An exciting event next week at the British Library for translators and those interested in translation from a theoretical point of view. A mixture of practical workshops, academic papers and interdisciplinary discussion taking place over two days, BeLgoLAb2 is set to be a treat. The Dutch text that will be discussed in the translation workshop is Paul Ostaijen’s Bezette Stad, the recent translation of which by David Colmer was the subject of a recent ALCS blog. See below for further information on the events and the full programme.




BeLgoLab 2017 Belgian Translations

Translation plays a major role in Belgian culture, both domestically – by enabling readers to access work produced in a different language community – and internationally, by disseminating work to wider audiences. Accordingly, BeLgoLab 2017 is devoted to translations of different kinds. It combines formal papers and discussions with practical workshops, where published English translations are compared with the originals (guidance materials supplied for non-specialists). The event is aimed at researchers and postgraduates in Comparative Literature and Translation Studies, as well as those in French and Dutch studies.



Monday 6 March 2017: British Library, Knowledge Centre, Eliot RoomBookings for this session via

1330-1400 Registration

1400-1410 Welcome Adrian Armstrong (Queen Mary University of London), Marja Kingma (British Library)

1410-1525 Workshop on translation: Amélie Nothomb, ‘Fear and Trembling’ (‘Stupeur et tremblements’) Adrian Armstrong. Materials (from the published translation and the original) will be distributed on the day.

1525-1545 Tea/coffee
1545-1700 Workshop on translation: Paul van Ostaijen, ‘Occupied City’ (‘Bezette Stad’) Jane Fenoulhet (University College London). Materials (from the published translation and the original) will be distributed on the day.

1700-1800 Reception, kindly supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium in London.


Tuesday 7 March 2017: Institute of Modern Languages Research (Senate House G35)
Bookings for this session via

0900-0915 Welcome Adrian Armstrong, Marja Kingma

0915-0945 Translator’s choices in the literary field: Alex Brotherton’s translation of Gerard Walschap’s ‘Marriage/Ordeal’ (‘Trouwen’, ‘Celibaat’) Irving Wolters (University College London)

0945-1015 From Mobutu to Molenbeek: Cultural Translation in Contemporary Belgian Ethnic-Minority Writing in French Sarah Arens (University of Edinburgh)

1015-1030 Discussion

1030-1045 Tea/coffee

1045-1145 Round table: Translation and Belgium Adrian Armstrong, Marja Kingma


All events in the programme are free but those wishing to attend must register in advance with the venues. Please register separately for both days.