The Scottish Network of the Institute of Translation & Interpreting

Summer workshop 2023: Food and Drink in Translation


10:30 - 17:00

Event Type

ITI Scottish Network invites you to its summer workshop on:

To be held at
The Panmure Arms Hotel, 52 High St, Edzell,
Brechin, DD9 7TA

On Saturday, 27 May 2023

Translating Food


Michael Farrell is a freelance translator and transcreator, and a keen amateur cook. Over the years he has acquired experience in the food and cultural tourism fields. Mike also transcreates advertising copy and press releases, chiefly for the promotion of technology products. Besides this, he is an untenured lecturer in post-editing, machine translation and computer tools for translators at the International University of Languages and Media (IULM), Milan, Italy; the developer of the terminology search tool IntelliWebSearch; author of A guide to machine translation for today’s professional translator; a qualified member of the Italian Association of Translators and Interpreters (AITI); and member of the Mediterranean Editors and Translators association (MET).

Alison Hughes After 17 years in the wines and spirits industry, Alison embarked on a freelance career in 1997 and is now a French-to-English translator and copywriter for the creative industries. Her specialisms are food and drink (specifically French wine and champagne), fashion and cosmetics, jewellery, and contemporary art. In 2022 she published her first book entitled Life Happens: my journey through translation and other stories, which is available from Amazon (

Marian Dougan is a translator and editor specialising in financial, legal, corporate and EU texts. She lived in Italy for 24 years, working as a translator and as a policy analyst at the British Embassy in Rome. She has taught Translation Methodology and master classes on Translating for the Web as part of Glasgow University’s MSc in Translation Studies. More recently, Marian spent four years as an in-house translator and editor at the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, working on banking supervision and monetary policy texts. A ScotNetter and former committee member and Convenor, Marian is currently a member of the Board of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting.


Cooking up the right words: hints, tips and tricks for successful food translation

It is hard to imagine two things more intimately tied than language and food. Not just because they both require our mouths and tongues, and involve our emotions, but because they are two fundamental, defining aspects of the culture of a people. Translating food therefore poses some particularly demanding challenges that call for highly transcreative, outside-the-box thinking.
Mike will start the morning by discussing the links between language, culture and food with particular reference to Italy, and why they are so important.

After the coffee break, he will continue with a more interactive session where participants will take an analytical and critical look at some material from restaurant menus. The examples used refer to Italian cuisine, partly because it is so well known internationally and partly because this is the food Mike is most familiar with. They will be in English, although some Italian will inevitably creep in. The aim is to look at ideas for solving specific practical problems, thereby gaining insights that can be applied to food translation in general.
Participants should come away with a clear notion of the type of problems food translation poses and some ideas on how to tackle them.

Popping the cork on champagne translation

Working for a champagne company sounds like the dream job. Specialising in champagne must surely be very lucrative? But what is the real story? Well, it’s certainly not (always) as glamorous as it sounds.

Translations can range from traceability, closures, soil types and tasting notes to flowery prose. You need a good knowledge of the process, terminology and the market in general, but also creative translation skills to handle the often-hyperbolic source texts. In her talk, Alison will cover all these topics and offer advice on how to gain the requisite skills and find potential clients.

She will also talk briefly about the market situation after Covid/post-Brexit and conclude with some information about the competition champagne faces from those pesky English sparkling wines which keep winning awards. How do the two products compare? Will the tables turn and present opportunities for translators who work out of English?

The language (and flavours) of chocolate

Chocolate is the ultimate health food. And by boosting participants’ brain power, ScotNet’s presentation on the language (and flavours) of chocolate will enrich their learning experience throughout our Summer Workshop.

Marian – a ScotNetter, translator and former chocolate-shop owner and judge at the Academy of Chocolate awards in London – will be sharing her expertise on chocolate terminology… and tasting.
Cocoa (or cacao), the raw material for chocolate (from “bean-to-bar” to fine truffles and everything in between), is grown in many countries, from South America to Africa to Vietnam. Cocoa production encompasses issues as diverse as fair trade, plant genetics and commodities markets.

