Discussion Group: Translation and Mountaineering

Nea Morin, Photograph by John Cleare

Pinnacle Club Centenary Project (2021) by The Pinnacle Club supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

This session of the OCCT Discussion centred on promoting a dialogue between Translation and Sport Studies, more specifically Mountaineering. The year 2022 marked the hundredth anniversary of the first British expedition to Mt Everest (or Chomolungma): this centenary invited us to reflect on mountaineering narratives and values, exploring how they have shaped the social imaginary and debates during the past hundred years, and how translation studies can help us to assess their current situation.

Anna Saroldi provided examples of how the two can successfully interact in terms of both interpreting and literary translation studies. She also presented the careers of translators and mountaineers Janet Adam Smith and Nea Morin, establishing links between their collaborative translation and cordée feminine practices. Anna shared examples of translations of famous mountaineering memoirs (on Annapurna and Everest, for instance), and showed how they have been analysed in feminist readings of mountaineering non-fiction. The discussion explored how the translation process changes our understanding of the analysis of gendered dynamics in mountaineering (and) literature.


Anna Saroldi is a doctoral student at the English Faculty of the University of Oxford. Her thesis analyses the translation of Italian literature into English in the second half of the twentieth century, with a particular focus on the collaboration between authors and translators (such as Bassani and Weaver, Bertolucci and Tomlinson, Fo and Jenkins). She has presented her research at various international conferences and published articles in English, French, and Italian on topics such as self-translation and heteroglossia. You can find more on her work here.