Saturday, January 6, 2018

Update Bibliography on Self-translation

The bibliography on self-translation has been updated. To download the pdf-file please click here. If you have any suggestions for further entries, please leave a comment. The next update is scheduled for 1st of  April 2018.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Interview with Andre Brink on self-translation

In one of his lasts interviews, South-African writer Andre Brink shares some fascinating insights into his process of self-translation with Maria Recuenco. Brink and Recuenco discuss the differences between translating his own works and the works of others, the idea of being translated by someone else, the notion of translation, the advantage of being a self-translator, his thoughts on collaborative translations etc. I will share some interesting quotes, but I highly recommend reading the whole interview.

On the process of self-translation:
"It is never a mechanical process of translating, it is writing a book and then going back to it and redoing it in the other language. I rewrite it from scratch. Therefore, the two versions are always different" (p. 149)
On the reasons for self-translation:
"I like to be hands on when it comes to the translating. I won’t easily ask somebody else to do it. Or even allow somebody else to do it." (p. 150)
On self-translation being an exception:
"There are still very few writers that do it regularly, all the time they write. Apparently it happens in the Slavic languages more often that writers write in two languages." (p. 152)
On research on self-translation:
 "I would find it very interesting if somebody would write a thesis, for example, about a specific text in two languages and see how it differs, or when it differs, and find out why. That would fascinate me very much." (p. 153)
Peñalver, M. R. "Encounter with André Brink: Looking on … Self-Translation." Research in African Literatures, vol. 46 no. 2, 2015, pp. 146-156. Project MUSE,

Monday, November 27, 2017

Cfp: Glendon Graduate Student Conference in Translation Studies (3rd March 2018, Toronto)

Conference: Glendon Graduate Student Conference in Translation Studies
Date and place: 3rd March 2018, Glendon College, York University (Toronto)
Topic:Translation and (De)colonization
Deadline: Abstract 250-300 words by December 1, 2017

Call for papers

Translation has long played a key role in processes of colonization, often being used as a tool of the colonizer. However, as Indigenous peoples and settler allies have progressively worked toward dismantling oppressive institutions and divesting from colonial power, the function of translation has increasingly expanded to include practices that give voice to colonized and Indigenous peoples and move toward justice, reconciliation, and social solidarity. This year’s graduate conference aims to explore the complex, dynamic relationship between translation and decolonization.

We invite proposals for papers from a variety of fields and perspectives that engage with issues including, but not limited to:

  • Translation, history, and collective memory
  • Translation, solidarity, and social change
  • Translation, power, authority, and dominance
  • Translation as a tool of resistance and subversion
  • Literary translation and self-translation in postcolonial contexts
  • Indigenous language preservation and revitalization
  • Legal translation and interpretation as a tool for decolonization
  • Censorship, manipulation, and historical narratives
  • Translation, orality, and transmission
  • Voice, identity, and visibility in translation

Our one-day multilingual conference will address these and related topics. We welcome proposals for papers (20-minute presentations) and posters. Those interested are invited to submit an abstract of 250-300 words by December 1, 2017 to or Submissions should include the title of the paper and the author’s name, affiliations, and contact information.

Call for papers in English, French, and Spanish. To download the cfp as a pdf file please click here.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Trilingual author Ana Cecilia Prenz Kopušar on self-translation

In a recently published article "Reflexiones sobre la autotraducción desde la mirada del autor", Ana Cecilia Prenz Kopuša (*1968 in Serbia) reflects on translating her autofictional novel "Cruzando el río en bicicleta" (2015) from Spanish to both Italian and Serbian.
The three languages don't have equal status for her, she considers Spanish to be "el idioma que me permite ahondar en lo más íntimo de mi persona sin trampas ni escollos" (p. 108), and thus she chooses to write the original in Spanish. She insists that the three texts are not "tres versiones distintas construidas sobre una misma idea" (p. 106), but an original text in Spanish with two faithful translations which have been adapted to each audience:
La traducción al italiano no presentó mayores dificultades. Diría que se trata de
una traducción casi literal. El mundo cultural yugoslavo de referencia y lo narrado
en el episodio presentan la misma distancia cultural tanto con el mundo hispano
como con el italiano. Sin embargo, la traducción al serbio tuvo que ser limada de
esas intervenciones explicativas, obvias para el lector. (p. 111)
Please continue by reading her complete essay here.
Reference: Prenz Kopušar, Ana Cecilia. 2017. “Reflexiones sobre la autotraducción desde la mirada del autor”. El hilo de la fábula, 17, 105–116.

If you are interested in learning more about trilingual self-translations (and can read German), please check out chapter 7 "Dreisprachige Selbstübersetzung" (pp. 197-219) of my PhD dissertation which is availabl online.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Self-translation at ALTA conference 2017

Self-translation was also a topic of a panel at the annual American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) Conference, held October 5-8 in Minneapolis.

Panel: Refracting Meaning in Self-Translation
In recent years, self-translation has emerged as a new and growing field of interest. Contemporary scholars have, therefore, begun to examine how questions of literary creativity and agency can be applied to self-translation. As both authors and translators, self-translators are free to take ample linguistic and semantic liberties with their own work in translation, thus “refracting” the initial meaning of their texts within a new and arguably original work of fiction. In light of current research in self-translation studies, this panel will seek to answer the following questions: What is at stake when we consider how meaning is “refracted”/altered in self-translation? And in what ways can self-translated texts be viewed as new and original works of literature?

Moderator: Genevieve Waite
Participants: Xiaoqing Liu / Rebecca Dehner-Armand /  Kaitlin Staud

Conference, Translation & Minority 2: Freedom and Difference, 10-11.11.2017 Ottawa

Self-translation will be a topic of one of the panels at the international conference Translation & Minority 2: Freedom and Difference taking place from 10-11.11.2017 in Ottawa.

Saturday, 11th November
11:30-13:00 Self-translation - Panel 7 (SMD 125)

The titles are linked to the abstracts of each of the talks.
The complete program can be found here.

Monday, October 2, 2017

New edited volume on "Self-translation and Power" published

"Self-translation and power" a much anticipated volume edited by Olga Castro, Sergi Mainer and Svetlana Page has recently been published by Palgrave. You can see the content overview as well as a preview of the book here.