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Metaglossia: The Translation World
News about translation, interpreting, intercultural communication, terminology and lexicography - as it happens
Curated by Charles Tiayon
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Aide européenne à la traduction 2013 - Actualités - Le Motif

Vous avez jusqu’au 6 février pour envoyer votre dossier. Ce dispositif du Programme Culture permet aux éditeurs de bénéficier d’un financement pour la traduction d’ouvrages écrits dans une autre langue de l’Union.!
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European Commission offers grants for translation of European literature

The European Commission has launched a grant programme with a total budget of EUR 2,700,000 for the trainslation of European works of literature. Individual translation projects will receive funds of between EUR 2.000 and EUR 60.000 are available, but EU support is limited to a maximum of 50% of the total eligible cost.

The purpose of this grant is to stimulate the widest circulation of European literature among European citizens by supporting the translation of high-quality European literature into the different languages of the countries participating in the Programme.

Applications made by publishers or publishing houses wishing to translate the works of authors who have won the European Union Prize for Literature are encouraged.!
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Best Translated Book Award 2013

This is a long time in coming, but here’s the list of the poetry judges for this year’s Best Translated Book Award:

Brandon Holmquest, poet, translator, editor of CALQUEJennifer Kronovet, poet and translatorJohn Marshall, owner, Open Books: A Poem EmporiumErica Mena-Landry, poet and translatorIdra Novey, poet, translatorKevin Prufer, poet, academic, essayist, and co-editor of New European PoetsRussell Valentino, academic, translator, director of Autumn Hill Books and The Iowa Review.!
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Competition for Estonian-Latvian and Latvian-Estonian Translation Prize Begins

Competition for Estonian-Latvian and Latvian-Estonian Translation Prize Begins21.12.2012

No 464-E

Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics announced the start of the competition for recognising the best Latvian and Estonian-language translators. The winner of the competition will be announced in February 2013.

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet stated that through awarding a translation prize, we hope to inspire more translations of Estonian literature into Latvian and vice versa. “We call on all translators who translate from Estonian to Latvian of from Latvian to Estonian to participate in the competition,” said Paet.

The Estonian-Latvian and Latvian-Estonian translation prize emphasises the importance of the Estonian and Latvian languages as well as cultural exchange in order to advance the professionalism of translators of literature as well as political, popular science, historical, sociological, and other texts.!
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Translation Contest to Honor Abraham Sutzkever – The Arty Semite –

Translation Contest to Honor Abraham Sutzkever

Summer Literary Seminars has announced itsAbraham Sutzkever Translation Prize, marking the centennial of the birth of one of the most acclaimed Yiddish poets of the 20th century.

“To me, he is the leading Yiddish poet, the epitome of Yiddish literature in the 20th century,” Mikhail Iossel said of Sutzkever. Iossel, a Soviet émigré and associate professor of English and Creative Writing at Concordia University in Montreal, is the founder and director of the literary, creative writing and historical workshops that have taken place in St. Petersburg, Montreal, Nairobi and Vilnius. The Sutzkever Prize is associated with the SLS Lithuania program for summer 2013.

The new prize is being added to a lineup of already existing ones that are given through theSLS Unified Literary Contest, awarding winners with tuition, stipends and publication assurances. The winner of the Sutzkever Prize will receive tuition to SLS Lithuania plus $500 toward travel expenses. In addition, the winning entry will be translated into Lithuanian, and read at a celebration in Vilnius on the centennial, on July 15, 2013. The deadline for submissions is February 28, 2013.!
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Entregan premio a la traducción literaria Tomás Segovia

Por sus traducciones de obras literiarias en ruso y griego, Selma Ancira fue reconocida de manera unánime por el jurado encabezado por Daniel Divinsky.!
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NEA Literature Fellowships: Translation Projects

NEA Literature Fellowships: Translation Projects...

Through fellowships to published translators, the Arts Endowment supports projects for the translation of specific works of prose, poetry, or drama from other languages into English.

Grants are for $12,500 or $25,000. Award amounts are determined by the NEA.

