YTI International Quiz. Josie Worral writes;

The evening of 14th September found a group of YTI members and their significant others gathered in the cosy back room of York Brewery’s taproom. There was much enthusiasm about the beer on offer in the bar, where the atmosphere was warm and friendly. This was no ordinary social however: anticipation was in the air. Having split into teams, the attendees were all chomping at the bit to test their mettle against quiz mistress Catherine Greensmith’s notoriously tricky questions. With a sumptuous range of delicious looking prizes laid out on the table in plain view, there was naturally some friendly rivalry.

The quiz started with the signature tasting round, an unusual but very welcome addition for those of us experienced in the ways of the average pub quiz. This year the teams had to identify four different types of tea and four bowls of cereal by taste. While most teams had a good stab at the cereals, generally managing to work out the type of cereal or the company that made it, the Yorkshire Tea Biscuit Brew had everyone stumped! It also turns out that not many people know what liquorice tea tastes like either. Luckily for my team, The Doctors, your author drinks Earl Grey by the bucket load and was able to identify it by smell at 10 paces. That combined with the intellectual might of my team mates meant we finished the first half of the quiz in the lead and determined to hold onto top spot.

The halfway point was marked with a break from the fiendish questions to enjoy hot pies and mushy peas, with a steak pie or a veggie option on offer, generally accompanied by another pint of the brewery’s finest. The hot food seemed to hit the spot, and we entered the second half of the quiz full of enthusiasm. The questions were varied, touching on international sport, history and geography to name but a few, and pitched perfectly to keep us racking our brains. At the final tally, The Doctors saw off the fierce competition and retained our lead, getting first dibs on the prizes as the reward. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening, and everyone stayed after the quiz had finished for a good natter.

It was a lovely opportunity to catch up with new and old members alike, and I would like to thank Catherine for all her hard work putting such an excellent quiz together and for keeping order in the ranks on the night, and Kerry for organising the evening. I’m looking forward to next year’s quiz already!

Summer Walk – Hull City Centre. Rick Gilchrist writes;

Another hot summer Saturday and an intrepid YTI group headed to Paragon Station in Hull for the start of a walking tour of the city centre led by Chris Whiteley. The group was a mix of current residents, former residents and first-time visitors to Hull and we started our journey by the statue of Phillip Larkin, poet and former librarian at Hull University. From there we made our way through the city centre streets taking in some of the ancient and modern sights of the city centre such as the white phone boxes, the wonderful Punch Hotel, the rather less wonderful Princes Quay shopping centre and the statue of Queen Victoria standing atop the main public conveniences in the city centre.

A refreshment stop in the old fruit market quarter, now an upcoming cultural centre, was followed by a tour of the Master’s house and buildings of Hull Charterhouse, a former Carthusian monastery and almshouse which was founded in the 14th century and still operates as an almshouse to this day. The current Master greeted us all with a generous glass of sherry and a personal tour of house, gardens and place of worship which is currently undergoing renovation.

By now we were all in need of some sustenance, so we headed back into the old town to the Sailmakers Arms for a bite to eat and to listen to the landlord telling us about which film stars had been in the pub that week after filming in the street outside had finished.

Despite having lived in Hull for 9 years in the 1990s I learned a whole load of new facts and saw buildings I’d never previously seen.

A huge thankyou to Chris Whiteley, who led us around, arranged our visit to Charterhouse and improved our knowledge of the people, buildings and history of Kingston Upon Hull in such an entertaining and engaging way.

‘German Class’ at Sheffield Doc Fest. Rick Gilchrist writes;

On a hot and sunny Saturday afternoon in early June, a small group headed to Sheffield Doc Fest to attend the world premiere of a documentary by German film maker, Florian Heinzen-Ziob.

“German Class” focusses on the teacher and pupils of a special class at Cologne’s Henry Ford secondary school.  The preparation class, or “VK” is the first port of call for children who have arrived in Germany, integrating them into the German school system.

The pupils come from a variety of backgrounds and countries.  Some stay in the class only a few months; others remain far longer.  The teacher, Ute Vecchio works individually with each pupil as much as possible.

