Second Literary Translators’ Seminar at the Buenos Aires International Book Fair

translatio2015_3_interviewReprinted with gracious permission from Translatio, the newsletter of FIT

The Argentinian Association of Translators and Interpreters (AATI) organized the Second Literary Translators’ Seminar at the Buenos Aires International Book Fair as part of the Book Fair’s Professional Sessions. The aim of the Literary Translators’ Seminar was to bring those involved in the publishing world together to discuss issues concerning books in translation.

The 2015 Seminar was held on April 22 and 23, organized by AATI Vice-President Estela Consigli and AATI Secretary Lucila Cordone, with the support of a team of enthusiastic young professionals who worked together to make the event possible. The seminar drew a diverse audience of translators from different regions and with various language combinations, as well as publishers and editors, and was an excellent opportunity to keep abreast of the latest national and international developments in literary translation and to network with peers. It was sponsored by the Fundación El Libro, the British Academy/ Leverhulme Small Research Grant, the German Embassy in Buenos Aires and the Goethe Institut Buenos Aires, with the support of the FIT, the Italian Embassy, the Italian Institute of Culture, the British Centre for Literary Translation, Translators’ House Looren (Switzerland), the Buenos Aires City Government, the Argentine Writers Association (SADE), the Sur Translation Grant Program, Fundación TyPA, and Red Vértice. Ana María Cabanellas from Fundación El Libro, AATI President Marita Propato, and world-acclaimed Argentine writer Claudia Piñeiro delivered the opening speeches. On a humorous note, Piñeiro showed to the audience the covers of some of her books translated into the most diverse languages.

The first day’s agenda started with a literary translation workshop for translators of all languages led by Cecilia Rossi, PhD, University of East Anglia, on Alejandra Pizarnik’s Princeton Diaries. Activities also included roundtables and panels focusing on translators’ copyright, the work of professional associations around the world, undergraduate and graduate courses for translators in foreign countries, the Argentinian literary translation landscape, and the role of the translator as a scout.

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Panelists included translators, authors and professors of translation from Argentina, Spain, France, England, Germany, Russia, Italy, Brazil and Switzerland. The representatives of Argentinian publishing houses and of literary translation grant programs shared their opinions on the state of translation in the Argentinian publishing world. The Association panel members were Dominic Michelin (SFT), Isabel Hoyos (ASETRAD), Gabriela Stoeckli (Translators House Looren) and Charo Valdivia-Paz Soldán (Colegio de Traductores del Perú). Andrés Ehrenhaus (professor, Universidad Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona), Cecilia Rossi (University of East Anglia) and Débora Farji-Haguet (Université de Paris Diderot) joined the panel on continuous professional development. Their insights contributed to the debate on the role of professional associations and institutions that promote the visibility of translators.

The second day of the seminar concluded with the presentation of the Autumn School of Literary Translation from the Translation Training College “IESLV JRF,” with a special guest: German writer and translator Kristof Magnusson, and a performance by school participants, who read aloud extracts from one of Magnusson’s novels. The session was followed by a cocktail for speakers, guests, attendees, and AATI members. As a sequel to the Literary Translators Seminar, on April 30 AATI organized another special activity at the Buenos Aires Book Fair: a panel on languages of limited diffusion, including writers, translators and academics of the South American native languages quichua, toba and mapuche, demonstrating how translators operate as bridges between cultures. We thank Fundación El Libro for enabling us to hold this seminar at one of the leading cultural events of South America. The Translators’ Seminar has already become a tradition at the Buenos Aires International Book Fair: the extended agenda and the larger room allotted to this edition of the Seminar emphasized the relevance of translators as part of the value chain of book production. We have received positive and encouraging feedback from the AATI community and local and foreign panelists, who welcomed the great atmosphere for academic exchange and networking at the Second Literary Translators Seminar.

Marita Propato
Photos: Laura Cariola / Belén Ferrari