Senez 24 (2002, special issue)

  • Date of publication: 2002
  • ISSN: 84-7086-287-1
  • L.D.: S.S. 1.152/01
  • 208 pp.

All articles in this issue have been published in Basque. You can read the abstracts.


Relatively small languages and cultures are, in a way, condemned to translation; and even more so a language like Basque, which appears to have neither close nor distant relatives. Translation, then, is more or less compulsory if be wish to be understood and to understand ourselves in the context of the world's languages and cultures.

Translation in our country goes back practically to the beginning of our literary tradition, that is the end of the 16th century. Since then, translation has been more or less an extended activity. Suffice it to say that nearly half the works published in Basque up to the beginning of the 20th century were translations.

Since it appeared in 1984, Senez magazine has attempted to be an exponent of Basque translation studies, consolidating the theoretical basis of Basque translators and encouraging the art of translation. In the twenty odd issues published to date, the magazine contains a true chronicle of modern Basque translation in regard to its development as a profession, the theme areas covered, and its modern and up-to-date linguistic tools. We are aware, however, that our remarks and analyses have necessarily been restricted to the Basque linguistic area, since most of the articles were published in Basque. Moreover, we have generally given more emphasis to the assimilation of outside contributions than to making others aware of our remarks and analyses.

This special issue of Senez is intended to be a turning point, informing the international community of the current status of Basque translation. Although this project is certainly not new, we have taken the opportunity to publish this special issue on occasion of the annual meeting of CEATL, the "European Council of Associations of Literary Translators, in San Sebastián, from October 2 to 5, 2002.

It consists of a select collection of articles concerning the current status of Basque translation, previously published in the Basque language. In general, we present a translation of the original article, with some small adjustments aimed at a better understanding by readers unfamiliar with Basque, although in one case ("Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas", by A. Lertxundi) we have used a corrected and enlarged version published elsewhere, at the author's request.

Since this is a collection, the following pages contain a little of everything, but we have attempted to provide some kind of organisational unity: after the excellent panoramic introduction by X. Mendiguren, the articles by J. Zabaleta, G. Egia and A. Lertxundi centre their attention on literary translation, so fertile in recent years. A second block on the concept of the other and the alien is found in the articles by J. Garzia and K. Biguri. The third block is concerned with the translation of elements of universal culture, including biblical translation, with articles by X. Mendiguren, J, Zabaleta and M. Lopez Gaseni. In the fourth block, two articles by L. Auzmendi and J. Barambones provide a portrait of administrative and legal translation. And finally the collection is completed by two in-depth articles by J. Zabaleta on the conditions for and importance of translation.

In all, thirteen articles attempting to provide a panoramic overview of the historic bases and future perspective of Basque translation at the dawn of the 21st century.

As we have attempted to cover all aspects of Basque translation, we have also attempted to balance the articles translated into French and English, with the undoubted aid of the summaries attached to each article. And finally, we would like to thank the translators who have collaborated in this special issue: Edurne Alegria and Ekaitz Bergaretxe (French), and Mikel Morris (English).

Gotzon Egia