All presentations are in English unless otherwise noted.
L-1 (T, 1:45pm-3:15pm) - All Levels
This presentation will provide practical suggestions for getting literary translations published in literary magazines and journals, as well as in book form. Topics will include: organizing your files, selecting magazines and publishers, writing cover letters, procuring translation and book publication rights, the ethics of multiple submissions, dealing with living authors, seeking institutional grants and other support, and any other issues the audience would like to hear discussed. Free samples of numerous literary magazines will be available.
L-3 (F, 10:15am-11:00am) -
This presentation will touch on challenging aspects of the translation of Antonio Skármeta's novel La Boda Del Poeta. Examples will be given and suggestions sought on difficulties such as register changes and mixing, wordplay, ambiguities, and regional and technical vocabulary.
Over the past 2,000 years, 2,000 languages have received a portion of the Bible through translation. Nevertheless, there are still intense debates about translation theory as it applies to this religious text. This presentation will give an overview of past translation issues, and then focus on the issues that are currently being debated within the Bible translation world. One topic in the English world is that of gender-inclusive language. A relatively new theory concerning translation and communication, Relevance Theory, has created intense debate. The forum will allow time for discussion on specific case studies.
In her book Culture Bumps: An Empirical Approach to the Translation of Allusions, Ritva Leppihalme uses the term "culture bumps" to denote intercultural miscommunications of less severity than "culture shock," and identifies allusions as a prime source of culture bumps in translations. This presentation evaluates Leppihalme's approach to translating allusions within the context of the presenter's recent translation (from French to English) of Fouad Laroui's novel De quel amour blessé (Julliard: 1998), a rollicking social satire whose humor arises largely from the extravagant use of allusion, clichés, and fixed expressions.
"In every inch of this ground is the last moment of my life." Thus begins Baía dos Tigres, Pedro Rosa Mendes's gripping account of the four months he spent in Angola in 1997 crossing the most dangerous terrain anywhere on the planet. An estimated 10 million landmines, roughly one for each inhabitant, lie hidden in the soil of the war-torn country. Several factors made this a translation challenge. For this translator, it represented a major departure: the first nonfiction work, the first by a speaker of European Portuguese, and the first to incorporate numerous African words and expressions. In addition, the author's style is by turns metaphorical, mystic, and poetic, with touches of self-deprecatory humor; yet his concern and compassion are manifest on every page. It was imperative to preserve in translation the unique tone of this important humanitarian work. This presentation describes that effort.
L-8 (F, 4:15pm-5:00pm) - All Levels
Three literary references have engaged ATA members: Oxford (2000); Fitzroy-Dearborn (2001); and Marshall Cavendish (2003). Each entry required combining literary history and criticism with translation studies. Such tasks not only forced the comparison of extant translations with the original texts. Such tasks also revealed library collection strategies and patron reading habits, as well as publishing practices. All attendees involved with these and other encyclopedias are invited to participate. Long-term, it is hoped that enough intersubjective data will be collected for an analysis of the results. Are translations in libraries read or archived? Do translations stay in print long? What factors prevail in translation survival?
Revisiting the question of ethics in literary translation.
L-10 (S, 8:30am-10:00am) - Intermediate/Advanced
Names are often a special problem in theatrical translation. Care must be taken to ensure that names can be easily pronounced and that they not carry inadvertent connotations in the target language. Nicknames may be particularly problematic, on the other hand, precisely because connotations must be retained. As an example, this workshop will consider passages from Los cachorros de negro mirar by Paloma Pedrero (born in Spain, 1957). Beyond the difficulty of the title itself, the translator must find solutions for "Cachorro" and "Surcos," nicknames that are elaborated upon in the dialogue. Problems may also arise from the extended use of forms of address in a play. For instance, two sisters in El palacio de los cartones by Nicolás Dorr (born in Cuba, 1945) sarcastically refer to each other in a constant stream of supposed terms of endearment: "monina," "monada," "chiquitica," "muñeca," "preciosa," etc. Participants will be invited to solve these naming problems.