Chocolate has a language and vocabulary of its own – just like wine. And, like wine, it’s good for you (in moderation)! Marian will guide workshop participants through the history, health benefits and language of chocolate, and explain some of the terminology used in making and marketing this wonderful product.
In the belief that a multi-sensory approach enhances learning, the session will include a chocolate tasting.


Friday, 26 May
7:00 pm Informal dinner at the Auld Bakehouse, Brechin*

Saturday, 27 May

9:30 Workshop registration (tea/coffee and biscuits provided)

10:30 Session 1: Michael Farrell: The links between language, culture and food

11:30 Tea/coffee break

12:00 Session 2: Hands-on session on restaurant menus with Michael Farrell 1:15 pm Lunch

2:15 Session 3: Alison Hughes: Popping the cork on champane translation 3:30 Tea/coffee break

4:00 Session 4: Marian Dougan: The language of chocolate

5:00 Workshop ends

7:00 Dinner and ceilidh with the Dancing Feet Ceilidh Band in the Panmure Arms Hotel

Sunday, 28 May

9.45 Assemble outside the Panmure Arms Hotel for departure to start of the walk in nearby Glen Esk*

12.00 Return to Edzell

12.30 Light lunch offered by Sue and Ian Anderson for those remaining

Please note: Exact timings of sessions may be altered slightly and/or the order changed.
* Friday evening meal and Sunday morning walk require transport from Edzell. Car sharing will be organised.

Social programme

The workshop is part of ScotNet’s annual summer meeting and all attendees – plus their families and friends – are warmly invited to the social events on the Friday and Saturday evenings and on Sunday. Please fill in your choice of social activities in the registration form and pay any additional costs as detailed there.

Friday Evening

On Friday evening there will be an informal dinner at the Auld Bakehouse, 26 High St, Brechin, DD9 6ER. This event will have a set two-course menu of main and dessert at £22.95 per head. Please tick the relevant box on your reply form, so that we can give the restaurant numbers.

A form with menu choices will be sent to all participants nearer the time.

Saturday Dinner and Ceilidh

On Saturday evening at 7.00 pm, we will meet again in the Panmure Arms Hotel with spouses, partners, families and friends to enjoy a three-course dinner, followed by a ceilidh with the Dancing Feet Ceilidh Band.

A form with menu choices will be sent to all participants nearer the time.

Sunday Local Walk
Glen Esk – The Blue Door riverside walk

On Sunday we will have walk of around 3 miles/5 kilometres in nearby Glen Esk. This will be on good riverside paths, but please wear appropriate clothing and boots in case it is muddy or wet. Car sharing will be arranged for the journey to the start of the walk.

Location and venue

The workshop will take place in the Panmure Arms Hotel, 52 High St, Edzell

Our dinner and ceilidh will also be held in the Panmure Arms.

Friday evening’s meal will be in the Auld Bakehouse, Brechin.


ScotNet members: Workshop only £100 / Workshop, dinner and ceilidh £135 / Dinner/Ceilidh only £35

ITI (but not ScotNet) members: Workshop only £110 / Workshop, dinner and ceilidh £145 / Dinner/Ceilidh only £35

Non-members: Workshop only £120 / Workshop, dinner and ceilidh £155 / Dinner/Ceilidh only £35

Friday evening meal £22.95 (payable with registration) plus drinks



Transport and car sharing

As our venue is not easily reached by public transport, we will try to organise lifts from those with cars for those without. We will also organise lifts to/from the Friday evening meal venue in Brechin and to/from the Sunday morning walk starting at the Blue Door.

If you plan to travel to Edzell by public transport, the nearest station is Montrose (on the Edinburgh – Dundee – Aberdeen line) with a number of trains per day (but be aware of potential strike action). There is also a bus service from Dundee to Aberdeen, which stops at Montrose. Montrose – Edzell is about 13 miles and taxis are available.

When you fill in the registration form, please indicate whether you can offer a lift to Edzell or whether you will need a lift. Also please indicate if you can offer any lifts on the Friday evening (Edzell – Brechin – Edzell) and the Sunday morning (Edzell – start of walk – Edzell).

Call notice PDF


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