Translation among the languages of Spain: Present
Koldo Izagirre


The Basque speaker is afraid of the southern wind. Lots of terminologies, syntaxis, locutions, and literary models which we have tried to imitate (badly) have come from the south. Now that Basque has become somewhat institutionalized, the southern wind is blowing a gale: there is an urgent need to translate for the media, the administration. Translations are done in a rush, hardly, expressions and cliches are copied when everybody knows that the Spanish of the media is pitiful.

Literature has become pedagogical-the criticism here is made by the teachers-and hence we have come to planning of translation for the needs of the school. In these recent years, with data in hand, we can say that literary creation has diminished in proportion to re-editing and translation. One reason for this may be the growth of editorials in recent years which for the want of something use translators as cheap labour. Little by little, the big Spanish Editorials are also making their way into our market, which means that they make money at our expense and fulfil a political and colonizing function.

Children's literature seems to be only thing that is interest from Catalan, Spanish and Galician authors, although soon, it seems we will have the chance to read the best Galician authors translated into Basque. The Association of Basque writers is trying its best to make closer contact with other Associations-and thanks to this our texts will be read in other languages. This Association published, not long ago, an Anthology of Contemporary Basque Narrative where the authors translated their own work. And those translators have taught us quite a lesson, showing clearly how they, the authors, improved their texts, lengthened them... almost showing a lack of self-confidence when faced with an "important" language...

The Translators Association itself has quite a job to carry out, defending the rights of those translators and interpreters who are scattered about all over the place, and obliging institutions and editorials to elaborate a plan for literary translation.