The Journeys in Translation blog is now live. This was the project that took some poems from “Over Land, Over Sea: poems for those seeking refuge” (Five Leaves, 2015) and translated them into languages other than their original English. Visitors can look up poems and translations by language, poem (from the main menu) or translator. The initial selection of poems was not meant to be restrictive, but a means to keep the project manageable (project coordinators and translators all worked on a voluntary basis). The blog is flexible and other poems/translations can be added.
On 30 September 2017, we held the Journeys in Translation event on International Translation Day and during Everybody’s Reading, where poems were read in English and one translation and posters were on display showing further translations. There was also a discussion about some of the challenges and discoveries in translating the poems. Some translators chose to do a literal translation, others chose to make their translations more poetic. It was intriguing to see, where two people had translated one poem into the same language, the differences and similarities in the choices of phrasing because not all translators were translating into their mother tongue. Some differences were down to colloquial choices or regional variances in the translated language.
Personally, I’ve found being involved in “Over Land, Over Sea: poems for those seeking refuge” and its offshoot projects worthwhile. I contributed and co-edited the anthology, was involved in organising readings and launch events in Leicester and beyond, did a several radio interviews, designed and arranging for printing postcards to be given out at the Journeys Poem Pop-up Library at Leicester Railway Station during Everybody’s Reading 2016, coordinated the Journeys in Translation main event and blog as well as doing some of the translations. I will be happy to be involved in any future events or activities linked to these projects, but I will not be initiating any further events or activities. I wear several literary hats and for the foreseeable future, I’m hanging up my co-editor of “Over Land, Over Sea: poems for those seeking refuge” one.