I hope you are all keeping safe and well and since it’s now time for social distancing, I am going to suggest a couple of stay-at-home activities for the weekend that could be helpful in these times – keeping mental health (and maybe avoid checking the news every hour – mea culpa, mea maxima culpa) is as important as physical health as you know.
In our last blog post dedicated to Women in Translation Month, we are looking at one special female author who – according to UNESCO’s Index Translationum – is the most translated author of all times with 7236 translated volumes published in 103 different target languages. And that’s not all, she also holds the Guinness World Record for the best-selling author of fiction to date. She was a rather prolific author penning 66 crime novels, 14 short story collections, 19 plays and even 6 romantic novels. One of her plays holds the record for the longest theatrical run. She also received the title of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for her contribution to literature. Can you guess who she is?
There is anecdotal evidence that the language industry and more specifically the translation industry is dominated by women: there are more women studying languages than men at university level, there is always a minority of men at translation conferences, we seem to have an overwhelming number of female translators in our own in-house database, and if you look at our Project Manager Team at First Edition, it is also mostly female. (It’s 83%, to be exact.)
Today is International Women’s Day and as French is the Language of the Month here at First Edition, we thought we’d bring you the famous female French translator, Émilie du Châtelet as a way of celebrating both!
Burns Night is upon us, with an abundance of haggis, the “great chieftain o’ the puddin’-race” and whisky and poetry! Many poetry lovers come together every year on 25 January, the birthday of Robert Burns, the great Scottish poet and celebrate him by consuming typical Scottish food and drinks. This is a tradition that has been kept since 1801, when his friends gathered together five years after Burns’s death to commemorate his life and work.
While informal gatherings of friends might just enjoy a bit of haggis and (a bit more) spirits, formal Burns suppers actually have a set standard order, starting with a piper greeting guests, welcoming speeches, then several courses of delicious Scottish food with toasts and poetry recitals. Even the haggis is addressed by the host before it is ceremoniously cut. The feast is then closed by everyone joining hands and singing Auld Lang Syne, one of Burns’s most famous poems.
Traditionally haggis is made of offal, oatmeal and various spices but vegetarians and vegans should not despair as there are several non-meaty options available, too. Haggis is often served with “neeps and tatties” which is Scottish for mashed swede and potato. Oh, and don’t forget a wee dram, either!