If you have questions concerning the Literature Fellowships please call the Literature Fellowship Hotline at 202/682-5034 or email!
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EU honours Europe’s best new authors | New Europe

The European Commission and Parliament produce enormous amounts of documents, reports, communications and more, yet nobody would call this literature, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t recognize a good book.

Culture Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou and Doris Pack MEP, Chair of the European Parliament's Culture and Education Committee are celebrating the best of Europe’s writers at the award ceremony for the EU Prize for Literature, first awarded in 2009.

The prize is open to writers from the EU, candidate countries, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein from the European Economic Area and Balkan states. Each year, a dozen nations are chosen and national juries select one winner.

This prize has a purpose, to celebrate the diversity of Europe’s fiction writers and help them find an audience outside their home country.

“Ensuring that literature crosses borders is not only good for authors and publishers, who want to reach new markets; it is also great for readers who have more choice and are exposed to works which they might never otherwise have come across,” said Commissioner Vassiliou.





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Twelve prize winners will receive €5,000 and priority for funding for translating their books into other languages.

The Commission spends €3 million a year on literary translation and more than 100 translations have been made so far of books by the prize winners, covering 19 languages, with EU funding. The book trade is no paper tiger, it adds €23 billion to the EU’s GDP and employs 135,000 people.

One of last year’s winners, British novelist Adam Foulds, found another benefit, “I was able to spend time with the other writers and make their acquaintance, and get a sense of life for novelists in other languages and countries. He added, “What was great about it was the very strong sense of a kind of fraternal warmth between writers from very different places. There’s solidarity between us.”

The ceremony itself was relaxed and informal, and like a good book, not too long.!
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Francisco J. Úriz, Premio Nacional a la Obra de un Traductor y Luz Gómez García, Premio Nacional a la Mejor Traducción

Francisco J. Úriz ha sido galardonado con el Premio Nacional a la Obra de un Traductor correspondiente a 2012, y Luz Gómez García con el Premio Nacional a la Mejor Traducción por su traducción de la obra 'En presencia de la ausencia' de Mahmud...!
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Newton's Philip Balson wins public speaking award

Philip Balson, Roxbury Latin sophomore and Newton resident, won the John Aimers Trophy, given to the best American speaker, at the International Independent Schools Public Speaking Championships held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, between Oct.!
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FBN abre convocatória para tradução de obras brasileiras de literatura infantojuvenil e histórias em quadrinhos

Editoras estrangeiras interessadas em traduzir, publicar e distribuir, no exterior, obras de autores brasileiros nestes segmentos podem concorrer a bolsas de até US$8 mil
Difundir a literatura infantojuvenil e a produção de histórias em quadrinhos (HQs) brasileiras no exterior. Este é o objetivo da nova convocatória da Fundação Biblioteca Nacional (FBN), que apoiará editoras estrangeiras que queiram traduzir, publicar e distribuir, em seus países, obras de autores brasileiros nestes segmentos, já publicadas no Brasil. O chamado se insere no âmbito do Programa de Apoio à Tradução e à Publicação de Autores Brasileiros no Exterior, que já patrocinou a tradução de 164 livros de julho de 2011 a outubro de 2012.!
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Uribe presenta en Tokio la traducción al japonés de 'Bilbao-New York-Bilbao'. Deia. Noticias de Bizkaia..

TOKIO. El escritor vasco Kirmen Uribe presentó ayer en Tokio la traducción al japonés de Bilbao-New York-Bilbao, novela que le valió el Premio Nacional de Narrativa en 2009 y que, según explicó a Efe, comparte con la cultura nipona "esa manera de contar sin decirlo todo". Bilbao-New York-Bilbao es el segundo libro traducido del euskera al japonés después de la publicación en el país asiático de Obabakoak, de Bernardo Atxaga, hace casi dos décadas. "Es una gran alegría que se traduzca otra vez otro libro del euskera", dijo Uribe (Ondarroa, 1970), que presentó la edición en japonés en un acto en el Instituto Cervantes de Tokio junto con el crítico y poeta Keijiro Suga.!
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Los traductores Miguel Sáenz y Antonio Pau compiten por una plaza de la RAE

