Basque Translators Studies: The Analysis of a Decade
Xabier Mendiguren


Ten years ago, Euskaltzaindia (The Basque Language Academy) asked me to carry out the task of creating and put into motion what would later become known as the Martutene Translators School. For this reason, at first I elaborated a dossier-preliminary sketch, published in the magazine Euskara (28/3/80). Once the sketch was published, and after studying the different Translation and Interpretation Schools of Europe, the first steps are taken to put the Martuene School in motion. We must point out that this occurs in the context of a language in periods of standardization and unification, which decidedly affects the world of Basque Translation; the work of standardization in the different branches of science and knowledge is fundamental in the development of the translation studies.

This way, in 1980 EIOPE ("Euskal Itzultzaileen Oinarrizko Prestakuntzarako Eskola", "Basic Training School for Basque Translators") was created. Although in the begining it was depend on Euskaltzaindia, between the years 1980-1982 it passes into the hands of the Basque Government, it is situated in Martutene, within the premises of a Professional Training School. Within the schools plans, apart from conventional teaching (established for three years) was also included the project of carrying out investigation plans, the publication of texts and bibliographies (4 book were published, and the magazine Senez came out), the extention of the school to Bilbao, the creation of seminars of Translation from English and French, short intensive courses on retraining, etc.

When it was taken over the Basque Government this was done with the necessary structure and without a clear view of the future; after four classes come out, the economic problems, the lack of an academic qualification make the developed sketch disappear; of the five original teachers there are only two left, if the school is not to disappear, the designing of a simpler and less ambitious project is needed.

In the years 88-89 the courses or writing and interpretation. From the basis that a translator is a good reader and a good writer, and that nowadays, and more in our context, the figure of a proof reader is as important as that of a translator, 1 year intensive courses are organized; they have, on the one hand, the purpose of delving into Basque language, and on the other hand, with respect to translation theory and practice are brought into account. The commentary of texts is carried out, and the students' knowledge is developed. They must also have knowledge of the bibliography in reference to the theme that the school has put together over the years.

Lastly, although the initial aims have not been reached at the beginning, due to the aforementioned problems, we will say that an important achievement is the fact of having surpassed a futile "linguisticism" and "philologicism" giving way to the funcional stylistic, to the analysis of speech, and the continuous criticism of the use of the language.