16 Jul 2021

Moving the translation masterclass online

Impressions from the translation masterclass – By Tereza Kuglevorá, CM CZ

Moving the translation masterclass online
By Tereza Kuglerová

Last month Cela translators particated in a 3-day Translation masterclass. The program, which was originally supposed to take place in Torino, Italy, was moved online due to the pandemic. The masterclass was source language oriented, so each partner of the Cela project hosted translators who translate from their language. Translators attended several courses on translating national classics, contemporary literature and the book market, a panel debate of experienced translators and met with authors. We asked them about their impressions of the masterclass:

Portuguese, Sara de Albornoz (translator PT-ES)
"The translation masterclass was a great way to reconnect with my fellow translators working from Portuguese to other European languages, as well as to meet the Portuguese authors and discuss their themed texts with them. We also had the opportunity to reflect on phraseology and the importance of source culture knowledge for translation, we learned about the Portuguese publishing industry and we had a try at translating a challenging text by a Nobel prize winner. The weekend closed with a virtual gathering on Saturday evening, where we could have a chat with all the other CELA participants. Despite all the difficulties of the last year, it was good to see you all again and let’s hope we can go back to real life events soon!"

Spanish, Martina Kutková (translator ES-CZ)
"In the group of translators from Spanish we spent two very enriching days and we engaged in fruitful conversations. On Friday morning we focused together with the magnificent Tomasz Pindel on the topic of translating different dialects of Spanish used in Latin America. In the afternoon we were able to talk to different professionals of the Spanish book market – a bookseller and various editors – and in the second half of the session we met three wonderful literary agents. From this session in particular we caught a lot of inspiration and we got a splendid list of recently published Spanish books. Furthermore, on Saturday morning we enjoyed a class given by the amazing translator from Spanish to Czech Anežka Charvátová. She explained to the group the complicated process of translating Vargas Llosa's major work Conversation in the Cathedral. Finally, in the afternoon, we met again our authors, the "A Troika" – Aixa, Adriana and Alejandro, we had a nice chat and Q&A linked to the new CELA texts."

Dutch - Belgian, Carmen Clavero (translator NL-ES)
"The translators from Dutch are divided into 2 groups: some of us translate the writers from Belgium and the other translate the writers from The Netherlands. For this Masterclass we started with a workshop that very nicely tied us all together because we talked about the differences between Dutch from the Netherlands and Dutch from Flanders. The second was about the Dutch Book market and we talked to 2 people from a literary magazine, a publisher, and a literary agent. Today we had a workshop about the translation of a classic novel. The novel is Max Havelaar, written by Multatuli, and it is available in all the CELA languages. And last but not least, we talked to our dear writers."

Slovene - Joanna Borowy (translator SL-PL)
"The two-day workshop for Slovenian translators was a great opportunity to exchange translation experiences. Together, we focused on how to translate proper nouns, how to reflect the original style of the author in the translation, what to do with quotes, word plays, stereotypes and cultural references. We debated the slippery nature of snails and amoebas, the superiority of the big shot over the boss. We were marveling at horse coat colors, the splendor of Slovenian cuisine and the properties of lizard skin."

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