Friday, December 03, 2010
A way with words
“People are starting to realise how complex it is. You can’t just sit down with a dictionary and look up the words. You have to consider the undercurrents in the text, the style decisions the writer made and how the work is structured.”
Dr Anderson is leading a major international literary translation conference to be held at Victoria University from 11 to 13 December. The conference, titled Writing Past Each Other? Literary Translation and Community, is bringing three of the biggest names in literary translation to New Zealand—Professors Lawrence Venuti, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Paulo Britto—along with other scholars and translators from over 30 countries.
“What I love about translation is that it’s a cross over between something really practical and something that forces you to think very hard about every decision you make,” says Dr Anderson, who directs the New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation at Victoria.
Dr Anderson has a shelf of titles to her name including English versions of two books by Pierre Furlan, a former French writer in residence at Wellington’s Randell Cottage.
Established in 2007, the New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation has more than 10 researchers working in different languages and areas of interest. They translate foreign writers into English, New Zealand works into other languages, and give advice to overseas translators of New Zealand literature.
“New Zealand works are full of colloquial references that foreigners won’t necessarily understand—a cattle stop is a good example.”
Dr Anderson says the conference, which is open to the public, will establish the Centre as a leader in the Southern Hemisphere, committed to the artistic side of both translation and research, which is carried out by staff as well as Master’s and doctoral students at the Centre.
For more information, please contact Dr Jean Anderson: firstname.lastname@example.org or (04) 463 5797.
Visit the conference website at http://www.victoria.ac.nz/slc/nzclt/conference-10.aspx