Los traductores Miguel Sáenz, Premio Nacional de Traducción, y Antonio Pau Pedrón, Premio de Ensayo y Humanidades Ortega y Gasset, han sido presentados como candidatos para el sillón "b" de la Real Academia Española, vacante tras el fallecimiento de Eliseo Álvarez-Arenas en septiembre de 2011.
La candidatura de Miguel Sáenz, que ha traducido al castellano a algunos de los más importantes autores en lengua alemana, como Günter Grass, Peter Handke o Thomas Bernhard, ha sido avalada por los académicos Luis Goytisolo, Pedro Álvarez de Miranda y Margarita Salas.
Luis María Anson, Antonio Fernández Alba y Salvador Gutiérrez respaldan a su vez la candidatura de Pau Pedrón, traductor de Rilke, Hölderlin y Novalis y autor de una amplia obra ensayística.
El plazo de presentación de candidaturas termina hoy, a las doce de la noche, pero no es probable que en mitad del puente de la festividad de los Santos los académicos propongan alguna otra más.
La proclamación de las candidaturas tendrá lugar el próximo 8 de noviembre, en Cádiz, en un pleno que la Real Academia Española celebrará en esta ciudad con motivo del bicentenario de la Constitución. El 15 de noviembre se procederá al elogio de los candidatos y una semana más tarde tendrán lugar las votaciones.
Nacido en Larache, Marruecos, en 1932, Sáenz cursó estudios de derecho y filología germánica en la Universidad Complutense de Madrid, fue traductor de las Naciones Unidas en sus sedes de Nueva York y Viena y enseñó teoría de la traducción en el Instituto Universitario de Lenguas Modernas y Traductores de Madrid.
Su actividad como traductor literario comenzó en 1976 con "La Carta breve para un largo adiós", de Peter Handke. Posteriormente tradujo la casi totalidad de la obra de Thomas Bernhard y el teatro íntegro de Bertolt Brecht, así como a otros autores de lengua alemana o inglesa, como Goethe, Franz Kafka, Alfred Döblin, Henry Roth, Christa Wolf, Joseph Roth, Salman Rushdie, W. G. Sebald, Michael Ende o Joseph Conrad.
Gran conocedor de la obra de Günter Grass, Miguel Sáenz obtuvo el premio de traducción Aristeion por la versión española de "Es cuento largo", del escritor alemán.
También ha ganado el premio nacional español de traducción "Fray Luis de León" por su versión de "El Rodaballo", de Grass; el Premio Nacional al conjunto de la obra de un traductor; la Medalla Goethe, la Orden del Mérito de la República Federal de Alemania y el Premio Nacional de Traducción de Austria.
Sáenz fue, además, teniente auditor jurídico del Cuerpo Jurídico del Ejército del Aire y llegó a ser general auditor del Cuerpo Jurídico de la Defensa.
Antonio Pau, el otro candidato al sillón "b" de la Real Academia Española, nació en Torrijos (Toledo), en 1953. Es notario, registrador de la propiedad y abogado del estado.!
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Found in Translation Award to Joanna Trzeciak for Rozewicz

Found in Translation, established in 2007, is an annual prize given by the Polish Book Institute in Krakow, the Polish Cultural Institute in London, the Polish Cultural Institute New York, and W.A.B. Publishers in Warsaw for the best translation of a book-length work of Polish literature into English. This year's winner is Joanna Trzeciak for her extensive survey of Tadeusz Rozewicz's poetic oeuvre, Sobbing Superpower (W.W. Norton, 2011).

Trzeciak's stripped-down translation (as her foreword explains) tries to convey both Rozewicz's plain speech and his frequently intricate allusion to writers and works from Polish, German, Russian, and English, among them Franz Kafka and Ezra Pound. - Publishers Weekly

Widely held to be the most influential Polish poet of a generation that includes two Nobel prize winners, Rozewicz (b. 1921) offers perhaps the clearest answer to Theodor Adorno's famous dictum about the impossibility of poetry after Auschwitz through his uncanny sense of restraint, his stark diction, and sudden turns of language and logic.

