Spanish<>English Translation and Interpretation Coordinator Position at Hunter College

The Department of Romance Languages at Hunter College of the City University of New York invites applications for a full-time appointment at the rank of Doctoral Lecturer for the position of Coordinator of the Department’s Spanish Major Concentration in Spanish<>English Translation and Interpretation beginning in spring 2023. The Doctoral Lecturer workload is 24 assignable hours per year. The successful candidate will teach two 3-hour courses per semester, and the rest of the workload would be satisfied by the various administrative and advising duties described below.

The Department of Romance Languages offers a major in Spanish<>English Translation and Interpretation that prepares students for careers in the growing field of translation and interpretation. Students take courses in Spanish language, literature, and civilization in conjunction with specialized courses in translation/interpretation theory and practice. Hunter is also home to the Master of Arts in Translation and Interpreting (MATI) program, which offers a curriculum including a theoretical grounding in translation and interpreting studies and hands-on language-specific training in translation, localization, and oral interpretation skills in Chinese, Russian and Spanish.

Located on the 68th Street campus on the upper east side of Manhattan near many major cultural institutions, Hunter College offers scholars a vibrant and dynamic community within a highly diverse urban setting. As part of the City University of New York, a nationally recognized metropolitan university system, Hunter is committed to active engagement with students and the community at large and embraces equity, inclusiveness, and global awareness in all dimensions of our work.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

The successful candidate will be the Coordinator of the Spanish Major Concentration in Spanish<>English Translation and Interpretation. They will teach two courses per semester, develop courses in interpretation/translation theory, methodology, and practice, provide advising and mentoring to Translation/Interpretation majors, and see to the program’s administration. In addition, they will arrange and oversee student internship experiences.

QUALIFICATIONS:

The candidate must hold a Ph.D. in a relevant discipline at the time of appointment. They must have native-level proficiency in both English and Spanish, proven excellence in teaching English<>Spanish translation and interpretation, and professional experience in the field. Experience in curriculum development and assessment is preferred.

VACCINE REQUIREMENT:

Candidates must provide proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 upon commencing employment. Exemption (medical or religious) requests to this requirement will be considered in accordance with applicable law. Being fully vaccinated is defined for this purpose as being at least two weeks past their final dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine regimen. Final candidates must be fully vaccinated as of their first day of employment.

COMPENSATION:

CUNY offers faculty a competitive compensation and benefits package covering health insurance, pension, and retirement benefits, paid parental leave, and savings programs. We also provide mentoring and support for research, scholarship, and publication as part of our commitment to ongoing faculty professional development.

The salary range is from $55,677-$96,351 – commensurate with experience.

HOW TO APPLY:

Applications must be submitted online by accessing the CUNY Portal on the City University of New York job website: www.cuny.edu/employment

To search for this vacancy, click on SEARCH ALL POSTINGS, and in the SEARCH JOBS field, enter the Job Opening ID number 24512

Click on the “APPLY NOW” button and follow the application instructions. Current users of the site should access their established accounts; new users should follow the instructions to set up an account.

Please have your documents available to attach to the application before you begin. Note the required material must be uploaded as ONE document under CV/ Resume (do not upload individual files for a cover letter, references, etc.). The document must be in .doc, .docx, .pdf, .rtf, or text format– and the name of the file should not exceed ten (10) characters – also DO NOT USE SYMBOLS (such as accents (é, è, (â, î or ô), ñ, ü, ï , –, _ or ç)). Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Please include:

– A Cover Letter and Teaching Statement

– A Curriculum Vitae/ Resume with a link to an online Portfolio or body of work

– Names and contact information of four references (two academic references and two professional references)

– A sample of written scholarship in French or English (no longer than 25 pages)

Upload all documents as ONE single file– PDF format preferred.

CLOSING DATE:

The search will remain open until the position is filled. The committee will begin reviewing complete applications on November 22nd. Applications submitted after the deadline will only be considered if the position/s remain open after the initial round.

JOB SEARCH CATEGORY

CUNY Job Posting Faculty

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY:

CUNY encourages people with disabilities, minorities, veterans, and women to apply. At CUNY, Italian Americans are also included among our protected groups. Applicants and employees will not be discriminated against on the basis of any legally protected category, including sexual orientation or gender identity. EEO/AA/Vet/Disability Employer.

