writes;

On Saturday 13 January 2018, seven brave souls from all corners of Yorkshire gathered at Elsecar Heritage Centre for the eagerly-anticipated 2018 YTI Winter Ramble. Chris Thompson had kindly agreed to lead the walk and did not disappoint with a seven mile hike that was not too taxing but challenging enough to get the blood racing and burn off any festive excesses.

As with Matty Young’s 2017 walk near Ribblehead (my very first YTI social and almost 12 months ago to the day), the weather stayed dry but cold throughout although we swapped the fitting Yorkshire Dales snow for clinging mud. The first climb up a hill behind Elsecar village made it quite tricky to remain vertical, but much handholding and rib-tickling puns from young Kerry kept everyone upright. Having negotiated this climb, we were rewarded with some fine panoramic views of South Yorkshire and beyond, as well as a folly called the “Needle’s Eye” near Wentworth village. This unique 45 foot high pyramid-like arch was built by Earl Fitzwilliam as the result of a bet in which he claimed he could drive his horse and carriage through the eye of a needle (as you do). This provided chance for some amusing photos and localization (!), made funnier by a toy camel produced by Chris.

The pyramid theme continued with a visit to another unique folly known as Hoober Stand where we enjoyed a quick rest. The 100 foot monument was built between 1747 and 1748 to commemorate the defeat of the Jacobite uprising of 1745. It contains 155 stairs inside, but thankfully it the door was locked. Depending on your viewpoint, the hexagonal lantern atop the Stand makes it look like the building is about to topple over, but we were assured this is merely an optical illusion. The Stand also contained the following plaque with some cringeworthy English which, as translators and proof readers (or aspiring in my case), we were obliged to correct:

“This pyramidall building was erected by his Majestys most dutiful subject Thomas Marquess of Rockingham in grateful respect to the preserver of our religious laws and libertys King George the Second who, by the blessing of God having subdued a most unnatural rebellion in Britain anno 1746 maintains the balance of power and settles a just and honourable peace in Europe 1748.”

Both these follies were fairly weather-beaten but contained elegant graffiti from past centuries where scallies of the day had clearly put great effort in using hammers and picks to carve out their tags.

After a wander past Wentworth Woodhouse, thought to be the largest privately-owned house in Europe and twice the size of Buckingham Palace, we were tempted to pop in for Lady Grey and cucumber sandwiches and play hide-and-seek throughout the five miles of corridors and 365 rooms. The house was sold for £7m in 2017 which would take a fair bit of translation to earn that. However, we were restricted to picnic outside and then visited a forge in nearby Wentworth Village. Most of the houses in the Village are painted dark green which reflects their National Trust status.

After exploring the graveyard and ruins of a church in Wentworth and its slightly less interesting modern counterpart, we negotiated some more mud and arrived back at the Heritage Centre where there was time to visit an old pumping station and mini railway used to transport coal. The Heritage Centre is well worth a visit and free. After a spur-of-the-moment Gujarati lesson by Chris prompted by a unique sign for sale, we repaired to a posh tea room for some reviving tea and cake to reflect upon a delightful saunter and discuss the difference between colons and semi-colons and enjoy some more one liners from Kerry.

Many thanks once again go to Chris for a memorable day, and also to the other members who welcomed me to the walk. It topped off a special weekend following my MA graduation at Sheffield University the day before.

YTI Legal Translation Workshop – University of Leeds Students, Sophie Roche and Emma McNaught write:

On Saturday 18 November, the YTI and NERG members gathered at the Quaker Meeting House in York to get to grips with the world of legal translation. Some arrived early to catch up with fellow linguists over lunch and a cup of tea.

The workshop kicked off with a talk from legally qualified translator, Andrew Leigh, who gave us some top tips on translating the subject matter:

1. Do your background research – this will enable you to fully understand the ST

2. Put accuracy first – and creative flair second

3. Find parallel texts – so you know the terms in the target language

4. Know your audience – to know what to simplify or explain

5. Research international law – from institutions such as the OECD and the World Bank

With these pointers in mind, we then split off into our language groups to get some hands-on experience translating the somewhat intimidating texts. Sophie joined the French-English group who picked out problematic sections of the documents provided. Emma worked alongside the Spanish-English translators, focusing primarily on specific terminology and the expectations of the target culture.

After some insightful discussions, all language groups reconvened to share how they approached the task at hand. For example, the Italian translators proofread and assessed the quality of an official translation of their text; the German-English and English-German translators joined forces to compare notes. Whilst the overall feedback showed how different the approaches were, everyone had the same response: they all thoroughly enjoyed and benefited from the afternoon.

We wonder what the workshop will cover next year… Watch this space.

