Translation (and much more): events in London, autumn 2011.

By Nicky Harman, published


I will be one of the London Free Word Centre’s Translators-in-Residence this autumn and have organised a series of events for adults and chidren loosely focussed on China/Chinese and translation. You don’t have to be a translator or to speak Chinese to join in and all are welcome.

Here's the list so far. Check for updates on these, and for the list of activities organised by my fellow Translator-in-Residence, Spanish-to-English translator, Ros Harvey.

Finally, the Free Word Centre will also host a celebration of International Translation Day, Friday 30th September, 9.00am-5pm, (Themes: How can we popularise literature in translation? Are we getting anywhere? What can we learn from the success of other art forms, such as music?)

A selection of What’s On:

Free Word Centre, Thursday 13 October 2011 6.30 – 8.30pm Three thousand years of Chinese translation with Nicky Harman Translation into (and from) Chinese has been key to the development of Chinese culture for three thousand years. Nicky Harman will give an entertaining and insightful overview ranging from Buddhism to Marx, and beyond. Nicky has been translating from Chinese to English for over ten years, and is Translator-in-Residence at the Free Word Centre, autumn 2011. Tickets: £5/ £3

Free Word, Thursday 27 October 2011 6.30 – 8.30pm Diplomatic Incidents: The Pitfalls of Translation with Biljana Scott Our choice of words (terrorist versus freedom fighter), metaphors (war on poverty) and stories concerning religion, history and myth, all have the power to frame the way in which we see the world, and to determine the way we act upon it. Dr Biljana Scott, a linguist with a special interest in diplomatic language based at Oxford University, will speak about the importance of language and translation in international affairs and politics. Ticket: £5 / £3

Free Word, Thursday 17 November 2011 6.30 – 8.30pm Translation workshop with Brian Holton, Translating What's Not There: reticence in classical Chinese poetry Gain an insight into the fascinating world of classical Chinese poetry, and get to try some poetry-translating for yourself. Brian is an experienced workshop leader, and is passionate about his subject. You’ll come away from the evening inspired and amazed. No knowledge of Chinese is required. Brian Holton has been translating Chinese literature into English and Scots for thirty years, and is still excited about it. £5/£3

Free Word, Thursday 24 November 2011, 6.30 – 8.30pm Spotted Dick and Pock-Marked Old Woman’s Beancurd – an evening with Fuchsia Dunlop, writer on Chinese cookery Fuchsia will introduce the complexities of Chinese cuisine and the language used to describe it. Learn all about “mouth-feel” and get to try (if you like) some typical Chinese spices and flavourings. Fuchsia Dunlop is a cook and food-writer specialising in Chinese cuisine. She is the author of Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China, an account of her adventures in exploring Chinese food culture, and two critically-acclaimed Chinese cookery books, Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook, and Sichuan Cookery £5/£3

Free Word, 8 December, 2011 6.30 – 8.30pm Translating the environment: A panel discussion hosted by Isabel Hilton and Sam Geall.

Isabel and Sam run a website in Chinese and English, focusing on a very hot topic - environmental issues in China. Hear about how they find and report the news, and work with their editorial staff in Delhi, San Francisco, London and Beijing, and a team of translators in Beijing. There will be a chance to engage in a lively debate with panel members.

Isabel Hilton is a London based writer and broadcaster with a long standing interest in China. She is the founder and editor of Sam Geall is deputy editor of and a PhD candidate in Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester.

Tickets: £5/£3


# 1.   

Looks good! There's a great 45-min podcast of Brian Holton talking about what he does on

Helen Wang, August 30, 2011, 4:41p.m.

# 2.   

Great! I might be in town for your event Nicky. Looking forward to it.

Alice, September 7, 2011, 11:31p.m.


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