Wednesday, April 10, 2013

My presentations about games localisation and testing

After having received last year and this year many petitions of Publishing my presentations, I had been thinking about it for a few months now. The lack of time, made me delay it, as I needed to upload them first (which I finally did last week). I finally found some time for it and here I present you with them. I hope you enjoy them. If you need to include them in your MA Dissertation or your presentations, remember to mention me! ;) If you need anything else or you have any questions, you know where to find me.

QA, Localisation & Experience: The Perfect Combination for the Best Localisation

My presentation at the I International Conference on Translation and Accessibility in Video Games and Virtual Worlds. Barcelona, December 2010.

QA, Localisation & Experience: The Perfect Combination for the Best Localisation

My presentation at the 4th International Media 4 All Conference - Audiovisual Translation: Taking Stock. London, June 2011.

Video game Localisation and Testing

Presentation for the students of the Translation and Interpreting Studies at the Universitat de Vic. Vic, Barcelona, December 2011. [In Spanish]

Theory and Practice of Games Localisation: Academic Training vs Professional Reality in Spain and the United Kingdom

My presentation, together with Jennifer Vela, at the II International Conference on Translation and Accessibility in Video Games and Virtual Worlds. Barcelona, March 2012

Theory and Practice of Games Localisation: Academic Training vs Professional Reality in Spain and the United Kingdom

My presentation, together with Jennifer Vela, at the I Media Across Borders Conference. Roehampton, London, June 2012

La localización y el control de calidad de videojuegos: visión general 

My presentation at the Encuentro de Traductores e Intérpretes de Málaga de 2012, in which I speak about localisation and quality assurance of video games. Málaga, 30th de November 2012. [In Spanish]

La industria de los videojuegos: personajes, PNJ y plataformas de lanzamiento

My presentation at the ENETI 2013 about the games industry, its evolution and current situation and the possible careers that a translator could have within the industry. Granada, 22nd March 2013. [In Spanish]

You can also follow my profile to know every time I upload a new presentation. :)

Note: I enormously thank Ismael Pardo, blogger of "Diario de un futuro traductor", for helping me embedded the presentations.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Mox II: Ooops, Mox did it again!

En español

Less than a year ago, Mox surprised the world with a book, which compiled the comic strops from Mox's blog, together with many more strips and some articles from well-known translators.

This year, Mox did it again. Well, not Mox, but Alejandro Moreno, his 'father'.

A beautiful list of collaborators...
It's a real pleasure to share pages with them.
He compiled again more comic strips from his blog, as well as other unpublished ones. He also asked other translation celebrities, such as AndréHöchemerCatherine Christaki, Erik Hansson, Riccardo SchiaffinoXosé Castro or Michelle Hof, among others, to write an article for his book. Alejandro also asked the humble servant and owner of this blog (a very tiny one next to them) to also write one little article.

The result: a compilation of hilarious comic strips, and a list of thoughts of several professionals of our world that complement perfectly with the cartoons, which Alejandro prepared with all his love.

The cover of the book: I bet many translators
have found themselves in this situation.

I also recommend to read first the first book (or the whole Mox' blog, if you prefer), as it will be a good way to know the whole of Mox's story from the beginning.

The beginning of my tiny contribution.
BTW, my modest contribution is just a small anecdote about many of the e-mails many of us receive from agencies, the eternal debate about "my best fee" might not be "your best fee", a discussion that might get into an infinite spiral between the PM and the translator... until one of them gives up.

No doubt, this will be the ideal present for any translator or interpreter, a must-have for this festive period, which can be yours with just a few clicks (and a PayPal account, of course). I am sure that Santa and the Three Wise Men (if you also get presents on this day) will love gifting you this (after opening them to have a quick look, that's it).

