New translators: a new program that will teach Basque to international translators

2015 April 17
New translators: a new program that will teach Basque to international translators

The European Capital of Culture DSS2016EU and Etxepare Basque Institute have launched the New Translators project, in collaboration with EIZIE. The initiative, promoted by Mari Jose Olaziregi, Director of the Basque Language Dissemination and Universities of the Institute, aims to teach literary translators from the international sphere the knowledge of the Basque language, for the promotion of the Basque literature in Europe.

A public call for proposals is now open and will close on May 14; a total of eight literary translators from the international sphere will be selected to learn the Basque language. Four of those selected, complete non-Basque-speakers, will come to the Basque Country for six months, and the remaining four, who will join the initiative with slight or intermediate knowledge of Basque, will reside in the Basque Country for a month to improve their level. 



During these residencies, to take place on dates to be established with those selected at some stage between the second fortnight in June 2015 and March 2016, the authors will follow an intensive course at a live-in Basque language school, or barnetegi. Whenever possible, the idea is that the dates of their stay coincide in order that they may get to know each another, work together and create networks. 


The call is not restricted to enabling learning, but will also promote the production of works. The four translators taking the long course will receive a grant to translate a piece of Basque literature into a language other than Spanish and to find a publisher for the result. This will achieve the ultimate goal of the initiative: to disseminate Basque creation in Europe and facilitate its access by foreign publics.

Furthermore, thanks to these residencies, the idea is that the eight translators will achieve sufficient language skills to use Basque as a bridge or original language in their future translations. 


Workshops and conference open in 2016 The New Translators initiative will also have a second stage in the shape of a workshop with the eight translators in Tabakalera, to take place in autumn 2016. At this workshop, organised with EIZIE, the international translators will pair off with Basque writers, whose role will consist of accompanying them and establishing networks between them.

At the end of the workshop, a conference will be organised, open to the public, and a specific programme carried out with the participating translators in collaboration with schools and cultural centres in San Sebastian.

More information: Call for proposals

Read more here and watch more here.