SELTA in Lockdown

SELTA has been continuing to hold events despite being unable to meet in person.

In March 2020, when many of us had been looking forward to the London Book Fair and the associated professional and social events that surround it, the fair was cancelled and the UK was plunged into lockdown. As translators, we are used to working in isolation but that doesn’t mean we aren’t in need of some human contact. SELTA has been continuing to hold events and provide a forum for conversation through the pandemic.

We held our Spring Meeting online on 1 May 2020. The formal part of the meeting was followed by a CPD event on “The Path Less Trodden: Different routes into translating Swedish literature” with guest speakers SELTA member Deborah Bragen-Turner, and Paul Norlen and Rachel Willson-Broyles in the US talking about how they got into their Swedish translation careers.

In July we held a virtual fikastund with talks by SELTA members Ruth Urbom and Alex Fleming on their other (not Swedish) translation languages and the impact this has on their work from Swedish.

In August we held our second virtual fikastund on Zoom with talks on the world of subtitling and translating for screen by SELTA members Kajsa von Hofsten and Alexander Keiller.

In November we held our AGM again via Zoom and on 18 November this was followed by a live event with Nordic literary agents. Watch the video here.

Besides being informative, educational and entertaining in their own right, these online events have provided a welcome opportunity to see our colleagues, to discuss how the pandemic is affecting us personally and professionally, and have offered an opportunity for members in more far-flung locations to attend who would not normally have been able to do so. With many translation events similarly being transferred online, 2020 has also given us the chance to attend virtual seminars and talks in a range of geographical locations and the SELTA google group is keeping everyone informed of everything going on online.