Happy Holidays and an even better 2013!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A review of 2011

En castellano

Today I look back and I see myself having done my first presentation in a conference, very happy for what I had achieved in the last months of 2010. However, the year didn’t start quite as expected, especially if we compare it with how 2010 had finished. Do not worry, I am quite stubborn and I was determined to change it, and so I focused on getting more clients and a good workflow. Thanks to working hard the year before for the online betting company, they asked me to go back for a few weeks at the beginning of the year, and so the timing was perfect, while I was waiting for the games localisation Spree in summer. Now you know: Work hard, and make sure you prove you are professional and reliable, as you never know when you are going to be needed again. In the middle of this joy, I received an e-mail letting me know that I had been admitted to present a paper to another Conference: el Media4All in London, at the end of June.

I don’t know if you had the same, but to me, it seemed as if the “translation” part was taking a bit too long to take off, just as if, suddenly, translation agencies had disappeared from the map. As I can’t spend too long without doing something, I seize the low moments to do another important aspect of the translator’s life: networking. In April, as Xosé Castro was doing a Workshop about Word (in Spanish) in Valencia (Spain), which was organised by Asetrad (Spanish Association of Translators, Interpreters and editors), I decided to go to Valencia to visit my good friend Vanessa, and see what all the fuss was about. The experience was amazing (I and II, in Spanish), not only because I introduce my friend Vanessa to the whole world of conferences, tweeters and bloggers, but also because I was able to meet more tweeters, as Manuel Saavedra, Jordi Barcells, Irene Sánchez, Ana Rubio and, of course, Xosé Castro (a guru of Audiovisual Translation, very well referred in two of the subjects I did about Audiovisual Translation at uni), who I really wanted to meet (in order to see if he was real… and yes, he was!). Also, I met other amazing people, such as Judit Samblás, Gemma Sanza, Marta Ortells or Núria Sanmartí.

I went back home with my battery charged. Fully-charged. But the translation world still seemed to be idle, and so I used the time to prepare an article about “localisation, testing and QA” to publish. Also, I had to undertake an operation in my ear (a long story. You can read about it in Spanish here) and, not long after, I had very sad news about a friend. That’s Murphy’s Law: if something can go wrong, it will go wrong. But the good thing is that, once you have reached bottom, you can only go up. And so was it. Media4All was here, another amazing experience I recommend to everybody (more info here, and in Spanish here and here). There I met (as in, finally meeting them in person) three more gurus of Audiovisual Translation: Jorge Díaz-Cintas, Miguel Bernal and Frederic Chaume (and yes, they are also real and you can touch them, and even they allow you to take a photo of them!). Wow! I felt like a teenager when Justin Bieber gives her an autograph... but without the screaming.

Of course, Murphy was spying on me all year long, and during those three days of Conference that I wanted to myself, was the perfect moment to make the interesting projects to arrive. The first one was a videogame for several platforms about a Cartoon Network character (when I can disclose more details, I will do so). Then, it was the time for a MMORPG based in the Medieval Times, a very interesting project (the biggest I have done so far), which drove me mental with the research of weapons and punishment tools. I wasn’t even finished with the project and I had to move flat, then go on “holidays” (you know translators can never go on holidays), then come back to London to receive my sister and her family at home... Glorious summer!

Kindly created by @MonkeysvsRobots
No, no, no. Don’t go anyway, as summer didn’t finish here. I also had time to publish my first article, start new projects, as Revista Traditori, a new magazine made by professionals from the Translation/Interpreting industry to anyone interested about translation, interpreting, languages, etc., but mainly focused to future translators, to whom we explain a bit about the “real world of translation” (if you can understand Spanish, you can read about it here, here, here, here and here, or just ask GoogleTranslator to help you out). I also started a project with Pablo and Elizabeth, organised by Johanna Angulo, which I hope I will be able to talk about really soon. What else? Ah, well. In September, an old colleague called me to ask me to collaborate with them creating a videogame, and that is how my autumn started.

