Happy Birthday translators! 

Happy 60th Birthday to us! The Finnish Association of Translators and Interpreters (SKTL) is 60 this year.

The party has started: a lively exhibition opens tomorrow. The opening tonight was a celebration of linguistic skills and challenges in a multicultural world. You can find out about the work of a different translator or interpreter for each year of SKTL’s existence (including me), translate picture titles, watch videos and listen to stories in all sorts of languages. There’s even an ergonomic work space where translators can work ‘live’, if you don’t mind feeling like an installation. More events continue every Thursday and Saturday for the next month (In Finnish and Swedish).

I particularly enjoyed Anne Ketola’s and Riitta Oittinen’s Encounters/Kohtamisia project, which explores how images and text work together and affect each other in translating picture books. Here’s one of Anne’s images:

The climax of the evening was a multilingual poetry acrobatics session – the mutant language picnic club. It was organised by Sivuvalo, which promotes writers working in Finland in languages other than Finnish. Sivuvalo’s project is exciting. It was wonderful to hear poems in Peruvian, Iraqi, Burmese and Icelandic accents in Finnish, as well as in their own languages with the translation projected on screen. The project asks: How does language mutate when you switch between languages? A language is as alive as its mutations – this is particularly important for languages in diaspora. The videos will be projected on the walls outside the centre all month.

Caisa is an international cultural centre in Helsinki, which turns 20 next year. It supports diversity and promotes interaction between people from different countries, both newer and older residents of Finland.

If you’re in town, pop in, spin the globe, and see which country and language you’ll land in next…

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Posted in international, language, literature, poetry, translation, words

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