Minority languages and Translation – The case of the Quebec Declaration on Literary Translation and Translators

Author: Louis Jolicoeur (Université Laval, Québec, Canada)
Speaker: Louis Jolicoeur
Topic: Language minorities and majorities
The (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2019 General Session


PEN International adopted the Quebec Declaration on Literary Translation and Translators at its annual congress in Quebec City in October 2015. The Quebec Declaration is founded on the principles set out in a series of documents that include the ‘Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works’ (1886-1979), the ‘Universal Copyright Convention’ (1952) and the ‘Recommendation on the Legal Protection of Translators and Translations and the Practical Means to improve the Status of Translators’ (Nairobi Recommendations, 1976).

The French, English and Spanish texts were finalized during the course of the Quebec Congress, and all the other translations are the result of the work carried out by the PEN Centers and their supporters. A special focus is made on Asian languages, as can be seen on the web site above. The aim is to ensure that the Declaration can be read in the highest possible number of languages and that other institutions and organizations will adopt its principles and help to defend and disseminate them.

The Quebec Declaration forms part of PEN International’s broad strategy to promote literary creativity and collaboration between cultures. This presents a fine example of how literary translation plays a key role in our society and is thus highly pertinent in a translation program.

Keywords: PEN International, French, Comparative frameworks, Literary and Artistic works