LES TOURNEURS DE LANGAGES – a translation project from Quebec

We would like to publicise a new intriguing translation project launched by a Quebecois artist, exploring the construction of meaning traversing more than one language. Josiane Roberge is inviting translators to embark on this translational journey. Here is her invitation.

trans proj


Dear translators,
I am a Quebec artist currently on a creation residency at the artist center LA CHAMBRE BLANCHE. I am working on a project revolving mainly around the notions of interpretation and translation. I am asking the following questions: will a message formulated in a specific language, keep it’s meaning after being translated in many other languages? And if the message is transformedthrough out the many interpretations, what exactly is the nature of these?

In recent months, I have developed a website as an artistic proposal around these questions. My wish is to create a space allowing for short texts from Quebec (short-stories, parts of novels etc.)to get in contact with different languages so their poetry is in constant change over thetranslations. My proposal is for each of these texts to be translated between five to fifteen times (e.g.: French to German, German to Czech, Czech to Russian, Russian to Mandarin, etc.) by several professional translators and finally translated back into their original language; French. This project is a way to discover what emerges from the transformation of these sentences passing through us and traveling throughout our different cultures and our individuality.

Obviously, the project is based on the collaboration of enthusiastic literary translators willing toparticipate in this experience! I therefore appeal to your beautiful community to breath life intothis idea by bringing together motivated people. You are invited to communicate your interestat: lestourneursdelangages@outlook.com (the sooner the better. It will allow me to start mapping linguistic itineraries). Please, do not hesitate to communicate with me if you have questions!

I seek to create or reveal privileged experiences between individuals, through a humanist and artistic approach. I would be honoured to have you collaborate in this project.

Josiane Roberge




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