Part 2: Spanish Literary Translation Workshop
(Poetry): …If It Ain't Got that Swing
Rhythm may be the most elemental aspect of poetry. It is linked to our biological nature and has a fundamental grounding in language. Poets know this instinctively, but translators intent on conveying "meaning" sometimes give rhythm too low a priority. This workshop will focus on identifying the relative importance of rhythm in various poems, and on developing strategies for reproducing rhythmic effects in poetic translation. To obtain the texts in advance of the workshop, please send e-mail to Jo Anne Engelbert at email@example.com.
L-11 (S, 10:15am-11:00am) - All Levels
Dr. Seuss was first considered for a Nobel Prize in 1975, but never got it. He was called the poet laureate for baby boomers, but his writing has reached far beyond that generation. His literary techniques baffled critics and surpassed our expectations for an author of children's books. This presentation will discuss the many challenges Dr. Suess presents to those attempting to translate his works into Spanish. Among them: how to translate nonsense and onomatopoeias; how to translate metonimia or extended poetical meanings; and how to keep the structure and rhythm.
The speaker will continue his presentation on Ignazio Silone given at last year's conference, reviewing the recent accusation that Silone cooperated with the Italian fascist police while in the upper ranks of the Communist party. The speaker will also summarize the treatment of betrayal in Silone's novels Fontamara, Bread and Wine, and The Seed Beneath the Snow. The speaker will then consider betrayal in Silone's subsequent works, notably in The Fox and the Camellias, and will conclude with a review of the case against this prominent Italian author in the most recent writings on the subject.
Join the contributors for readings from this year's edition of Beacons,
the ATA Literary Division's journal of literary translation.
L-14 (S, 1:45pm-3:15pm) -
Haitian novelist Jacques Stephen Alexis often sprinkles his fiction with dialogue in Kreyol and Spanish. His basic French discourse is a kind of crutch for francophone readers, rendering the Kreyol and/or Spanish dialogue and inner monologue comprehensible for non-Haitian readers. The actual words and expressions in the non-French languages function as more than "local color": they symbolize the popular milieu where either or both languages are the primary tools of expression and communication. The same may be said of many African novels in French. Ahmadou Kourouma's 1998 novel, En Attendant Le Vote Des Bêtes Sauvages, contains lexical samples from at least seven African languages. Since the entire novel is framed as a ritual gathering of hunters, the cosmology of the hunters also plays a role in the linguistic evocations of the novel. This presentation aims to briefly describe the linguistic complexity of these examples of multilingual fiction, and to underscore some of the translation problems encountered.
Aspects of Literary Translation: Dealing with
Faced with a literary text that provides a multiplicity of voices, such as varied use of languages, mixed genres and discourse, and/or embedded cultural contexts, the translator may find it difficult to establish priorities that will dictate choices to follow to achieve consistency across the work. This presentation will define and suggest ways to approach these stumbling blocks to inspire adequate rendering of both form and content. French examples will be drawn from the speaker's translations of North African and Middle Eastern works, as well as others from the literature of Quebec.
Language is not just one facet of human activity, communication, but a receptacle for entire cultures, in such a way that a single sentence, like a DNA sample, can express the complexity of a greater whole. This can be very troublesome for translators of certain languages. Exhibit A: Arabic.
New L-16 (F, 4:15pm-5:00pm) - All Levels
This presentation focuses on the difficulties encountered in translating texts with an ideological charge. In our analysis of a bilingual corpus of texts (German-Spanish) we want to show which linguistic tools each language uses to express ideology. Next, we will use the results of the analysis to find out what factors the translator has to take into consideration in translating these kinds of texts. Last, but not least, the presentation will touch upon teaching the translation of these texts, showing a few exercises to do in class with the students.
(Related Sessions: Spanish (S-2), Reinventing the Senses: A Workshop in Spanish Literary Translation)