Translation slam: Cathy Scott and Peter Smethurst 

How can you translate an advertising concept that doesn’t even exist in your own language? What should you do when confronted with an image that means less than zero to your target audience? Is it possible to get dry, technical messages across in clear and catchy English? Could – or should – you attempt to make a silk purse out of what is clearly a sow’s ear?

Join us at this Translation Slam to tackle some of the tricky issues facing translators who work in advertising, marketing and technical documentation, and feel free to contribute your own ingenious suggestions (or cheeky remarks).

About the presenters

Cathy Scott is a British copywriter who has been in the advertising business for almost as long as the Dulux dog.

After working on many consumer, B2B and healthcare accounts for London ad agencies, she went freelance before setting up shop in the Netherlands. She now operates as a copywriter, translator and editor – often on the same unsuspecting piece of text.

Cathy is a stickler for accuracy, which is why she recently attended a client’s conference in Disneyland Paris so that she could report on it from a position of knowledge. As Welfare Officer of the Dutch branch of the National Union of Journalists, she also takes a keen interest in the underside of the writing profession, and will often be found expressing solidarity with those refusing to join the race to the bottom.

After qualifying as a chartered accountant, Peter Smethurst moved to the Netherlands in 1981. Following jobs in finance and the computer industry, he began as a professional translator 25 years ago, first as an employee and after 18 months as a zzp’er. He specialises in financial and other commercial work.