About the Video

Translating for the Art World

Multimillion-dollar sales, blockbuster exhibitions and scholarly research: many of the different aspects of the art
world rely on translation. Art translation can often be deceptively complex and wide-ranging, touching on other fields such as politics, literature and philosophy. The variety of text types and end users demands flexibility, creativity and accuracy from the translator. During this video you will learn about the various types of art texts that require translation and the approaches to adopt. You will also learn about the day-to-day challenges of translating texts of this kind, as well as the need to acquire excellent research skills and a broad base of knowledge. Drawing on the speaker’s own experience of working in this field, the video will cover CPD ideas and routes into this fascinating and varied specialisation. It will also point to the lateral thinking that is sometimes required and the extra mile that needs to be travelled when translating art texts. Links to further reading and resources will also be provided.


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Laura Bennett

Laura has been a full-time freelance translator from French and Italian into English for six years. She specialises in art translation and holds an MA in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. Before becoming a translator, she worked as a Tour Leader, regularly visiting many of Europe’s art historical and cultural sites. Her translation work includes catalogues for major exhibitions (most recently for the National Gallery, Tate Modern and Leighton House Museum), audio guide scripts and academic essays. She is an MITI and MCIL, as well as a member of MET (Mediterranean Editors and Translators), the Society of Authors and the Association of Art Historians.


1 hour 14 minutes

Who should watch it?

Primarily experienced translators who may have dabbled in art translation in the past and would be interested in taking it further. However, the presentation will also share experiences and tips that would be of use for other more experienced art translators.

What are the benefits to you?

By the end of the video you will have a clear idea of what is required of translators in this field, the challenges you will face, and some insights, tips and shared experience into research and background knowledge.

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  1. Jo Christian

    I attended this webinar live, found it very interesting. Laura presents her material well, and had plenty to say about the art world and in particular loads of ideas about how to find work, who to speak to and about CPD in general. I enjoyed the session very much.

  2. I listened to the webinar after the event. I should say I don’t work in this field myself, I was more interested in filling in gaps in my general knowledge. I have to say I found the material very interesting indeed and after emailing her Laura very kindly pointed me in the direction of other references to read more about a couple of artists I quite like. More than happy to recommend this seminar for future events!

  3. This is a must-attend webinar for everyone who wants to work (or already works) in this area!
    Laura’s comments were very insightful and I’ve learned a lot. Especially about some types of clients one could target in the art world (and that I had not thought of).
    And Laura made it really lively with instances from her own experience. 🙂

  4. Moura MacDonagh

    This was an excellent presentation: clear, concise and informative. Laura covered so many aspects of this field and included good suggestions/references for those who’d like to seek this sort of work. I recommend this webinar to anyone – useful, interesting, and presented in a lively, motivating way.

  5. The hour-long webinar, ‘Translating for the Artworld’ by Laura Bennett, provides useful tips for linguists considering entering the world of galleries, museums, etc, and needing guidance on levels of technicality from general marketing language to esoteric terminology. There is no guidance on the actual nuts and bolts involved in artworld translation itself. It is more a map of how to get there, rather than what to do when you’ve arrived. I strongly recommend this webinar video to anyone attracted to this specialised field of translation.

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