YTI November Social – International Pub Quiz, York – Alejandra Martínez Cerdán writes;

On Friday 10 November a flock of YTI members descended on the Yorkshire Terrier pub in York for our annual internationally themed pub quiz.

After getting drinks and the odd sausage roll from the bar, everybody got settled in the function room upstairs, the more resourceful/organised of our members having brought food to keep them going after the pub announced rather belatedly that no food would be available. A shame, as in previous years the rather hot chilli con carne proved very warming sustenance for the cold and dark of November. Thankfully the second part of the quiz came to the rescue. More on this below…

Once settled into five teams of 4-5 people each, the first part of the quiz got under way under the ever capable direction of quizzmistress Catherine Greensmith. The first part consisted of questions with an international flavour, some rather unusual. King Zog anyone? Turns out he was an Albanian king some for the attendees had even heard of before (do feel free to pat yourselves on the back!)

After a short break (during which £18 were raised for Translators Without Borders) came the second part, which was a flavoured water and cheese tasting session. The waters were rather unusual combinations which took some divining, while for the cheeses identifying the country of provenance, as well as the variety, gave extra points.

There were prizes for three teams –one item per person, no less, that’s YTI largesse for you– with the five-strong Quizzettes proclaiming themselves overall winners (picture of team members proudly displaying their prizes below. Clockwise from bottom left: Helena, Steve, Chris and Mark, with Alejandra on photographer’s duty).

A very enjoyable evening where a good time was had by all, and our gratitude must go to the Organising Committee for making it happen. Looking forward to next year’s already, for which some of our members suggested the inclusion of some Japanese-themed questions for variety and general broadening of horizons. Which is what it’s all about.

A Common Foe – An exhibition at the Hull Maritime Museum

The social event for September saw a good-sized group meet up in Hull to visit an exhibition at the Hull Maritime Museum charting the city’s fishing heritage through a combination of text, photography and film.

A Common Foe focused on the relationship between the fishermen of Hull and the people of Iceland. I was surprised to learn that as far back as the fifteenth century, citizens of Hull had traded goods for fish, with many Icelandic people returning to Hull along with the fishermen, seeking a new life in Britain.

The photography on display by Simon Sharp covered the lives of Hull’s fishermen and women both at sea and at home.  It also tackled some of the more unfortunate events over the years including the Cod Wars and the Triple Trawler Tragedy in the late 1960s.  A video of the brother of one of the men lost in the Triple Trawler Tragedy searching for and laying a wreath at the sight of the wreck of his brother’s boat was especially poignant.

Although A Common Foe has now finished, the rest of the Maritime Museum is well worth a visit with plenty to interest visitors both young and old.

Having spent time inside the museum it was pleasant to step out into the sunshine and wander round the rejuvenated fruit market and old town areas before finding a brand new bar with an amazing array of spirits and nibbles to finish off the afternoon.

Ilkley Literature Festival – Borders, Boundaries and Partition. Francesca Gatenby writes:

The ‘Borders, Boundaries and Partition’ event proved to be a wide-ranging and fascinating discussion of the ephemeral or concrete nature of different types of borders and boundaries. We were transported from the affluent environs of moor-shadowed Ilkley to the tension-ridden streets of Northern Ireland in the midst of the Troubles; then to 1980s London, permeated by prejudice, where Abdulrazak Gurnah told us how he was rejected for a job “a corpse could have done” the minute he gave his name; and then forward in time again to 21st century London and a new sense of post-Brexit cultural malaise.

The three panelists drew on their personal experiences of cultural otherness to offer a witty, frank and engaging discussion that ranged from Brexit, Trump and the attitude of the European political elite towards Hungary’s physical walls, built to repudiate refugees, through to more philosophical concepts of borders, their degree of usefulness and future relevance. Sadly, the discussion itself was subject to temporal borders – so there was not enough time to talk about Partition as well on this occasion.

The hour-long event was over in the blink of an eye and we all felt that we had barely dipped our collective toes in the water of this thought-provoking topic. I for one really enjoyed it and I shall be looking to attend further ILF events in future.

AGM and talk by Chris Thompson – Charlotte Couchman writes:

YTI’s 2017 AGM was held at York’s Quaker Meeting House on Wednesday 5 July, and was followed by a fascinating talk by YTI member Chris Thompson about Phonetics and the Scripts of India.

Twenty-four YTI members gathered at 17:30, grabbed a coffee or tea and biscuits and settled down to discuss the serious stuff. All the committee members with specific roles gave their reports on the year, which had been another very successful one for YTI, with many new members and exciting events. Paul and I stood down from our role as coordinators, and other committee posts were taken on by new people or simply reshuffled. A new committee post was created, Mentoring Secretary, which I shall initially be occupying while I try to get YTI’s mentoring scheme off the ground. The meeting also saw us say thank you to Sabine Horner for her wonderful work as Membership Secretary and to Peter Cummings for his equally excellent work as Treasurer, and the giving out of several very acceptable thank-you gifts! Paul and I are very excited about using our Theatre Vouchers sometime in the not too far distant future.