JOB LISTING:

For reference, the complete job listing is available on the CUNY Employment website:

https://hrsa.cunyfirst.cuny.edu/psc/erecruit/EMPLOYEE/HRMSCG/c/HRS_HRAM_FL.HRS_CG_SEARCH_FL.GBL?Page=HRS_APP_JBPST_FL&Action=U&SiteId=1&FOCUS=Applicant&JobOpeningId=24512&PostingSeq=1

PREPARING FOR THE ATA CERTIFICATION EXAM

On April 28, 2022, the ATA hosted an online seminar about the ATA Certification Exam and how best to prepare for it. The presenters were David Stevenson, A Croatian/English grader and ATA Certification Committee Chair, Tianlu Redmon, a certified English/Chinese translator/interpreter and ATA grader and Brad Karl, a certified French/English translator and copywriter.

David started by highlighting the advantages of certification which include being highlighted in the ATA directory as certified and the awarding of a certification seal which can be affixed to documents. There are currently 32 language pairings, with Korean/English and English/Korean having been recently added. Currently 1800 ATA members are certified.

The price for taking the exam in $525 in 2022. The exam is 3 hours in duration and is open book; all print resources are permitted as well as digital glossaries and dictionaries. It consists of three passages of a general nature (no specialized knowledge required), each of which is from 225 to 275 words in English or the equivalent non-English language.

Candidates must translate two of the three passages provided.  There is no advantage in doing three as opposed to two translations. The exam is done in WordPad or Text Edit and is saved to a USB port. The pass rate across language pairings averages just below 20%.

Each passage is accompanied by translation instructions (TI’s) which explain the source, purpose, audience and medium of the translation. The TI’s provide context so that candidates can choose the proper register for their translations. David stressed that the exam is not primarily a vocabulary challenge. Instead it tests  source language comprehension, target language writing skills, the ability to adhere to the TI’s and whether the candidate can produce a natural sounding translation.

There are two graders for the exam with a third being called in when there is a split decision on passing or not passing the candidate. Errors are assigned 1, 2, 4, 8 or 16 points depending on the severity of the error and candidates must score 17 points or less on each passage in order to pass. Three quality points can also be awarded for particularly good translations; the three points would be subtracted from the error total.

Failure in the exam is generally caused by grammar, spelling or punctuation errors; translation comprehension errors; translations not faithful  to the source text; and translations that are too literal in nature, i.e., ones that follow the source text’s syntax or grammar so closely that the resulting translation is not natural sounding.

In-person exams are organized by the local chapters; there are usually two in-person sittings at the ATA annual conference.  The in-person exam requires a laptop and is monitored by live proctors. The sessions are recorded. Candidates can also take the exam online by signing up for a time slot that is convenient to them. These sessions are proctored remotely and are also recorded. Print resources and digital dictionaries or glossaries stored on the computer are allowed but no CAT tools are permitted.

All three speakers strongly recommended taking the practice exam. It costs $80 for members and $120 for non-members and consists of one passage. Tianlu Redmon mentioned that since it takes 6 to 8 weeks for the practice test to be returned to the candidate, candidates should wait until they have received  feedback on the practice exam before taking the actual exam. It is also  important to practice using Word Pad or TextEdit and to know how to save a document as a PDF. She also recommended triple checking devices and chargers before beginning the exam and using the full three hours allowed before leaving the exam.

Ben Karl made the important point that the best preparation for the exam is experience. The practice test helps but is not a substitute for actual experience. He also stressed the importance of mastering basic technological skills such as saving to USB drives and using multilingual keyboards before attempting the exam.

The seminar was a useful primer on how to prepare for this rigorous exam. The ATA’s on-demand webinars can also provide useful information for translators on this as well as other important topics.

PATRICIA STUMPP

 

 

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

As summer winds down and we prepare for the fall and the holiday season, I hope you will enjoy the new edition of the Gotham. It includes an article with advice on how to prepare for the ATA certification exam as well as articles on two recent literary-oriented translation events.

It occurred to me recently that the Gotham is the perfect place to draw attention to the achievements of our members. If you have recently received any special recognition for your work in translation or if one of your translations has recently been published, please let me. I would be happy to spotlight it in an upcoming edition.

