Collective residences

Catalan literary translation to different varieties of Spanish

From Monday, 21 November 2022 to Wednesday, 30 November 2022

Catalan literary translation to different varieties of Spanish

November 2022

To foster the internationalisation of Catalan literature, it is crucial to promote the translation of works into other languages. And, in the field of translation, it is essential to carry out training for literary translators. This training has often been aimed at languages for which fewer literary translators are available, but what happens when one is translating into a language that is spoken in many countries with huge cultural differences and more than 400 million speakers?  

Just as we translate into European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese differently, surely the same should apply to translations into Spanish. Can a translation into European Spanish work in other Spanish-speaking countries? How do publishers in Argentina, Mexico and Puerto Rico ensure that literary works translated into European Spanish remain familiar and true? 

Beyond the use of the verb coger (which means “to take” in Spain but can be used as an obscenity in some Latin American countries), the words celular (mobile phone in parts of Latin America) and chévere (a colloquialism meaning “awesome” in some Latin American countries) and ustedes or vos to address others, this workshop considers the way forward for works of Catalan literature that are initially translated with the European market in mind. Are they perceived as different? As incorrect translations? Is it necessary to adapt them? To make them beautiful again? Can we establish a network of translators of Catalan literature for all varieties of Spanish?

With a desire to take advantage of the rise in translations of Catalan works into Spanish by independent publishers and to promote the internationalisation of our literature beyond the European Spanish context, the goal of this activity is to reflect jointly on these issues and establish strategies to ensure that Latin American readers become familiar with our works in a natural way.  

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