The film was shot in black and white to help viewers focus on the pupils, teacher and their stories rather than be distracted by the busy visuals of a typical classroom, with all its brightly coloured décor, books and furniture.  The energy, persistence and humour shown by the teacher and the main protagonists is therefore to the fore and made for an excellent documentary on the topical subject of immigration.

At the end of the film there was a chance to ask questions of the director in person before heading back out into the heat of early evening.

‘An Introduction to Subtitling’ Workshop at Leeds University. Raquel Madrid writes;

On one of the first warm and sunny days of the year, a dedicated group of YTI members and students headed to a computer suite at the University of Leeds to learn all about the mysterious art of subtitling. Given the discussions that took place before the training started, it seems I wasn’t the only translator who made a regular habit of picking holes in the subtitles on my foreign language shows and films of choice.  What I learned on this very informative course would give me a whole new perspective on the issue however, and a very healthy respect for the professionals who toil over this tricky task. Read on to find out why.

Leading the workshop was Alina Secara, Director of Translation Studies at the University of Leeds, very ably assisted by Faustine Roux, a professional subtitler. After introducing themselves and giving us a rundown of their respective (extensive) experience in the subtitling industry, Alina proceeded to dive straight in with an in-depth explanation of the different types of subtitling a professional subtitler might encounter. The first type is intralingual pre-recorded subtitles, which are produced for the benefit of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community and for the purposes of language learning. As well as subtitling the words of the speakers, this kind of subtitling also provides a description of sounds and accents and non-verbal information. The interesting example of action films was discussed, where there is little dialogue to subtitle but instead the challenge of a huge number of sound effects to convey through the medium of text! In addition, Alina and Faustine discussed intralingual live subtitles, also intended for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community and used for the news and live events, and finally interlingual subtitles, the kind that we linguists are most used to seeing. The main challenges entailed in all three types of subtitles included a lack of time and space for the subtitle, meaning that the translation must by necessity be condensed, constraints related to the time it takes the viewer to comfortably read the subtitle and how best to deal with line breaks.

Next we were taken through the main concepts of subtitling, including reading speeds, timecodes, scene and shot changes and templates – all highly technical – and the challenges that these all pose. Challenges such as having to fit the subtitles around shots and camera angles, prioritizing certain aspects, unfinished sentences and deciding how to deal with swear words. And then once you have juggled all these constraints, you still have to make sure you can fit it all on the screen in a readable format, deciding how best to split the text between two lines. It is unsurprising in the light of all this that the end result is very different to what a translator might produce when given the written script and no word limit. After all, the purpose of subtitling is very different.

Bursting with enthusiasm, we were later given the chance to get some practical experience with WinCAPS, the subtitling software that Alina teaches at the University of Leeds. She was at pains to make clear however that it is just one of the many on the market, and that it is up to the individual subtitler to discover which software suits them best. An English-language video from Médecins Sans Frontières was provided for us to practice on, along with comprehensive instructions and plentiful assistance from the two experts. It was such an absorbing task that most attendees even worked through the final afternoon coffee break – something unheard of when a group of translators and interpreters get together!

I am certain that everyone found the workshop as informative and interesting as I did, and I would like to express my gratitude to Alina and Faustine for running such an excellent event, and to Raquel for organising. I came away with an enormous amount of respect for the work that subtitlers do, and a real appreciation of the challenges they face. Never again will I criticise professional subtitles in so offhand a manner!

Wine Tasting in Harrogate. Francesca Gatenby writes

The setting: a bustling Italian restaurant decked with large, atmospheric artwork prints and a penchant for purple. The wines: an eclectic mix of flavours and strengths. The menu: full-flavoured and filling. The company: of the best sort.

Our evening of Italian wine tasting at Sasso Enoteca Italiano in central Harrogate was a convivial and popular one. The sommelier began by pouring us all a measure of NV Prosecco Brut, an International Wine Challenge bronze medal winner, and, aware that he was addressing a group of professional translators, proceeded to apologise for his attempt at Italian pronunciation. Very light on the taste buds, this wine had a “fresh green apple nose” and served as a gentle introduction, prompting the conversation to flow with alacrity.