Best regards,

Patricia Stumpp

 

PROMOTING ITALIAN LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION IN THE USA

On June 6, 2022 I attended a roundtable presentation on promoting Italian literature in the US. The  event was part of a 3-day seminar on contemporary Italian fiction entitled Multipli Forti which was sponsored by the Italian Cultural Institute of New York. The event featured appearances by prominent Italian authors, publishing houses that publish translated works, translators and educators.

Sitting on the panel were Beniamino Ambrosi, a literary agent from The Cheney Agency and the following book publishers:  Dan Simon of Seven Stories Press, Tynan Kogane of New Directions, Terrie Akers, Marketing Director of Other Press and Michael Reynolds, editorial director of Europa Editions. Sarah McNally, owner of McNally Jackson Bookstores, was also on the panel which was moderated by Luca Briasco of Minimum Fax and Michael Reynolds.

Seven Stories has been in existence for 30 years and publishes political non-fiction, literature in translation, and other works of radical imagination.  New Directions, founded in 1936, focuses on avant-garde works. Other Press is an independent publishing house that publishes fiction and nonfiction from countries around the world as well as from the US.  Europa Editions was founded in 2005 with a mission to bring fresh international voices to the English language market

The question of how foreign literary works make it into the US market was a major topic of discussion.  The answer that emerged was that  books with subjects of particular interest to Americans as well as books with a strong local presence or sense of place are both attractive targets for publication in English. Reviews in the international press are important to attracting the attention of publishers of translated works as are recommendations from trusted sources such as agents and literary scouts. A book which is a big seller in its native country may also attract the attention of American publishing houses and agents more easily. Publishers also find titles at international book fairs such as the Turin book fair while international prizes such as the Booker Prize help to increase a book’s visibility among American publishers.

While common parlance dictates that translated books make up about 3% of titles published in the US in a given year, one of the panelists felt that 3% is an overstatement, i.e., that the actual number of translated works being published in the US is far below the 1% mark. Interestingly, it was mentioned that many translated works are now being published inside the EU, particularly in the UK, which has seen a rise in the number of Italian titles being published in English. It was also mentioned how the French government supports the culture of books and bookstores within the country.

When questioned about the future of Italian literature published in translation, it was mentioned that teaching Italian literature in U.S. universities could be a useful tool for promoting contemporary Italian fiction. The publishers expressed their openness to receiving pitches from American academics about Italian authors which could be good candidates for translation and eventual publication in English.

 

Patricia Stumpp

 

 

 

 

 

 

“BEYOND TRANSLATION”: A LITERARY TRANSLATION EVENT

On July 27, 2022, The Strand Bookstore presented an online literary translation event entitled “Anton Hur & Bruna Dantas Lobato: Beyond Translation.” Anton Hur is the translator of the Korean novel “Violets” written by the  important South Korean author Kyung-Sook Shin. Ms. Lobato is the translator of “Moldy Strawberries” by Caio Fernando Abreu, one of Brazil’s most prominent chroniclers of Brazilian culture and society in the 1970’s and 80’s.

The Strand bookstore, founded in 1927, is the sole surviving bookstore of the forty-eight shops that once comprised New York City’s “Book Row,” an area clustered around Fourth Avenue.  The Strand, which is currently run by the granddaughter of the founder, carries over 2.5 million used, new, and rare books. Its in-store and online events feature dialogues with important authors and personalities.

The event began with readings by the two translators. Although Ms. Lobato’s translation was just recently published by Archipelago books, “Moldy Strawberries”  was written more than forty years ago during a time when Brazil was dealing with the AIDS crisis as well as life under a dictatorship. Ms. Lobato read from one of the eighteen stories in the collection which is entitled “Beyond the Point.” The selection was striking in its poetic quality and its expression of the longing for love and connection and the fear of rejection.

Mr. Hur’s translation of the Korean novel “Violets” is a coming-of-age novel which was just published by the Feminist Press.  The selection that Mr. Hur read was a delicate and poetic description of an incipient relationship between two young Korean girls. The book goes on to tell the story of one of the girls as a young adult and explores issues of rejection, obsession and violence against women in 1990’s South Korea.

After the two readings, the translators addressed various issues such as why they chose to translate these two particular books. It was clear that both translators were attracted to the way in which the authors addressed the issue of  “otherness” and how individuals perceived by society to be different survive in a hostile world. While considered by some to be outsiders in their societies, the principal characters in the both books are conventionally normal in their desire for love and acceptance. As Ms. Lobato stated, if the outside world cannot accept the desires of those classified as “others,” it is the world that is broken and not the people.