The localisation projects, the videogames, preparing my lessons for Johanna’s Project, finish my second article, I barely realise that November had arrived. But my life wasn’t fun me to invited me to do a presentation about student mobility in December. A month earlier, many tweeters colleagues (as well as Maya, the president of the Catalan Association of Translators and Interpreters-APTIC) spent two weeks trying to convince me to go to Barcelona to a workshop about blogs organised by APTIC (in Spanish). I could not say ‘no’. Ah, well, I hear the words “party”, “translators”, “fun”, “networking” ( CarolinaAidaIrisMayaClaraMarVerónicaJosé LuisJosé ManuelLaiaMiriamManuel y Lidia...)... And I have to go. Another unmissable event.

The icing of the cake: the year ended with two (indecent?) proposals. The first of them, Mox’s Blog’s authos, Alejandro, was asking permission (???) for him to publish a comic strip in a book that has just been launched, as he had been inspired on an idea that I sent to him a few months back. Imagine my face... Just like a manga character, with my mouth wide open hanging to the floor. The second one (proposal, of course), was to be part of the teachers group of a new course organised by Educación Digital (in Spanish, though), which will start at the end of January. This time, apart from leaving my mouth open, I had to rub my eyes a few times, because I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Of course, I enrolled the ship too.

And last, but not least, when it seemed the year was going to finish just like that, I was lucky enough being able to start a translation project with other tweeters: ManuelAnder and Jennifer, as well as Miguel Ángel (who I didn’t know before, and I don’t think I follow him on Twitter). The project was offered by the best Spanish agency I have worked with so far (Kobalt Languages), under the conduction of two project managers who made the whole process pretty easy: Ricard and Ana.

Now, my year has started quite well. I really hope it will be the beginning of an even better year. As you can see, bad things happen, but also good ones, and we have to take advantage of the bad ones, when you are at the bottom, to gain momentum and run up the mountain. Just one more advice: Never give up!

Kindly created by @MonkeysvsRobots

Have an amazing 2012!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mox’s book can now be yours!

I am sure many of you already know Mox, a very young and well-educated translator, with two PhD’s and six languages (well, exactly how we would have loved to be when finishing our studies). However, due to his innocence and over-enthusiasm to become someone important in the translation World, he accepts any abuse given by agencies and other senior translators, not only in the form of peanuts rates, but also agreeing to each of the wishes of the mischievous PM, whose favourite entertainment is make their translators suffer.

So, Alejandro Moreno, Mox’s creator (nope, Mox is not human. He is the character of a comic strip, even though he is a mixture of every translator and interpreter around the world), has decided to compile more than 2 years of comic strips, as well as many other unpublished, in one single book: Mox’s Illustrated Guide to Freelance Translation.

I learnt about the book when Alejandro sent me an e-mail with a comic strip he had created thanks to an idea I had sent to him some time ago. WOW! Alejandro himself sending an e-mail to me? Justin Bieber’s fans: be envious, as Justin doesn’t even know that you exist! ;)

Of course, as soon as I saw on Mox’s blog that the book was available to be purchased, I didn’t hesitate to buy it (he says I bought it before even had time to publish it on Twitter). When I received the package, I opened it as if Santa had just come home to give me a voucher “worth a romantic dinner with Jared Letto”. The pleasant surprise arrived when I opened the book: Mox had signed the book for me!!

View of the first page of my copy

If that is not taking care of the fans…

I have read many of the comic strips in the blog. I have also had a quick look at the book and I can assure you that it is worth every cent I paid, not only because you will be laughing out loud (and nodding) at every one of them, but also because it is a reminder that the translation, proofreading and interpreting profession needs professionals and, therefore, we must charge accordingly, instead of charging peanuts. Each comic strip is a lesson that we must not forget.

So, have you started your New Year’s resolutions? There is just one thing to add: Buy Mox’s book! J

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Happy Holidays

My wishes for the blog followers:

©Designed by Monkeys vs Robots

And many more blog posts next year!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

If you are Lost in Translation... Find a way out!