The award will be presented on October 26, 2012 at The Ohio State University to mark a new initiative in Polish Studies, drawing on the resources of the Slavic, History, Music and other Departments. Joanna Trzeciak will also hold a discussion with Russell Scott Valentino (U Iowa) about her translation of Sobbing Superpower, her work on an anthology of 20th century Polish poetry, as well as the theory and practice of translating poetry. Valentino is a noted scholar of translation theory, as well as a prolific translator from Italian, Croatian and Russian.

The Found in Translation Award presentation is organized by the Polish Book Institute, W.A.B. Publishers, the Polish Cultural Institute in London, and the Polish Cultural Institute New York, in collaboration with The Ohio State University.

More on the Found In Translation Award
More on Joanna Trzeciak
More on Tadeusz Rozewicz
More on Sobbing Superpower!
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Interview with the winner of the Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize, Phil Hand

Earlier this month member Philip Hand was announced as the winner of The Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize for his translation from the Chinese of Han Dong’s story ‘The Wig’.

After reading this news I felt curious to learn more about his opinion about participating and winning the prize so I prepared a few questions which he kindly replied below:

Q: What motivated you to enter the Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize? Was this the first time you have ever participated in a translation contest?

A: Yes, this was the first time I’ve entered a competition, though I’ve done an MA in translation studies and studied interpreting, so I’ve had my translations critically appraised many times.

I really just wanted to try something different. Actually, I wanted to take the opportunity to try translating in a different way – to try playing with different voices and styles, then to try editing something together to find the best possible version. But in the end I just didn’t have the time. Work was frantic over the summer, so I ended up just doing a single draft, then revising it. It was great to win, but I didn’t get to try out a new translation practice in the way I’d hoped.

Q: Would you define yourself as a literary translator? Will you add this as your specialty?!
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TS Eliot prize for poetry announces 'fresh, bold' shortlist

Newcomer Sean Borodale joins major names including Sharon Olds and Kathleen Jamie and Simon Armitage...!
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Swedish Academy member justifies Nobel Literature Prize decision - Xinhua |

Swedish Academy member justifies Nobel Literature Prize decision 2012-10-22 15:56:58
SHANGHAI, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- A Swedish Academy member has defended Nobel Prize in Literature-winner Mo Yan, saying the Chinese novelist's win "has nothing to do with politics, friendship or luck."

Goran Malmqvist, a sinologist and one of the 18 members of the Swedish Academy, the awarding body of the Nobel Prize, said on Sunday that he felt irritated at media accusations against Mo.

Some Western journalists have questioned his win after the Chinese writer was announced as the Nobel laureate in literature on Oct. 11. They based their allegations that Mo is not qualified on the fact that he is a member of the Communist Party of China and vice president of the China Writers Association.

Malmqvist, 88, who is on a three-day visit to Shanghai, described the accusation as "quite unfair to Mo."

"The Western media workers who criticized Mo would not even have read one of his books," the Swede told a press conference in Chinese.

"They know nothing about the quality of Mo's literature. They should not have 'opened fire' on him," Malmqvist said, adding that the only standard used to decide whether or not to give a writer the prize is the quality of his or her literature.

"We do not care about politics," he said.

According to Malmqvist, Swedish Academy members decided upon the Nobel laureate this year without many of the heated debates which usually take place in the voting.

"We reached a consensus and elected Mo from the five finalists in a 'comparatively peaceful' manner," he said.

Malmqvist was invited to China by a Shanghai-based publishing house to promote a new book of poet Tomas Transtromer that he had translated into Chinese.

The sinologist, who has read extensively in Chinese, said the country's literature should have been introduced to the world a long time ago.

"There are many world-class or even above-world-class writers in China," he said.

"Many Chinese poets are qualified enough to be given the Nobel Prize in Literature... but it all depends on the translation."