The meeting finished pretty much on time, at around 18:45. After a mad scramble for more hot drinks and biscuits, we sat down once again to listen to Chris’s talk, which was intriguing and very good fun. He included amusing video clips and several questions for the audience, some of which we proved hopeless at answering, particularly the ones requiring us to distinguish between the many different Indian scripts.

Chris’s talk finished just before 20:00, at which point a few people left. The rest of us tucked into one of the Meeting House’s excellent sandwich buffets – as usual there was far too much food!

Thank you everyone for making 2016-2017 another fabulous membership year and we look forward to more wonderful events now the group is in Kerry and Raquel’s capable hands.

Walking in Robin Hood’s footsteps? YTI summer walk 2017 – Paul Clarke writes:

On Saturday 15 July, despite a somewhat alarming weather forecast, eight of us set out for a walk, organised by Caroline Hirst, along the magnificent coast around Robin Hood’s Bay. The walk had all the necessary ingredients: good company and conversation, wonderful views, a café half way round and a pub at the end! The forecast rain failed to materialise so we were able to concentrate on our conversations which ranged from techie stuff to morris dancing via esoteric French vocabulary, Brexit and the alum industry of this part of the coast. All in all, a lovely day out – thank you very much Caroline.

Chinese meal in Sheffield – Charlotte Couchman writes:

On Thursday 15 June (rearranged to avoid Sheffield’s Doc/Fest), a very respectable 16 YTI members, partners and friends met at China Red in central Sheffield. China Red was recommended by one of YTI’s Sheffield-based members and is billed as providing “authentic SzeChuan cuisine”.

This certainly seemed likely when we found on arrival that we were the only non-Chinese diners that evening and was borne out by the menu, which contained all sorts of interesting things including bits of a pig I have never eaten nor never want to eat!

There was nonetheless plenty of food on the menu which did appeal to the group, if the choice for vegetarians was a bit limited, and we soon tucked into a delicious meal of unusual dishes. What with the unusual nature of many of the options and the difficulty of communicating with some of the serving staff, I managed to completely misunderstand what my starter was and ate Angeles’ soup instead of my own similarly-named choice – oops! Fortunately, she didn’t go hungry, as the portions were enormous.

The evening was a great success, with lots of laughter and chat, and Paul and I would definitely return if Sheffield wasn’t such a long way away! Thank you Helen for the recommendation.

YTI co-working day – Lara Fasoli writes:

The idea of co-working has been around for quite a while now, and especially if you’re a freelance you might have already your spot at the local shared office space surrounded by fellow self-employed graphic designers, copywriters and the like. This approach has its benefits and perks, however YTI decided to give a twist to this “traditional” idea organising a co-working day for translators (and interpreters) only, following in the footsteps of similar events that have taken place all around the country. Here’s a chronicle of the event.

At the initiative of Mike Scott, the group meet in the green neighbourhood of Headingly, Leeds, on the significantly dull morning (weatherwise!) of Friday 30 June. The venue was the nice and cosy Heart centre, home also to the Pulse co-working space, famous among the Leeds translators community.  Upon my arrival (I was a tad late due to a PSI assignment on the opposite side of town and public transport being what it is) I meet the group in a spacious, bright and clean conference room. A big round table arranged in the middle: everyone had already cracked on with their own work, typing away on their ergonomic keyboards. After I set up my work station (there was even still plug free for my laptop charger) and some quiet chit-chat we all went back to work.

The atmosphere throughout the day has been relaxed and extremely productive. I was very motivated by the fact that everyone around me was working, which encouraged me to stay focussed on the task. Personally, this is sometimes hard especially when I work from home on my own and I tend to get distracted by the smallest thing. I also appreciated how everyone was also keen to pitch in and help out when someone got stuck with a tricky passage. There was also space for more trivial discussions and occasional breaks.

Lunch was a delightful occasion that gave us a chance to talk more, share experiences and stories. Some of us were quite organised and had brought their own lunch, some of us, like me, relied on the little nice cafè in the building for a sandwich or salad.

Overall, this experience has proven very positive both from the personal and the professional point of view. I got to know better my own colleagues, network and get productive in a nice and different environment. All those who attended have confirmed the positive outcomes, so much so that it has been proposed at the recent YTI AGM to make this #CoworkXL event a regular one!

If you’d like to know more or to get involved don’t hesitate to contact a member of YTI!