Both books presented certain unique challenges to the translators. Ms. Lobato   mentioned the particular rhythm of the author’s prose, its unique syntax and its crystalline language. She acknowledged how important the input of her editor was in her attempt to capture these effects in her translation.  She made the interesting comment that at a certain point the translator becomes “possessed” by the voice of the author.  Mr. Hur mentioned that there is still some ambivalence about the place of queer literature in contemporary Korean society.

The event was interesting in the way it showed how universal themes like love, rejection and “otherness” span the boundaries of international literature. The two translators were impressive in their commitment to presenting both the universality and the uniqueness of these two diverse voices to an English-speaking audience.

 

 

 

On July 27, 2022, The Strand Bookstore presented an online literary translation event entitled “Anton Hur & Bruna Dantas Lobato: Beyond Translation.” Anton Hur is the translator of the Korean novel “Violets” written by the  important South Korean author Kyung-Sook Shin. Ms. Lobato is the translator of “Moldy Strawberries” by Caio Fernando Abreu, one of Brazil’s most prominent chroniclers of Brazilian culture and society in the 1970’s and 80’s.

The Strand bookstore, founded in 1927, is the sole surviving bookstore of the forty-eight shops that once comprised New York City’s “Book Row,” an area clustered around Fourth Avenue.  The Strand, which is currently run by the granddaughter of the founder, carries over 2.5 million used, new, and rare books. Its in-store and online events feature dialogues with important authors and personalities.

The event began with readings by the two translators. Although Ms. Lobato’s translation was just recently published by Archipelago books, “Moldy Strawberries”  was written more than forty years ago during a time when Brazil was dealing with the AIDS crisis as well as life under a dictatorship. Ms. Lobato read from one of the eighteen stories in the collection which is entitled “Beyond the Point.” The selection was striking in its poetic quality and its expression of the longing for love and connection and the fear of rejection.

Mr. Hur’s translation of the Korean novel “Violets” is a coming-of-age novel which was just published by the Feminist Press.  The selection that Mr. Hur read was a delicate and poetic description of an incipient relationship between two young Korean girls. The book goes on to tell the story of one of the girls as a young adult and explores issues of rejection, obsession and violence against women in 1990’s South Korea.

After the two readings, the translators addressed various issues such as why they chose to translate these two particular books. It was clear that both translators were attracted to the way in which the authors addressed the issue of  “otherness” and how individuals perceived by society to be different survive in a hostile world. While considered by some to be outsiders in their societies, the principal characters in the both books are conventionally normal in their desire for love and acceptance. As Ms. Lobato stated, if the outside world cannot accept the desires of those classified as “others,” it is the world that is broken and not the people.

Both books presented certain unique challenges to the translators. Ms. Lobato   mentioned the particular rhythm of the author’s prose, its unique syntax and its crystalline language. She acknowledged how important the input of her editor was in her attempt to capture these effects in her translation.  She made the interesting comment that at a certain point the translator becomes “possessed” by the voice of the author.  Mr. Hur mentioned that there is still some ambivalence about the place of queer literature in contemporary Korean society.

The event was interesting in the way it showed how universal themes like love, rejection and “otherness” span the boundaries of international literature. The two translators were impressive in their commitment to presenting both the universality and the uniqueness of these two diverse voices to an English-speaking audience.

 

 

ATA SEMINAR: HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY TACKLE TRANSLATION TESTS

On April 6, 2022, the ATA presented an online seminar about how translators can improve their chances of passing translation tests.  The presenter was Marina Ilari, an ATA certified English>Spanish translator with over 16 years of experience. She is the chief executive officer of Terra Translations and co-host of En Pantuflas, a podcast about translation. She also has had experience drafting translation tests.

According to Marina, translation tests are a kind of audition to see if the translator and the company are a good match for each other. The test evaluates  not only language proficiency but also other qualities such as the ability to follow directions or to communicate effectively.

Marina discussed some of the myths surrounding translation tests. One common myth is that they are used to get translations done without paying for them. While it is impossible to say this never happens, Marina believes that most serious companies would not engage in such behavior since it is unethical and against industry standards. Another myth is that the reviewers who evaluate the tests have a vested interest in seeing prospective translators fail so as to reduce competition for work.  Marina does not ascribe to this belief since most reviewers are usually in-house linguists, quality assurance professionals or freelancers with a long-standing relationship with the company. Creating translation tests  is an investment that the company makes in itself and it is to the company’s advantage if the prospective translator passes the test.