Malmqvist said Mo's win will make Chinese people attach more importance to translation, which "will help Chinese literature get closer to world literature."!
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Saudi King Abdullah International Award for Translation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Award for Translation is a Saudi international literary award for the translation of works to/from Arabian. The Chairman of the award is Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz (Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs), a son of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.[1][2] The award is located in King Abdulaziz Public Library in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.[3] It was established on 31 October, 2006 upon the approval of the King Abdulaziz Public Library Council.[3] The vision of the award is "to promote cultural exchange among peoples of the world and to advance intellectual interaction among civilizations." The first award was presented in 2008 for works published in 2007.
The shared prize of $1 million dollars has been called the richest translation award in the world.[2] Prizes of $200,000 each are awarded in four categories for translations in the fields of the humanities, religion, literature and natural sciences, into and out of Arabic, with a fifth special prize for institutions that promote translation.[2]
Little information about the prize is known, such as how it's administered, who's in contention, why the winners were chosen, what expectations there are of the winners.[4]
The 2009 ceremony was held in Casablanca. One of the 2009 winners, Hartmut Fähndrich, said that (as of October 2012) only a fraction of the prize money he was supposed to have shared with an Arab colleague has arrived so far.[2] Fähndrich said "I feel I've been cheated".[2]
The 2011 ceremony was held in Beijing, attended by Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah, Chinese Minister of Culture Cai Wu, Saudi Ambassador to China Yahya Al-Zaid.[5]
The 2012 ceremony was held in Berlin, attended by Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah and the Mayor of Berlin Klaus Wowereit. [1] It was a private ceremony by invitation only.[2]!
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Sinólogo de la Academia Sueca justifica concesión del Premio Nobel de中国最权威的西班牙语新闻网站

Goran Malmqvist, sinólogo y uno de los 18 miembros de la Academia Sueca, que otorga el Premio Nobel, defendió al laureado chino de este año en literatura, Mo Yan, justificando que la decisión "no tiene nada que ver con la política, la amistad o la suerte".
Malmqvist, que se encuentra en Shanghai por tres días a invitación de una editorial para promocionar su traducción al chino de un nuevo libro del poeta y también ganador del Nobel, Tomas Transtromer, expresó que se había sentido irritado por las acusaciones lanzadas por los medios de comunicación contra el escritor chino y las calificó de "bastante injustas para Mo".
Después de que Mo fuese declarado nuevo Nobel de Literatura, algunos periodistas occidentales cuestionaron su victoria por el hecho de ser miembro del Partido Comunista de China (PCCh) y vicepresidente de la Asociación de Escritores de China.
"Puede que los periodistas de los medios occidentales que criticaron a Mo no hayan leído ni una de sus novelas", comentó el sinólogo durante una rueda de prensa desarrollada en chino mandarín.
"No saben nada de la calidad de las obras de Mo, no deberían haber abierto fuego sobre él", expresó Malmqvist, quien agregó que el único estándar para decidir a quien va a parar el premio es la calidad de la literatura del autor.
"No nos interesa la política", afirmó Malmqvist, quien reveló que la decisión de este año se tomó sin gran parte de las acaloradas discusiones que se suelen producir en las votaciones.
"Llegamos al consenso y elegimos a Mo de entre los cinco candidatos finales de forma relativamente tranquila", señaló el académico de 88 años.
El sinólogo, gran lector de obras en chino mandarín, sostuvo que la literatura china debería haber sido introducida al mundo hace mucho.
"China tiene muchos escritores de nivel mundial e incluso de nivel superior. Muchos poetas chinos están suficientemente cualificados para ganar el Nobel, pero todo depende de la traducción", opinó Malmqvist.
El sinólogo anticipó que como consecuencia de la victoria de Mo, los chinos otorgarán una mayor importancia a la traducción, lo que ayudará a acercar la literatura china a la mundial.!
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Endangered Languages Grants and Scholarships

1. General Information on 2013-2014

NEH-NSF Documenting Endangered Languages Fellowships
The deadline for accepting 2013-2014 NEH-NSF Documenting Endangered Languages Fellowships is
Friday, May 17, 2013. To accept the award, please complete, sign, and return the acceptance form to the
NEH Fellowships Program by either scanning and e-mailing it to or faxing it to
(202) 606-8204 by this deadline. If you have questions, contact the Fellowships Program via the
information in the letterhead.


2. Oswalt Endangered Language Grants
Survey of California and Other Indian Languages
Fall 2012 Deadline: November 9
Berkeley graduate students are invited to apply for funding for linguistic eldwork on endangered languages.
This funding comes through the Robert L. Oswalt Graduate Student Support Endowment for Endangered
Language Documentation, given in memory of Robert L. Oswalt (Ph.D. UC Berkeley 1961) by his family. Dr.
Oswalt did important eldwork on Pomoan languages throughout his life, published documentary material
and innovative computational work in historical linguistics, participated for decades in the intellectual life of
the Berkeley Americanist community, and served as a friend and generous mentor to academic and indigenous scholars.!
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Prix Grand Atlas : Sous le signe de la fiction et de la traduction - LE

● Le 19e prix Grand Atlas a été remis, jeudi dernier, à deux lauréats, respectivement, Mohamed El Ouardi (fiction) et Mohamed El Ammari (traduction).● Ce Prix, récompensant uniquement les livres édités au Maroc au cours des deux dernières années,...

Décerné chaque année à des écrivains, artistes et intellectuels marocains, le prix Grand Atlas s’est imposé en tant que manifestation remarquable de la scène culturelle marocaine. «Cet événement constitue la part la plus visible de l’activité de l’ambassade de France et de l’Institut français du Maroc. C’est une expérience formidable. L’ambassade de France est très engagée pour soutenir le livre francophone au Maroc, il y a vingt ans. Je suis très heureux de m’inscrire dans la continuité de cette manifestation qui s’intéresse au soutien de l’édition, de la traduction et des auteurs.

On veille à ce qu’il y ait une certaine diversité. C’est-à-dire, chaque année on met l’accent sur un genre littéraire pour faire l’équilibre des choses. Cette année, on l’a placé sous le double signe de la fiction et de la traduction. On veille, aussi, à ce que le jury soit équilibré et représentatif. Les membres du jury sont en général des professionnels qui s’y connaissent dans le marché du livre, les auteurs et les maisons d’édition. Donc, on est certains qu’ils font des choix consensuels et objectifs», souligne Charles Fries, ambassadeur de France au Maroc.

Pour cette année, le jury a été constitué de personnalités représentant les différentes composantes de l’univers du livre, notamment Amina Mesnaoui (directrice de la librairie Poste d’Anfa), Marike Gauthier (responsable des éditions Le Passage), Jean-Pierre Milelli (directeur du Centre d’études arabes de Rabat), Abdellah Baïda (critique littéraire et professeur à l’Université Mohamed V à Rabat), Hakim Daigham (reponsbale de la Médiathèque de l’Institut français de Marrakech). Ces derniers étaient coiffés par Colette Fellous (écrivain et journaliste à France Culture) qui n’a pas manqué d’exprimer sa joie d’être choisie comme présidente du jury. «Je remercie les éditeurs qui nous font le plaisir de lire ces livres que j’ai trouvés très intéressants à plus d’un titre. Il y avait un équilibre respecté entre les genres, les hommes et femmes. Des livres qui traduisent une belle passion des auteurs pour le Maroc et la langue française.

Cette journée de délibérations est pour moi une journée inédite où nous avons, moi et les autres membres du jury, partagé la passion de la lecture qui fait ressortir des mots magiques tels le rêve, la liberté... car un livre est une réparation de la vie», a-t-elle ajouté avant d’annoncer les noms des gagnants du PGA 2012 qui ont séduit le jury par leur talent et leur maîtrise de la langue de Molière.

Ainsi, il a été attribué à l’écrivain Mohamed El Ouardi pour son roman «Village maudit» dans la catégorie fiction francophone et à Mohamed El Ammari pour sa traduction du roman «La vie est ailleurs» de son auteur Milan Kundera.!
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Translationista: On Publishers Boycotting Translation Prizes

On Publishers Boycotting Translation Prizes
Back when I first started my graduate work at Princeton, the town had a coffee shop problem. We desperately needed one, and coffee shops kept opening up and then going right out of business a few months later. They tended to be all the wrong kind - a bit too elegant for the university crowd, trying to appeal to townies as well as students, and, well, they all quickly went under. Meanwhile we seemed to be the only town in the nation without a Starbucks. Then one day in late 1993 a different sort of coffee shop opened up. It was low-key and had a great vibe. It was big enough that you could usually find a table, but only barely, and it was a great place to study and write as well as drink coffee. The coffee was excellent, too, and soon the place was packed round the clock. And just a few weeks after it became clear that this new coffee shop was not going to go bankrupt, Starbucks moved to town and opened up a franchise a quarter of a block closer to campus. And I vowed never to set foot in the place: I saw this Starbucks as not only déclassé and corporate but repulsively opportunistic if not predatory. Enough people agreed with me that Princeton's own local coffee shop, Small World, continues to thrive.!
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Big Words, Big Prize-Money

In Berlin, Saudi emissaries have presented the world's largest prize for translation. But the show and the obsequious ritual that go with the prize seem to be more important than anything else: one previous winner has only received a fraction of the prize-money he was promised. According to Werner Bloch, it was a bizarre event

The deputy Saudi foreign minister, Abdelaziz bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, came to Berlin to give away a million-dollar prize: the "Translation Prize of the Guardians of the Two Holy Sites" (the two holy sites being Mecca and Medina). This is the world's largest prize for translation; an astronomically large sum in a badly paid profession.

The Saudi prince, a son of King Abdullah, spent plenty of money to ensure the event was staged appropriately. On Sunday, he and his entourage flew to Berlin in his private jet, and on Monday (8 October 2012), the prize was awarded in the grand ballroom of Berlin's City Hall.

The event was hosted by the mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit. The place must have felt unspectacular and anything but luxurious to the Saudis, but they put on their show anyway. To the accompaniment of German traditional roast marinated beef (Sauerbraten) and vegetable soup, they watched the advertising films they'd brought with them, praised the prize, which his Majesty the King had initiated, and offered their thanks to the people of Berlin – not that the people of Berlin knew about it, since there was scarcely any publicity for the event.

Prizes of $200,000 each were awarded in four categories for translations in the fields of the humanities, religion, literature and natural sciences, into and out of Arabic, with a fifth special prize for institutions that promote translation.

Klaus Wowereit was full of praise for the Saudi's record in culture and science, but also defended the Arab Spring and insisted that democracy is compatible with Islam
This year, for example, that prize went to Uzbekistan, where a team had translated the ninth-century "Biography of the Prophet Muhammad, Peace be unto Him" by Ibn Hashim into Uzbek for the first time.

One of the prize winners had flown in from Samarkand. Deeply moved, he told the audience that he prayed that this success would lead to further successes, and that the prize and its winners would enjoy a long life. He went on to say that the success did not belong to him, but to God and the Saudi king. It was a speech in which a theocratic Muslim way of looking at the world continually found itself muddled up with the modern fram!
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"Translation is the most important channel of intercultural dialogue" -

Abboud: That’s an interesting question. Arabic and German are two different language systems; that goes without saying. Insofar, there are bound to be translation problems all along the line. Not just as regards terminology – in such cases, one can always find solutions; there are methods for dealing with that. The major problems crop up in literary translations, for example in dialogues - not just in plays, but also in novels or short stories. Which stylistic level is appropriate? Then there’s the poetic imagery, the allegories, the similes, the literary methods in general… all of these are very different in the two languages. When one translates directly, the results sometimes seem terribly artificial. There are really a great many difficulties, in both directions.

If we turn to poetry, the situation is even tougher. Personally, I regard poetry as untranslatable. In my opinion, it forfeits all its essential qualities in translation; the loss is enormous. The possibilities of translating poetry are limited, and one shouldn’t forget this. Adaptation is the best that can be hoped for; look at the work of Friedrich Rückert, for example. But we can’t really call this kind of thing “translation”. It’s free adaptation, and therefore a separate and independent literary genre.

Some German universities now offer courses in translation, including the translation of Oriental languages. Is there a comparable kind of professional training in Syria, or how does one become a translator there?

Abboud: Unfortunately, there’s still not a single Syrian university offering courses in German Studies. All they have at the universities is the option of taking German as a second European language for those studying French or English. There are now also educational centres where the German language is taught, and then there’s the Goethe Institute, but all this rarely goes beyond beginners’ level. I have given a few courses in translation at the Goethe Institute, and a relatively large number of people were interested enough to take part; but they were all graduates of German universities. In the late Sixties and early Seventies, the Syrian government sent twenty-odd students to study German at German universities; and in fact, most of the people currently translating from the German in Syria were among this chosen few: I myself, for example, and Nabil Haffar. The only other translators are people who studied something else in Germany. One of the very good translators, Adnan Habbal, studied medicine in Heidelberg. The other option, which shouldn’t be underestimated, is translation via an intermediary language. This is still very commonly done; Habermas, for example, has just been translated from the English. And the option will remain as long as there is no possibility of studying German language and literature at a Syrian university.

Regrettably, Syrian literature is also largely unknown in Germany. The Swiss publishing house, Lenos, has three Syrian authors on its list: one title each by the great Syrian authors Hanna Mina and Zakariya Tamer, and two by Halim Barakat. The truly great works of Syrian literature are still unknown in Germany; the major works of Mina and Tamer remain untranslated, and great names like Haidar Haidar and Hani al-Rahib are just missing completely. What do you see as the reasons for this? Is no one interested in Syrian literature, or in Syria itself?

Abboud: One can only speculate about this problem. It might be claimed, for example, that Syrian literature has nothing to offer; but this wouldn’t be true, for there’s a whole range of authors well worth translating: Fawwas Haddad, Ulfa al-Idlibi, Haidar Haidar, Abd al-Salam al-Udschaili, etc. Indeed, there are some works that would be of quite particular interest to German readers. Take “Sail and Storm”, the novel by Hana Mina: it examines attitudes to Germany during the Second World War. It’s set in Latakia, on the Syrian coast. When the French colonial authorities forbade the people to listen to Radio Berlin, they hid in a cave with their old radio, and followed the broadcasts there. Ulfat Idilbi is an equally interesting example: her novel, “Damascus bitter sweet” contains a very interesting discussion about Germany and National Socialism; all the conflicting positions are represented. Then there are the novels of Hani al-Dhahabi; his trilogy, the last part of which is set in Germany, is fascinating. It tells the story of a Syrian engineer who flees to Germany after being subjected to state repression. He is granted political asylum, finds work and gets married, and the typical problems crop up. Eventually, he returns with his daughter to Syria – and can no longer adapt to life in his home country. It’s a very interesting book, and an excellent candidate for translation into German. So there’s no shortage of good texts that would also appeal to a German readership.!
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Anuradha Roy, Aman Sethi win literary awards

umbai, Oct 19 (IANS) Anuradha Roy's novel "The Folded Earth" and journalist Aman Sethi's non-fiction book "A Free Man" are among the winners of the 11th Economist Crossword Book Award.
English translations of Anita Agnihotri's book of short stories "17" by Arunava Sinha and Narayan's novel "The Araya Woman" by Catherine Thankamma have jointly won the award for Indian Language Translation.
Ravi Subramanian's "The Incredible Banker" has bagged the Popular Award.
Writer Sudha Murthy gave away the prizes at a function here Friday night.
"The Folded Earth" won in the English Indian Fiction category while "A Free Man" won in the English Indian Non-Fiction category for 2011.
There were 330 entries for the awards given to books published in 2011.!
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