Every year, on April 23, Barcelona celebrates Sant Jordi. If you are a book lover and have the opportunity to go there, don’t miss this exceptional day!
Saint George (Jordi) is the patron saint of Catalonia, and it is also on April 23, 1616, that Cervantes and Shakespeare died, both on the same day. Since the Middle Ages, it was customary to give your loved one a rose for Sant Jordi. In the 1920s, at the instigation of the writer and publisher Vicent Clavel i Andrés, Barcelona’s booksellers launched the idea of giving a book as well. This idea was so successful that in 1995 UNESCO declared April 23 International Book and Reading Day.
Thus, on Sant Jordi day, the city is decked out in roses and celebrates books. Imagine a gigantic, free, open-air bookfair that stretches for miles: traffic is cut off in the entire city center, and along the ramblas and adjacent streets, the sidewalks are completely occupied by bookstores’ and publishers’ stalls which attract throngs of visitors. Families stand on line for several blocks to get a book signing and do their shopping for the year, in a festive atmosphere: Sant Jordi, over the years, has become the world’s largest book festival.
It was therefore the ideal occasion for a meeting between translators’ associations. On Friday 21st, CEATL, FIT (https://en NULL.fit-ift NULL.org/) (International Federation of Translators), AELC (https://www NULL.escriptors NULL.cat/) (Association of Catalan Language Writers) and APTIC (https://www NULL.aptic NULL.cat/en/) (Professional Association of Translators and Interpreters of Catalonia) met in order to get to know each other better and to discuss their various projects.
CEATL presented its survey on translation practices in literature for children (results to come very soon), the Translators on the Cover (https://op NULL.europa NULL.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/a4059b86-8317-11ec-8c40-01aa75ed71a1/language-en) report, the Companion for literary translators’ associations website (https://companion NULL.ceatl NULL.eu/) and its collaboration with the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.
APTIC and FIT presented an exciting project (under construction) of an Atlas of translation and literature: an interactive map of the world gathering all the information on residencies, associations, recurrent meetings and everything that can be of interest for us in our professional life (more to come in due time!).
The acclaimed Austrian translator Margret Millischer, guest of honor, brilliantly presented and represented the challenges facing translators today and tomorrow.
The associations also took the opportunity to launch a campaign (https://twitter NULL.com/CeatlNews/status/1648749201646387200) on social networks to promote visibility : “This Sant Jordi, don’t forget the name of the translator!”
Last but not least, they cosigned the Barcelona Manifesto, which reminds the (still too many) publishers who take liberties with the law of the importance of respecting literary translators and their rights – more on that very soon.