No translation in the Basque Plan of Culture

2003 July 2

Translation is not included among the strategic objectives of the Basque Plan of Culture that the Basque Government and several agents, public and private, from the cultural field are devising.

The Basque Government started drawing up the basis for the Basque Plan of Culture in the year 2000. Juan Jose Ibarretxe, president of the Basque Government, made public the Plan, but EIZIE, Association of Basque Language Translators, was not invited to take part in those preparations. The Association was recently called to attend the launch of the first reports.

When they started working, the people in charge formed a standing committee, divided into three big sections and nineteen subsections. They asked several experts to write a report about each field. There is no report about translation among the first documents because nobody was asked to work on it, since it was not included in the basic structure and sections. Recently, some 300 people have started preparing those reports, in order to finish the first document of the Basque Plan of Culture by September the 15th. EIZIE asked translation to be an independent field, but it has not received any answer yet.

This plan intends to protect and spread the Basque cultural heritage, but although it tries to help the central points and guide the Basque culture, it has not given any strategic importance to translation in the reports made so far. Some comments about that important cultural activity are made here and there in some of the documents, above all in the report about literature, but they are always inside of depending on another field, taken as a tool to achieve some goal. In the Draft Report, of about 22 pages, translation is not mentioned even once. We cannot deny the importance and significance that translation has in the production of today's Basque culture, regarding products and quantity, but the promoters and writers of the Plan did not think it is worth planning.

On 28th and 29th of June, Berria newspaper published four full pages about the Plan with many details. Again, no mention was made about translation.