The Due Uve Bianco Pinot Grigio-Sauvignon IGT – as per its name a blend of two grape varieties – and the Pecorino Pasetti followed next, paired with a starter of smoked salmon terrine, marinated beetroot and horseradish crème fraîche – or asparagus with poached egg for the vegetarians. Both whites proved popular when it came to selecting a full glass to accompany the main course (pollo con salsa di funghi, zafferano e spinaci – chicken breast in a wild mushroom and saffron sauce with spinach). Lo Sbrancato Rose Il Poggione, my personal favourite from the tasting, was a fresh-flavoured rosé that also contrasted well with the richness of the main. The rosé was followed by the only red on the tasting list – Syrah Mandrarossa – with its delicious and, according to the enthusiastic menu writer, “heady perfume of hedgerow fruit and peppery spice”. Definitely a wine to sit and ruminate with.

We all enjoyed comparing the different wines and discussing their finer points over the course of the evening, whatever our level of knowledge of oenology. Some finished with dessert while others enjoyed sipping their wine; and those of us who needed to catch trains reluctantly did so.

Another interesting and enjoyable social – thank you to Charlotte for organising!

Tango Moderno at Leeds Grand. Josie Worrall writes;

YTI’s April outing to watch Tango Moderno at Leeds Grand was an entirely exclusive affair. And by exclusive, I mean we were few in number. We made up for our limited numbers however with unbounded enthusiasm for a Tuesday-night tipple in the fabulous theatre bar beforehand, and of course for the spectacle of dance, music and song that awaited us.

The stars of the show were the erstwhile Strictly Come Dancing favourites, Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace, although it also featured a pair of excellent West End singers, and a troupe of very talented contemporary dancers. Billed as a ‘tango for today’, the show featured the troupe telling modern tales (including Tinder romances, millennials glued to smartphones and a strange suburban scene featuring some outdated gender stereotypes) through the medium of contemporary dance, with some tango moves thrown in for good luck. They were watched over by their fairy godparents – enter Vincent and Flavia – magically matchmaking through the power of traditional tango. The compere, the male singer, introduced the various tales through poetry, also singing a diverse mix of chart hits and power ballads alongside his female counterpart.

While entertaining, for me the overall effect of these different elements was rather eclectic. The show’s interpretation of the issues of modern life also felt rather reductive. The highlights of the evening were undoubtedly the moments when Vincent and Flavia took to the stage alone to perform the passionate, dramatic tango that viewers love them for. Considering the rapturous applause with which each of the pair’s appearances was met, it seemed as if the audience would have liked a little more sophisticated tango, and a little less modern interpretation!

Uncle Vanya at the York Theatre Royal. Oliver Richmond writes;

On 10th March a handful of fellow YTI members attended a performance of Anton Chekhov’s poignant comedy ‘Uncle Vanya’ at York Theatre Royal.

‘Uncle Vanya’ is in essence a comedy tainted by an underlying sense of tragedy. Uncle Vanya himself for example is a forlorn character, ridden with guilt over his own failures in life. But so too are the other characters, frequently enveloped by a sense of acute ennui and exhaustion.

I have never actually seen a Russian play before but I was pleasantly surprised. The acting was brilliant and I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we were all enthralled by the plot.

YTI February Social – Bring & Share event. Birgit Obermueller writes;

On Sunday 11 February 2018 we gathered again at Jacob’s Well in York for this month’s social: a bring and share afternoon tea – well cake fest. We sampled sweet and savoury treats from around Yorkshire and Europe. There were Yorkshire Fat Rascals, Yorkshire Bark, cinnamon & ginger fruit loaf, French madeleines, North Italian muffins, German ‘Marmorkuchen’ (marble cake), honey cake, carrot cake, olive buns, salmon & cream cheese sandwiches, cucumber & cashew butter sandwiches, Roquefort cheese, chorizo sausage and a selection of fresh fruit.

We were able to introduce a few new and prospective YTI members to this sweet tradition, which is in its third year running now. It was a very enjoyable afternoon with lots chatting, networking, exchanging and passing on experience as well as cake eating of course. I am are already looking forward to next year’s YTI bake off!

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.