After a few years feeling frustrated with some text that I had to translate, and after a few weeks trying to convince the client I am collaborating with as a linguistic consultant that there are many things in the English culture that cannot be transferred to the Spanish culture, I decided it would be good to share a few tips I have been using for a couple of years, which have proved to be pretty useful.

Imagine you have just been given a quite interesting project with a quite high volume of words. You have a look at the text and it seems that it won’t be too difficult, so you decide to accept it. As soon as the assignment is confirmed, you start working on it. When you have been translating for a while, you start seeing strange things in the source text, which, at some places, they are close to incomprehensible. What can you do?:

1. Report to the agency/client that the original text needs to be proofread.

It will probably not convince them, but, at least you cover your own back: if the source text is not good enough, it is likely that our translations would be good either (even though it could happen, of course). If the source is a translation from another language and the client has not even bothered to pay for a proofreader to double check the translation, there is not much we can do; just let the client know that the text is not of the expected quality and that we would probably have issues translating. Thus, if anything has been mistranslated or the translation is not close enough to the original text, at least we have warned the client. If we are working with a direct client and the text is the original text they have created, this warning can make them to ask someone within the company with some good writing skills to read through the text and correct whatever needed: this would improve the overall quality of the product (well, it’s just like a proper quality assurance).

2. Ask, ask, ask.

If you don’t ask, you may not know. Therefore, whenever there is something you cannot understand from a text, either because you don’t know the culture or slang, or because whoever wrote the text invented some terms to try and sound cool, or because the source text we have is a translation from another text and is has not been proofread, the best thing to do is ask the client. Many games developers are used to the queries” document with questions from the localisers.

However, it is also important to know how to ask those questions. Developers are always in a rush. Always. It is not the localisers’ fault that something is it not clear enough or that it is impossible to translate without losing the play on words, therefore, it is better to make it as easy as possible for the developer (or whoever receiving those queries) to understand our questions. If we do a simple question of “What is this?”, we risk being misunderstood or the client might not understand what is really what we need, and they might answer something else. For example: many times I have found a menu option to translate and I didn’t know exactly what that was for. I therefore asked the client “What is this for?” and they answer with a simply “This is a menu option”... Ah, well, I already knew that, than you... *whatever* Whenever this happened, I had to ask again (most of the times, luckily, it was a question that all localisers had, and so it needed to be answered). Of course, we might give them several possibilities of what we think it is, and they can ask with just a “Yes” or “No” (then you think it’s better to get up and start banging your head against the wall). However, living several options would be better and clearer for the client to understand our query than simply let them guess what the problem is.

3. Ask the text in the original language from which our source text was translated

Let’s say that the original text was written, for example, in French, and the Developer or agency had translated first into English to then send this English text to the localisers so that they could translate it into their native languages. If the source text we are given is not good and we have issues translating it, it would be better to make sure that we are doing it well by having the original text as reference. Ok, we may not know French (as it is my case), but the proximity between the French and the Spanish, or Italian, or Portuguese may help us to guess what the text is saying. Even things like differentiate between a verb in infinitive (insérez) from one in imperative (insérez) or a imperative (inséré) [Thanks to Irene Marinas for her correction!]. Once I localise a game about “Healthy life”, and in one of the sections, the basic groups of food were explained. One of them were the carbohydrates, which could be acquired (so the English said) from “bread, noodles and rice”. At first I found it strange that they were talking only about noodles, but I thought that, maybe, at some point in the game, the player is told to eat only this type of pasta (for some strange reason). But I continued translating and this noodles, rice and bread appeared many other times as the carbs suppliers and a base of any meal. Then, "Eureka!”, I understood why. The videogame was originally written in German (in fact, the game had already been released in Germany), and in German, the word Nudeln is the term use to refer to any type of food (from spaghetti to noodles to rigatoni… everything). I then decided to speak to the agency, explaining that I thought there was a key mistake in English, and they agreed and said that, when the German game said “Nudeln”, they didn’t mean only noodles (or long-thin pasta) but all types of pasta (they also thanked me for realising and they changed it throughout). But this story didn’t end here. After a while, I started to realise that there were some parts in the English text that had very whimsical sentence structures, which had not much meaning, as well as seeing most of the nouns (if not all) with the first letter in upper case (something that happens in German, but in English shouldn’t be like that). But what actually amused me was when I saw some sentences with the verb at the end. Anybody who speaks a bit of German (even if it’s just a little bit) will know that this verb position is a clear warning that the text has been literally translated from German (or, well, from Latin too). It was then when I decided to ask the client if they could send me the original in German. Yes, my level of German doesn’t allow me to translate directly (7 years without using it is actually too much), but a great dictionary and a bit of imagination, was enough to understand more or less where the text was going to. Otherwise, we can always speak to Mr G Translator: sometimes can help us with that little «extra» of imagination.

