Albania’s Literary Treasures Lost in Translation
Thread poster: Roland Lelaj

Roland Lelaj
Canada
Local time: 14:09
Member (2008)
English to Albanian
+ ...
Jun 24, 2010

Përshëndetje të gjithëve,

Sot lexova një shkrim që kishte të bënte me letërsinë shqipe dhe përkthyesit prandaj mendova ta ndaj me ju.

Lexim të këndshëm!

Albania’s Literary Treasures Lost in Translation

Two decades after the fall of the isolated Hoxha regime, Albania’s literature is still largely unknown to the outside world - mainly because there aren’t enough skilled translators.

Cut off from the outside world by the Stalinist regime of Enver Hoxha for most of the last half of the 20th century, Albania’s was one of the most isolated countries behind the Iron Curtain.
Like the rest of the population, the country’s writers, with the exception of the renowned novelist Ismail Kadare, had little access to the West.
But although the regime collapsed nearly two decades ago, Albanian writers have yet to receive the level of attention in the world that those in other Balkan languages have obtained.

One reason for this neglect is lack of translators. Experts say good Albanian literary translators can be counted on the palm of one hand. As a result, deserving works never find an audience beyond the tiny local market. To change this state of affairs, they want a special school for literary translators to be created.

Robert Elsie, one of the best known Albanian translators into English, notes that the Albanian language is a linguistic exception, standing apart from the surrounding Slavic and Romance languages. Coupled with the country’s history of isolation, it is one factor behind its marginalization.
“Few people have the ability to translate literary texts directly from Albanian into English and thus, in a way, Albanian literature is blocked up,” Elsie says.

Mirela Kumbaro, professor at the University of Tirana who translates French texts into Albanian agrees. Translating from Albanian into other languages requires an intimate and profound knowledge of the other language, she says.
Kumbaro maintains that foreigners are best equipped to translate Albanian literary works. Translators need to be able to “navigate the historical and cultural meaning of the words,” she adds.
But, because Albania was so isolated by its past rulers’ political ideologies, few foreigners know the language well enough to be able to potentially translate Albanian literary texts into their languages.

“Our tradition - of Albanians translating Albanian original texts into other languages, and of relying on non-native speakers of the target language of translation - is very poor,” Eda Derhemi, professor at the University of Illinois, says.
Even the works of Kadare, Albania’s most prolific literary export and the winner of the International Man Booker Prize, among others, are translated into English from French, not directly from Albanian.

For poet and publisher Arian Leka, finding a translator of Albanian texts remains a challenge because even the handful of good translators around tend to reside abroad.
This creates another problem. “Translators living outside the country cannot follow the stream in which the local literature is developing,” he explains.

To solve this and other problems to do with translation, novelist Mira Meksi, who often doubles as translator from Spanish into Albanian, proposes the creation of an institution tasked exclusively with translating literary texts.
Meksi says this “house of translators” would stimulate foreign translators’ interest in the Albanian language and cultivate those working on translating world literature back into Albanian.

“This house would act as host to those few translators in the country and also act as an incentive to foreign translators in our letters, improving their skills to work effectively together with Albanian authors,” she says.
Local publishers note that such an institution would need financial help from the state. Writers of the required distinction and talent would have to be supported.
In addition, some observers of the local cultural scene fear such an institution might be politicized. They recall that the former communist regime went to great lengths to have the works of the dictator, Hoxha, translated and exported.
But Derhemi says such questions must not be allowed to stand in the way of a worthwhile project.

“If we don’t create a serious school of translation, which might initially need state support, and if the way we select the best works to be translated doesn’t change, professional translators of Albanian texts into other languages will be simply a fortuitous and not a systematic phenomenon,” he warns.
Kumbaro also supports the creation of a special institution, dedicated to the translation of Albania literature.
In the meantime, she says, publishing houses interested in translating Albanian works for an international market should try harder to find talent at home and invest in it, rather than waiting for a state handout, which remains uncertain.

“Today there is a very active Albanian diaspora, which has regular contacts with the country and is bilingual and bi-cultured in its education,” she notes. “They could also contribute to this issue.”

BEN ANDONI,
http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/main/analysis/28983


 

RominaZ  Identity Verified
Argentina
English to Spanish
+ ...
I also added this item to the Translation News section of the site Jun 24, 2010

Dear Roland_Lelaj,

Sorry to post in English and thanks for sharing this article. I added the summary of the article in the Translation News Section of the site under the "Opinion and Features" category so that those interested in discussing this piece in English can also do so.

Thanks

Romina


 

Roland Lelaj
Canada
Local time: 14:09
Member (2008)
English to Albanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Romina Jun 24, 2010

Hi Romina,

That's fine with me. This way, more people can read and discuss the article.

Regards,
roland


 

Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:09
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
Shumë e vërtetë, për fat të keq Jun 25, 2010

Roland,
Faleminderit për vendosjen e këtij shkrimi këtu.

Problemet e shtruara më lart janë me vend dhe të vërteta. Puna është është se kur vjen puna te përkthimi letrar, si rregull #1 i përkthimit është që përkthimi (në rastin tonë në anglisht) duhet bërë nga dikush që e ka anglishten gjuhën amtare. Por janë të paktë ata të huaj (të cilët e kanë anglishten gjuhën e tyre amtare) që e njohin historinë, traditën dhe kulturën e popullit tonë aq mirë sa të kryhet në përkthimi i goditur dhe i bukur.

Një përthyes që njoh unë që ka botuar një vepër artistike dhe në të njëjtën kohë ka bërë të mundur që anglishtfolësi të fillojë ta kuptojë sadopak traditën shqiptare është Leonard Fox (Kanuni i Lekë Dukagjinit në anglisht.)

Unë personalisht refuzoj të përkthej vepra letrare në anglisht, pasi nuk është gjuha ime amtare dhe e di që përkthimi nuk do të jetë i goditur.

Do të desha të kisha më shumë kohë për të analizuar këtë çështje, por nuk e kam.

Më vjen mirë Roland që një shkrim i tillë u vu në ProZ.com.

Faleminderit,

Monika icon_biggrin.gif

[Edited at 2010-06-25 05:07 GMT]


 

Ledja  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:09
Member (2008)
English to Albanian
+ ...
"Përktheu..." Sep 23, 2010

Ky ishte titulli i për tematikën e programit "Top Show" të datës 21 shtator, të gjendur këtu:

http://www.top-channel.tv/video.php?id=18440

Diskutimet prekin shumë nga çështjet e ngritura mes nesh. Vini re në veçanti atë të mospërdorimit të rasave në emrat e përveçëm; unë bie mëse dakord me Edmond Tupen në këtë rast.

Shikim të mbarëicon_smile.gif
Ledja


 


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Albania’s Literary Treasures Lost in Translation

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