Thu 09 April 2015

Notes from the Underground #29

eva marynissenThe team at deBuren is regularly supported by interns or students on work placements. In this edition of Notes from the Underground, Eva Marynissen, a student translator of English and Italian, tells about her internship at deBuren. During her time here, she realised the Dutch translation of the citybook Beyond Sheffield Train Station, written by students of the University of Sheffield under the mentorship of citybooks author Agnes Lehóczky, and even encountered a whole new language: HTML!


From Sheffield to Venice with a detour via HTML!


Hi Eva,

Thanks for your email and your interest in interning at deBuren. When would be a good time for you to drop by?

That’s how the good news arrived. During my Master’s degree in Translation, I finally had the chance, as an intern at deBuren, to put my theoretical knowledge into practice and experience how things really happen on the shop floor. As part of the citybooks team, I took on the Dutch translation of student contributions to citybooks Sheffield and for the Italian translation of the citybook Venice biographies. I was amazed by the talent of the students, who captured the atmosphere of all kinds of places in Sheffield so vividly; I recommend it highly!

One of the difficulties that often cropped up with these texts – and it’s the same with so many translations from Dutch to English – is that in English things can be said more economically: you get more information into fewer words. In translating into Dutch, you often have to add extra descriptions or even whole clauses to retain all of the information present in the original. The art, then, is to get this done in a smooth and elegant way. Also challenging to translate were descriptions of sensory impressions, which were often almost poetically formulated.

The translation of the citybook Venice web text was also far from straightforward, but it certainly proved enjoyable and challenging. As a translator, or a translator-in-training, you’re virtually always asked to translate into your mother tongue, and only rarely into a learned language. In this way, then, I had the chance to really get to work in Italian.

Alongside all of this, I also got to see a whole other side to the project by actually publishing texts on the website myself, along with the help of a new and unfamiliar ‘CMS’ (and also Marianne). Producing translations in a foreign language is one thing, but those first few attempts at writing HTML were quite another. Further, I had the chance to join the team away from the office, and to roll my sleeves up at an event in Leuven. Now that I look back, my internship at deBuren was a fantastic look behind the scenes, and one from which I learned a great deal.


Eva Marynissen (student Translator English and Italian).



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