4. Ask, if it’s possible, the details of the proofreader or the localisers of the other languages

We have all got stuck with a translation, not because we are not good enough, but more because we see things from just one point of view. We say in Spanish “cuatro ojos ven mejor que dos” (Four eyes see better than two). Similarly, two minds work better than just one. With one of the clients I work with, we use an online tool to translate that allows us to see other localisers’ translations (and, of course, they can also see mine). However, thanks to this visibility, if we have a doubt, we can see what the other localisers had thought. A really good example is the English term «game». In French, Italian and Spanish it can be translated in two different ways: jeu/gioco/juego o partie/partita/partida, so all three languages should use the same term (in each language, of course), which is pretty useful if you aren’t sure. I know it’s not easy that an agency will supply you with the translations in other languages, but they might do it at then end, when they have all the texts compiled, or if they aren’t in a rush. Otherwise, you can always ask straight away if they can tell you how the other translators localised a specific term or sentences (I have also done this, and they have always helped me).

It is also useful to have the contact of the person in charge of the proofreading, not only to discuss and agree with the translation of some terms, but also to ask any doubt of the original. Maybe they have done a similar translation/proofreading before or they have more experience in the subject of the translation or game. Of course, the contact may be the other way round too: they can also ask if they don’t know why we have use a specific translation, or even they can send us the text proofread when it’s finished, so that we can learn from our mistakes.

5. Ask a native

If you have tried the “queries” option and the client is a bit slow in replying, or the agency don’t want to give you the contact of the proofreader (or there is no proofreader at all), you can always try to ask a native for some help. Don’t abuse this tip, though, or they might get tired of you asking. ;) My partner is English speaker and every time I have a doubt with an English text, especially if I think that the term or sentence might be slang or a expression that can’t be translated literally. Most of the times, he solves my doubts. Others, not even him understands the meaning (poor thing, it’s not his fault), but he definitely helps me to understand the text from the point of view of a native, and not from the translator’s one. And I think this is very important when translating: we have to understand the source culture, not just the text itself.


I am sure you use some of those tips (or all of them), and I bet I have forgotten many others. However, I think with these five you have high chances to get it right. Anyone else has a tip they would like to share? We will be delighted to read them.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Happy birthday!

This morning I received an e-mail letting me know that Isabel García Cutillas (a Spanish blogger I follow) had a new post in her blog. I accessed the blog to read it and it wasn’t until I saw that she was saying that it had already been a year since she started the blog, that I realised that, well, my blog is also a year old! On the 27th of October, this blog turned ON YEAR OLD! (Oooh, how cute!) Time flies. Really. This year has been full of new experiences. I feel as if I had one of those pleasant dreams and, when you wake up, you can only remember a few vague images, just as photographies seen some time back, and the sensation that the dream was a very good one (just like dreaming with Brad Pitt splitting with Angelina and telling you that he wants to be the father of your children). During this year, apart from meeting a long list of Amazing people (and one or too not so good… You know, you can’t make friends if you don’t have enemies), and discover that there is life out there (out of my computer and my desk), I have learnt a lot and I have discovered that you don’t need to hold three masters degrees, two PhD’s and a year of language exchange to be able to do a presentation in front of a hundred people and, not only see that they are entertained, but also they laugh, they don’t throw any tomatoes and, the best of all: they discover new things. And it is that feeling, the feeling of seeing that I manage to open someone’s mind what has made me to jump down the hill like a snowball and write, publish news about the industry, write articles, present papers in conferences, go to VIP conferences and, well, anything needed.

