With apologies to Kris Kristofferson.
Busted flat and brain-fried is how I felt after METM21 Online. Once again, Mediterranean Editors and Translators banded together to produce an excellent programme of presentations.
Mental stimulation that comes from peer-to-peer learning par excellence has its downside, though. It leaves you depleted for a while at the end of it all. It takes a couple of days for the dust to settle and the benefits of a fresh injection of inspiration to take effect.
#METM21 online happened without a single technological glitch. That is because of thorough preparation in concert by more than 50 volunteers both before and during the event, as Chair Emma Goldsmith told us at the close of proceedings.
It behoves me to keep this blog post short, so I will. For my part, I gave a violent account of how to use your editorial hatchet on tapeworm sentences in tandem with a couple of online tools. Judicious chopping using Grammarly and Hemingway was the order of the day.
Participants in the 25-minute Zoom breakout groups of four tackled the workshop exercise text in fine style. I literally drooled at some of the results, they were so good! Kudos to you if you caught that particular micro-expression in a screenshot.
METM has a two-track programme. Choosing which presentation to attend is hard. Especially when your clients have somehow sniffed that something is afoot in the ether and drum up urgent work mere days before you embark on your annual METM adventure.
That was the reason that I missed the opening sessions of METM. I arrived breathless, just in time to catch the beautifully articulate Clare Vassallo speaking in depth on Negotiating literary translation: author’s signature, translator’s style and publisher’s preferences.
After that, I popped into the coffee-break session held on the Wonder platform. It was good to greet a few colleagues to steel my nerves before giving my presentation. The Off-METM session afterwards was also in Wonder. A whirlwind of short conversations, speed-dating style, on all the regular MET activities. As an unashamed people-watcher, it is always fascinating to see who is interested in what.
When translators and editors get together, they can discuss a tiny text for hours. Wendy Baldwin hosted the Editors Café, which proved this universal truth once more. Author’s editors Alan Lounds and Theresa Truax-Gischler discussed how they would have helped an author prepare a short article-length thesis for submission to an international journal.
As they spoke, they dropped pearls of wisdom left and right. We barely made it through the Abstract, and suddenly, time was up. We were nowhere close to getting a peek at their presumably incisive treatment of the Introduction. All present are still fervently hoping Alan and Theresa will make their preparatory texts available to members post-METM.
The highlight of my Friday was the fast-paced presentation by Elina Nocera. Her talk, Putting readers first: how embracing simplicity can help us communicate more effectively, was chock-full of examples interwoven with a generous dollop of hard-core stylistic analysis. Her methods of creating clear and vibrant texts are inspirational.
It was also great to watch Holly Hibbert and Aleksandra Chlon team up. They told the story of a small translation support group of six on Whatsapp who celebrate their togetherness with a monthly online snippet slam. The Together in style – from snippet slam to professional support bubble gave us a refreshing take on collaborative possibilities and included plenty of examples – always a good sign!
I couldn’t decide whether I should listen next to Kate Sotejeff-Wilson and Alice Lehtinen address the question, Language professionals as cultural mediators: whose style matters? or hone in on Andrea Shah’s Enhancing your translations and adding value through search engine optimization. So I decided to watch a bit of both.
And that seemed to be the perfect cocktail accompaniment for the evening’s Off-METM activities and the After Party. I almost got to sleep that night with the METM Choir’s rendition of Hey Jude reverberating in my mind. Then, I started thinking of Percy Bysshe Shelley…
Told you. Busted flat and brain-fried, me.
©2021 Allison Wright