Thursday, 11 November 2010

Translating books


From the website of the Verein für Menschen mit Körperbehinderung –

Werden Sie Pate für konduktive Fachliteratur!
Seit fast 20 Jahren hat sich Konduktive Förderung nach Prof. Petö in Deutschland etabliert. Mehr als 80 Diplom Konduktoren arbeiteten seitdem in Deutschland, die Phoenix Akademie in München hat seit 2000 bereits 65 Pädagogisch-therapeutische Kondduktorinnen ausgebildet und viele andere Fachkräfte arbeiten mittlerweile mit konduktiven Elementen zum Wohle der Menschen mit Störungen des zentralen Nervensystems. Viel wurde bereits erreicht.
All diese Fachkräfte aber auch Eltern von Betroffenen und selbst Betroffene brauchen konduktive Fachliteratur. Anita Tatlow, Physiotherapeutin und 30 Jahre in Hongkong tätig als Konduktorin, hat ein herausragendes Buch geschrieben – einzigartig in seiner Zusammenfassung von wissenschaftlichen Grundlagen und Praxisrelevanz.
Für die Übersetzung, den Druck und die Veröffentlichung dieses Buches werden rund 15.000 Euro benötigt. Beteiligen Sie sich und werden Sie „Seitenpate“ für 50 Euro. Ihr Name wird verewigt als Mitsponsor, der die Veröffentlichung möglich machte!

This means in English something along the following lines –

Become a sponsor of conductive technical literature!
For almost 20 years, Professor Pető's Conductive Education has been established in Germany. Since then more thaen 80 qualified conductors have worked in Germany, from 2000 the Phoenix Academy in Munich has already trained 65 'educational and therapeutic conductors', and many other professionals are now working with conductive elements for the benefit of people with disorders of the central nervous system. Much has already been achieved.
All these professionals, but also parents of those affected and those themselves concerne, require conductive literature. Anita Tatlow, physiotherapist working as a conductor for 30 years in Hong Kong, has written an outstanding book – unique in bringing together scientific fundamentals and practical relevance.
€15,000 are needed. for translating, printing and publishing this book. Participate, and be a 'Godfather' for €5 . Your name will be immortalized as a co-sponsor and publication will be made possible!

Germany already has a fairly hefty range of books on Conductive Education, of varying quality and vision, including lots of theory and lots of practical activities – far more than have been published in the English-speaking lands. No doubt, the more the merrier.

What an interesting notion, to sponsor CE publication, but not a unique one. Many years ago, at the height of the United Kingdom's CE fever, there were virtually no English-language books available on Conductive Education. I had done what I could, by facilitating Joy Stevens' bringing to press Neville Horton Smith's English translation of Conductive Education by Mária Hári and Károly Ákos (there's a saga deserving to be told – but that's another story). This had come out in hardback edition but was fiendishly expensive and the publishers wanted to wait a couple of years before going to paperback. I was approached by a charity asking whether I could hurry this along, offering £5,000 to this end (a lot of money in those days). I passed this offer on to the publishers, who responded with alacrity!

An appeal

Seeing this German appeal for €15,000 (what a lot of money, even these days) and being reminded thereby of my own earlier experience, further reminded me that I am now involved in publishing books on Conductive Education myself, through Conductive Education Press. Our books are published in English but we are very aware that this denies access to them by many people around the world who might find them helpful in all sorts of ways – including of course Germany.

Later this month CEP will be publishing its third book, Intelligent Love. Here as a taster is the blurb from the back cover –

'I could write a book': frequently heard when parents talk about services for their cerebrally palsied children, and Conductive Education. This book is by thirteen parents and grandmother, from Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, each contribution a testimonio in its own right.
Whatever your connection with motor disorders in children, this is a book to ignore at your peril, the first collected statement by families of disabled children, one of Conductive Education's prime beneficiary groups and, in the Western world, its prime mover These families' experiences throw light upon questions of how modern societies might do things differently – and better – for children with motor disorders and their families, yet further reminder that progress for disability and for Conductive Education is born out of struggle..
Conductive Education is potentially for life – as must be any properly constituted service for those affected by chronic disabling conditions. It is not a program, an intervention, something to be done once, or now and then, or during certain hours of the day, or on certain days of the year, at a given age or in some particular place. Nor it it something that is primarily to be dispensed by a certain kind of person, a 'conductor' (however important conductors' contributions might be to the process as a whole).
It is more than just pedagogy. It embraces and transforms every aspect of children's lives, everyone and every activity involved in their upbringing, a whole new lifestyle. Conductive upbringing and a conductive lifestyle. No short order but, witness the content of this book, it can be done

There is nothing like this in German – or in any other language. Perhaps we are at fault, therefore, not to be looking at how Germans and people who speak all sorts of other languages, might share in this.

CEP will consider further how this might be done. Apeals, I suppose, are one option (though not for €15,000!), the more the merrier. There must be better ways.


  1. Andrew,

    I understand from this link that the translation is being carried out by Phoenix Academy in Munich and not by the Verein für Menschen mit Körperbehinderung. I think that the Verein's website is advertising the appeal for Phoenix.
    The advertisement asks for donations to be sent to Phoenix, Konduktives Förderzentrum

    Regards publishing books in other languages on Conductive Press, it would be a very good idea.

    The article that I have provided for your about-to-be-published book was related to me in German. I have other stories about conductive upbringing and living, in German, as I expect have other conductors working in Germany. I also know several more people with conductive stories to tell.

    I suspect this is the same in other lands, in other languages. Surely it should not be anymore difficult to gather together those stories in other languages than it was to gather stories in English.

    Perhaps the next book could be a selection in two or three different language.


  2. You are absolutely right, Susie, gathering items might not be so difficult (though it would probably help to be a native speaker, to persuade and guide some people into actually producing).

    Where it would be essential to be a native speaker would be in the editing.

    Even so, as you suggest, hardly rocket-science. The pity is that nobody's doing it.

    As for the translation in question hear I have to admit myself puzzled, on two counts. I saw where the money should be sent but I could not link it with Pfennigparade on the Internet. Why involve a third party to raise the appeal? The other, and I know that I should know better, is the involvement of the Conductors' Association in this project.

    Ah well, autres pays, autres choses (or should that be Andere Länder, andere Dinge?)

    Enjoy the Kongress,


  3. I was at the Würzburg conference at the weekend. I returned for the afternoon session on Saturday to discover that handouts had been put on all the tables asking for donations for the translation of the book by Anita Tatlow.

    If you wish I can post a photograph of the hand-out for you to see on my own blog.

    The poster says the same as you have posted on your blog and also gives the names of three associations involved in this project: Pfenningparade - Das Rehabilitationszentrum in München, Phoenix GmbH; the Konduktorenverband; and the ECA (European Conductor's Association).

  4. What a strangely assorted troika! What real or imagined carrot could possibly motivate them to pull in the same direction.

    It would be very interesting to see this document on your blog and read there any other news from the Kongress (I suppose it too much to hope that the organisers will publish anything of their own, or should I live in greater hope?).