I look back, year 2004, when I (Oh, my!), arrived from my heavenly island to this city of London, a cold evening of autumn (I was wearing summer clothes), with nothing else but a suitcase and my duvet (just in case) hanging from my hands and plenty of hope (oh, yeah!), and I think: if I had discovered Twitter and I had internet connection at home back then, where would I be now? Well, probably exactly where I am, but with more years down the blog archive and with all of you (I hope).

Even though I have only written 14 posts, including this one (I blame the lack of time), I really hope I will (over)exceed that number throughout the year. However, as this blog wouldn’t be the same without you, (yes, it’s true it Works a bit as a therapy), I wanted to let you know that you can suggest subjects you would like me to talk about, anything you would like to know about games localization, any story about how the tester’s life is or, simply, any hints or help about this industry, you know where to find my e-mail address or where is the comments box.

*scroll down*

Thank you very much for your time and happy birthday to you too!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award

Two weeks ago I was excited to know that Rebekka Wellmans had nominated me as a “Versatile blogger”. At first I thought it was just like the #FollowFriday (#FF) on Twitter, but when I went to her website to see the post, I saw that it was much more than just a mention. I just met Rebekka over Twitter not too long ago, but I was pleased to hear that she loved videogames and was Spanish > English translator (it’s always good to have around people who can do inverse translations from your language pairs). And so, when I received this award from her, I felt I had to write more posts about games not only for my Spanish blog but also for this one, in English. So, thanks very much, Rebekka, not only for your award but also for giving me hope that I can actually get far with my posts.

These are the official rules of the award:

1. Thank the award-giver and link back to them in your post. (Done)

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

3. Pass this award along to 15 recently discovered blogs you enjoy reading.

4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.

Seven things you might not know about me:

1) I was born in Mallorca (Spain), and as islander, I love the sea and the sun. I wish it was spring and summer all year long!

2) I love cooking, especially for others.

3) I have always been very close to music. I had piano lessons for 8 years and I sang in a choir for about 12 years. I would have loved to be a famous singer, but I don’t have an amazing voice… Yes, really! I just educated it, and so I can tune, but I am nothing like Aretha Franklin (I wish!).

4) When I was little, I wanted to be a concert pianist, then a painter, then a vet, then a paediatrician, then a singer and an actress (well, this is something I always wanted to be, and I still want!), then an archaeologist, then a journalist, then a teacher, then… I suppose I have always been interested in so many things that I wasn’t able to take a decision…

5) I love photography. In fact, right now, if I wasn’t translator, I would love to be a photographer. To me, it’s a way to capture beauty, to express how I see the world and to share with everybody else a part of me that it is hidden down in me. If you want to see what I can do, I have a photos portfolio too.

6) I love animals and I do loads of recycling. Throughout my life, have had turtles (4), birds (2), a duck (1), hamsters (I have lost count, as my female had several times babies) and cats (just picked them up from the streets). But I have never had a dog (so now you know what to buy me for my birthday J).

7) For many years I had penpal friends. I used to write letters with kids from various parts in the world, including a Japanese girl (Megumi Yamada) and a Cuban girl. I still keep the letters of most of those letters. Ah, and one of those penpal’s friend is now a fan of this blog (¡hola, Natalia!)

