New Location and Dramaturg Paul Walsh Draw Good Turnout at February Meeting

By Naomi Baer, Secretary 

In a colorful, lively new meeting space, old and new NCTA members enjoyed the chance to get together in February for networking, an engaging speaker, the presentation of honorary memberships and our annual elections. 

The San Francisco LGBT Center turned out to be a convenient meeting location for most members, and people seemed to particularly enjoy the chance to socialize in the brightly painted lounge we rented for our networking sessions. The Center’s modern design and the pleasant spaces of its new building eased our transition from NCTA’s longtime meeting space at the old UC Berkeley Extension building a block away. Plans have been made to continue meeting at the Center in May, in a larger room within the same building, with additional information provided for transportation and parking options in the neighborhood.

Several new members were welcomed with a New Member Orientation, which is held at the start of every General Meeting to provide information about NCTA’s activities and services. After general business was taken care of, NCTA President Michael Metzger and member Evan Geisinger presented awards to members who were recognized for outstanding service to the NCTA and the translation community.

Honorary memberships were awarded to Norma Kaminsky and Karl Kaussen in recognition of their work to develop and promote the Translators Certification Program of the University of California at Berkeley Extension. Marianne Pripps-Huertas was also awarded an honorary membership in recognition of her time and effort in providing opportunities for continuing education for translators and interpreters.

A lifetime honorary membership in the NCTA was awarded to Bob Killingsworth for his many years of service to the organization as Treasurer, Translorial Editor and as database, technical and software expert, helping NCTA to evolve technologically. As a small token of our appreciation for all of the honorees’ hard work, they were given mugs imprinted with the NCTA logo, made possible by our new web-based service, Café Press, which allows members to order items imprinted with the NCTA logo at any time. (See for more information.) Final vote counts for the annual board election were announced, and newly elected board members Naomi Baer, Barbara Guggemos, Brigitte Reich and Anna Schlegel were introduced. The board as a whole welcomed everybody to take the opportunity of the elections to talk with board members about their suggestions and feedback for NCTA activities and above all, to join in and get more involved in the organization.

Members, as always, travelled from all over the Bay Area to gather for the meeting, but the NCTA member who probably travelled the farthest this time was Danièle Heinen, translator and owner of L’Arc-en-plume in Montreal. Danièle gave a brief presentation about translator education in Canada, as well as about the services her company provides in selling electronic dictionaries and software oriented towards translators.

The highlight of the meeting was the guest speaker, dramaturg and translator Paul Walsh, who gave a lively, detailed description of his work on the American Conservatory Theater’s recent production of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. Walsh described the process of translating for speech, working with actors to achieve a translation that accurately conveyed the impact that Ibsen’s language had on original audiences while also being flexible at times to find language that actors were able to use naturally in their performance. He also spoke about some of the challenges of working with Ibsen’s text, his research process for tracking down unusual terms from 19thcentury Norwegian, and even how he had to rewrite the lines for some roles which were combined for this production. Particularly interesting was his discussion of how his translation departed from choices that other translators had made in working with Ibsen over the last century.

More information about Mr. Walsh’s work on the production can be found at: