Oxfam Cymru Translation Challenge 2010
At the 2010 Hay on Wye Festival Translators’ House Wales launched its latest translation challenge. The subject of this year’s competition, which is being organised in association with Oxfam Cymru, is an extract from a short story by Haitian author, Yanick Lahens.
The extract to be translated comes from the Haitian story La folie était venue avec la pluie, originally written in French; the challenge is to translate it to either Welsh or English.
The hope was that Lahens could attend the launch to discuss her work but due to visa problems she was not allowed to enter the UK. A presentation on the author’s work and the literature of the Caribbean was given by Ned Thomas, President of the Mercator Institute at Aberystwyth University. Julian Rosser from Oxfam Cymru also spoke about the importance of exchanging literature and culture with developing countries, especially in Haiti’s case which has suffered so much following the devastating earthquake there in January 2010.
The adjucators for the 2010 Translation Challenge are Patrick McGuinness and Gareth Miles: the winner will be announced in a special reception by Translators’ House Wales at the National Eisteddfod of Wales in Ebbw Vale. The Heritage Minister, Alun Ffred Jones, will be presenting the award to the winner at the Aberystwyth University tent on 11.00 am Thursday 5 August 2010.
Poet and translator Patrick McGuinness is Professor of French and Comparative Literature at Oxford University. He has been named a Chevalier dans l’ordre des palmes académiques by the French government. Gareth Miles is a novelist, playwright, television scriptwriter and translator of Spanish, French and English literature into Welsh. Y Proffwyd a’i Ddwy Jesebel (Saints and Satyrs) is his sixth novel and won the Wales Book of the Year 2008 award.
Yanick Lahens was born in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince in 1953 and continues to live there today. She published her first short story collection Tante Résia et les Dieux in 1994 and has written ever since publishing her work in Haiti, France and Germany. The extract chosen for the translation challenge comes from a story included in her third short story collection both of which bear the same title: La folie était venue avec la pluie.
The winner will receive the Translation Challenge 2010 Bardic Staff, a two night stay at Tŷ Newydd and a commission to translate the whole story for publication.
The closing date for the competition is midnight on July the 16th, 2010.
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