My 15 favourite and recently discovered translation blogs (whose owners I award now with the "Versatile Blogger Award"):

- “In other words” (In English. The blogger who gave me this award, whose blog I discovered not long ago. Very interesting blog to read)

- “GLOC” (In English. A great blog about games localisation, with great tips not only for us, localisers, but also for games developers to have into account when creating games)

- “Mox’s Blog” (In English. Humour about translators, the translation industry, rates… everything is in there!)

- “Naked Translations” (In English and French. In it you will find all sorts of posts about language, English, French, translation, tips for students…)

- “Media Loc’s Translation and games Localization blog” (In English. Posts about videogames localization).

- “The Liaison Interpreter” (In English. A blog about interpreting from the point of view of a non-Japanese living in Japan).

- “Tradúceme despacio que tengo prisa” (In Spanish. Apart from being a close friend, her blogger is a great proofreader. She posts about everything translators need to know to make their lives easy, as well as important tips about proofreading).

- “El Carpintero Traductor” (In Spanish. A great blog from a Literary translator and lecturer at Instambul’s University)

- “La prueba de lo ajeno” (In Spanish. A young Blogger and a famous Microblog site translator with so much knowledge in her mind, we all wish we could think like her).

- “Perdido en San Borondón” (In Spanish. A newby with great writing skills who will probably “steal” my clients very soon. Beware!)

- “PlayOver” (In Spanish. A blog about videogames)

- “Aventuras de una traductora-intérprete en Madrid” (In Spanish. I love reading this blog as it is a way to know how the interpreter’s life is without the need of getting out of my flat).

- “The booth inhabitant” (In Spanish. Great blog from a Conference Interpreting MA student in Paris, who will soon become a Conference Interpreter)

- “Johanna Angulo” (In Spanish. A Chilean blogger posting about localisation, translation and loads of great tips for translators)

- “Ara Va de Jocs” (In Catalan. A great blog about games, with good reviews of all games)

Now it’s your turn to pass on the goodies!

Note: There are loads of other blogs that I would have liked to include in here, but I wanted to mention blogs written in both English and Spanish (and that one in Catalan), and also focus a bit on blogs related to this one (so games localisation), and so I had to leave out loads of other great blogs that I follow, so feel free to go through my blogroll and check the rest of them.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Media4All: the «Oscar» of the Audiovisual translation (Part I)

A week after the big audiovisual translation event, I have managed to find a a few minutes to explain you how the experience was. As many of you may know, I presented a paper about videogames localisation and quality assurance (a new version, slightly different from the one I did last December in December, which I started to explain to you about a few months back), therefore, the whole event was even more special for me.

The adventure started on Tuesday the 28th. In the morning there were some workshops on offer for some people. For others, like me, the whole thing started in the evening, as the Spanish Embassy had invited some of the lecturers and collaborators to the embassy. I went there with Jennifer Vela, who I as looping forward to meet again. After Jorge Díaz-Cintas, Fréderic Chaume and the Spanish Ambassador in London addressed their speeches to us, we were allowed to socialise a bit before we had to move to the Imperial College London to the presentation party. It was in this little while at the Embassy that Jennifer introduced me to some of the translation celebrities (Wow! This girl knows loads of important people!), included Miguel Ángel Bernal, one of the most important researchers in videogames localisation. I also saw known faces, such as Pilar Orero’s (I love her!) or Diana Sánchez, who was my teacher at university back in 2003-2004.

Afterwards, we headed to the Imperial College London, where some drinks and munchies were waiting for us: our first networking and socialisation night at Media4All. Jennifer and I spent just a few hours there (including the hour that took us to ay goodbye ^_^) were very interesting. I met some interesting people, got some contacts and enjoyed to see so many people as crazy as me about translation and quality. I also met another teacher from my uni, Eva Espasa, with whom I hope I can collaborate very soon in something (stay tuned: second part coming soon).

The following day, on Wednesday, we started at 9 am and Julia Buckingham opened the conference and introduced a Round Table about Taking Stock in Audiovisual Translation. It was interesting to see how pretty was everything from the point of view of the big multinational company, which infuriated many of the audiovisual freelance translators present. And that was just the beginning… I couldn’t wait to see how everything would end.

