The image of the translator holed up at a desk for days on end, possibly unaware of the time of day as they immerse themselves in complex turns of phrase, probably while in pyjamas, is a familiar trope. But the industry’s attitude to solo working is changing: translators now want to collaborate more and are increasingly willing to subject their work to the scrutiny of others. Enter Tim Gutteridge and Simon Berrill, this year’s speakers at the summer workshop and advocates of a self-developed, collaborative exercise known as the “Revision Club”. ScotNetters and other colleagues gathered in Aberdour to hear their words of wisdom at one of the highlights in the year’s events – and here, Alastair Naughton, Anneliese Garvie and Siobhan Gorrie give their report of the weekend.
Work and play
Although I’ve been to several ScotNet summer workshops in the past, prior commitments in previous years had meant that I’d never been able to stay for the full evening festivities, trading them in for much less thrilling things like a late-night drive along the A68 back from Melrose after last year’s workshop. So I was delighted to have the chance to find out what was in store this year, without the need to watch the clock.
After a day of putting our translation and revision skills through their paces, those staying on had a little free time to relax and put on our glad rags before the evening started. Although Aberdour is not far from my home in Edinburgh, I had chosen to stay overnight anyway at the Woodside Hotel, where the workshop was being held – and when I headed up to my room after the day’s proceedings, I was very impressed to be greeted with a tea tray that had not one, but two Tunnock’s Caramel Wafers. Other hotels, please take note. (Yes, my affection can be bought very easily with biscuits, or any confectionery really.)
The hotel itself had been an excellent venue all day, offering all the right facilities but still a friendly atmosphere that was far removed from the somewhat starched surroundings that can be found in some of the more corporate-style hotel and conference venues.
For the evening meal, we returned to the same large suite in which we had conducted the workshop earlier that day, and enjoyed an excellent three-course dinner, a few well-earned beverages, and lots of engaging chat with colleagues and their partners, friends and children, many of whom had come along to the social element of the summer workshop.
The room was then turned around quickly to make way for another of the weekend’s highlights: the ceilidh, brought to us once again by Edinburgh-based ceilidh band Da Hooley. Even for those (like me) who were there on their own, there were plenty of opportunities to get up on the dance floor for group dances, and the band’s caller in particular kept spirits high.
Fun though the festivities were, the warmth of the room meant that it was also nice to step outside from time to time into the pleasant summer’s evening for some fresh air and a chance to chat to other ScotNetters and their family members. Once the ceilidh had finished, the chat continued over a few whiskies in the hotel bar before the last few stragglers retired to their rooms.
I was really glad that I’d made the (long overdue) decision to stay for the evening, and am sure that Shetland in 2020 will take the social side of things to the next level!