Translation tests may be general in nature but often contain short segments of texts that test for specific subject matter expertise. As regards tests for specific subject matter expertise, Marina thought doing  two or three of them would be sufficient since most companies do not pay vendors for taking tests. Generally tests should not exceed 500 words and are usually 300 words or less. If you are requested to do more, a conversation with the client may be in order. Timelines vary from test to test; some may give you 48 hours and others as much as two weeks. Occasionally you may be asked to book a two-hour window within which time you have to complete the test.

Some of Marina’s tips for successful test-taking include the following:

  • Make sure to read and follow instructions and check for any specific requirements for formatting, timeline, character restrictions, etc. Be careful with Excel files because sometimes the instructions are at the bottom of the page.
  • Research the client thoroughly. Try to determine who their target client is and if you fit into those parameters. Also research the company’s payment practices on sites such as Proz.com and Paymentpracatices.net.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. For example, does the client provide glossaries or style guides? What level of formality does the client require? Does the client have a preferred terminology? By asking questions like these, you show that you are proactive and care about overall quality.  Be careful not to ask questions that are already answered in the email containing the test.
  • Be attentive to detail: if there are segments in the translation that can’t be translated exactly or are ambiguous, leave a sentence or two about your word choices and how you addressed these issues. If more context is required to translate certain phrases, leave a comment to that effect. Do not put your comments in parentheses in the text. Do not use track changes or highlight the text in question.  For word documents, the comment can be inserted into the file or may be put into the body of the email that you send to return the test. For excel spreadsheet, comments can be inserted into a separate column.
  • If you find what you think are mistakes in the test, bring this to the attention of the company but do so in the form of a question with a phrase such as “Could this be a typo?“ Be very sure that it’s a mistake before citing it as such.
  • Proofreading: there should be at least two rounds of proofreading. Stepping aside from the project for a short time is useful in that you come back to it with fresh eyes.
  • Punctuality: keeping to the deadline is as important as the quality of the text. For a translation of 500 words or less, a turnround time of three to five days would be normal.
  • Feedback: always ask for feedback on your test. If you pass the test, find out if the reviewer made any comments on your test. If you do not pass the test, ask if you can re-take it or take a different test. Two weeks is usually enough time to wait if you have not already received any feedback. Remember that the managers don’t know you and may be hesitant to work with you so you need to be proactive.

The presentation was interesting in that it pointed out how translation tests can be an opportunity as opposed to just an unpleasant chore. ATA member who may want to view a video of the presentation can do so at no charge by logging into the ATA database.

Patricia Stumpp

 

 

 

AN EVENING WITH NOBEL LAUREATE ABDULRAZAK GURNAH – COMPLIMENTARY TICKETS

Readers of the Gotham Translator have been offered complimentary tickets to the Opening Night event of PEN World Voices, a  a literary festival bringing more than 80 writers from 25 countries to New York, May 11-14, 2022. The event features this year’s Nobel Prize winner — Tanzanian novelist Abdulrazak GurnahThe event is scheduled for Wednesday, May 11 (7 pm) at NYU Skirball Center. The details of the event are below:

 

Join us for Tanzanian novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah’s first U.S. appearance since his momentous Nobel Prize win last October, when the Swedish academy lauded him for “his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents.” An author of 10 critically acclaimed novels, including Paradise(1994), Gravel Heart (2017), and Afterlives (2020), Gurnah has been amplifying, rewriting, and centering subjugated histories for the entirety of his career. His vital writing chronicles an Africa on the brink of change while drawing light on the legacies and consequences of European colonialism. This very special opening night event celebrating Gurnah’s body of work and its place within a vibrant and rich canon of African literature, features readings, performances, and conversation with Booker Prize shortlisted novelist Nadifa Mohamed and others. ASL interpretation provided by Pro Bono ASL.

TO RECEIVE COMPLIMENTARY TICKETS, EMAIL isadeco@earthlink.net BY FRIDAY, MAY 6 (5 PM). INCLUDE YOUR FIRST AND LAST NAME WITH NAME OF EVENT.

For more information, click here.