After this round table, it was time for a break, tea/coffee and biscuits included. After the break it was the time to go separate ways and choose different rooms, as the parallel presentations were about to start: a total of 5 different rooms offering different presentations simultaneously. Decisions, decisions, decisions. Too many interesting subjects! However, as human clonation hasn’t been invented (yet), nor is teleporting, we had to choose which presentations to go to. As it was the beginning and I had been checking for a few hours, I knew exactly where I was going to go: Audiodescription. Jennifer Vela was presenting a paper and Pilar Orero was the chair, so I couldn’t miss it!

However, it was time of the “anecdote of the day”, and probably, the anecdote of the whole conference. Half-way through the first paper, the FIRE alarm was activated and we had to evacuate the building. We were told that, somewhere in the building, they were recording the last movie of Batman (no, I didn’t see Christian Bale, even though I was looking for him), so we just blamed the recording team for that. I am sure they made something explode and they forgot to warn the security team.

About half an hour later, we were allowed to go back in and we restarted the presentations. Jennifer’s presentation was very interesting, as she compared Audiodescription in different European countries and the USA, as well as the differences in the legal aspect, which proved to be tricky, as nowadays, researches have to pay constant attention to, as rules and regulations keep changing and the information that is true right now, might be obsolete just a few weeks later. Two attendees confirmed her that new laws about Audiodescription and accessibility had been created in some countries. Great news for the accessibility world, aren’t they?

Lunch time arrived, and we went to the food hall to grab some nibbles. It became a bit stressful as it seems the catering service didn’t realise that we were so many hungry people, waiting to be fed. Waiters and waitresses could barely leave the kitchen and the food on their trays was already finished. I had to wait for a long while to be able to grab my first bowl of food. I went to the kitchen Entrance (yes, like a hyena waiting for the lion family to fill their bellies J), where I found Pablo, and asked him to help me get something toe at, as my breakfast and the few biscuits I had during the tea break had been digested a long time ago. My surprise was meeting there a follower of this blog, David (how exciting! A fan!), who also helped me to get another bowl of food. Isn’t that cute?

Lunch time ended and the next presentations session started. This time it was the turn of characters translatability in movies and the effect of those characters in the audiences. Three very interesting papers. On one hand, we were given (loads of) data about audiences in cinema festivals in Italy. Then, Carlos de Pablos explained to us part of his research about how different audiences (people who had contact with Spanish culture and people who had no contact whatsoever, as well as Spanish audiences) perceived the different characters and roles in Pedro Almodóvar’s movies. The results were astonishing, and helped me understand why British people thought I was a bit of a nutter J The last presentation was given by an old university classmate, who explained how characters from the Lord of the Rings books had been “translated” in the movies. I had already seen his presentation in Barcelona, but there he had focus his study on videogames, and not movies, but it was as interesting as the first time I heard him.

Another tea/coffee break and the last session of the day started. Now my heart was divided, as I was interested in the papers being presented in two of the rooms, and so I tried to go first to one of them and, then, to the other one.

I started with audiodescription in museums, which was pretty interesting. They explained that in Ottawa museum they had an App for iPhone and iPad with audiodescription and subtitles of each of their artworks. It was like an accessible audioguide. The rest of the presentation, I was a bit lost, as it seemed they were advertising how great their museum was, and we weren’t interested on listening to commercials, were we? ;)

And the «Vino de honor» (Honour wine) time arrived. I decided to go for juice, as I had some work to do at home, but it seems wine honoured many of the guests. ;) After the wine and networking time, we went to look for a place to have some dinner. The idea was to go to have a pizza, but we couldn’t fidn the place and ended up having English pub dinner. And, as it happens in all English pubs at 11 pm are last orders, so we had to leave. My presentation was the day after, so I decided that my party time was over for the night and went home.

To be continued…