Alison Hughes

BP18 Translation Conference speaker Alison Hughes

Alison Hughes is a French-to-English translator and copywriter for the creative industries. She became a freelance translator 20 years ago, after 13 years in the wine and spirits industry, and her move to creative texts happened organically. She now specialises in wine, food, beauty, fashion and contemporary art. She has been a qualified member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting since 2001 and is the coordinator of its Media, Arts & Tourism network.

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Above and Beyond: the Creative text

BP18 Translation Conference Alison Hughes Adriana Tortoriello: Above and Beyond the Creative text

Arguably, all translation is a creative process but for the creative industries you can – and should – move away from the source. Alison and Adriana both translate creative texts, but Alison’s texts are more general and allow her to take considerable liberties while Adriana works with tight constraints such as space, images and genre-specific conventions. They will touch on both aspects of creative translation, giving specific examples.

Alison will speak about freedoms in creative translation:

– Taking a step back and asking yourself what the author is saying; changing sentence structure, omitting surplus words, adding new words.

– Focus on meaning and flow;

– Titles;

– Revision.

Adriana will focus on the constraints of creative translation, the interaction of verbal and nonverbal elements in texts and genre-specific conventions. Semiotically complex texts need to be approached by the translator in a very specific way, in order to:

– Avoid redundancy: a text-heavy advert won’t sell or have the desired impact.

– Focus on the message and its intended audience: concise copy.

– Take account of the medium and layout of the target text: expressing the message through font type, size and colour, text distribution, etc.

See Adriana Tortoriello’s page


This session is scheduled for Friday, 20 April 2018.