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Thanks for organizing this contest!
However number of participants and voters was low in some language pairs. I suggest that some Browniz may be awarded for participation (50?), entering the final stage (150?), voting (20?) and to winners (300?). This will draw much more attention to the contest.
I really like the idea of this contest. I don't speak French of Spanish, but the English source text was definitely overstretching the abilities of a community that consists mainly of non-literal translators. I am not one of them either but I would imagine that Withering Heights would be a particularly challenging task even for an experienced literal translator.
I have three things to say. 1) I agree with Alexey's suggestion. Taking part in a site contest is a way to contribute to the site itself, so it would make sense to reward the participants. 2) I would like to know how many people voted both last time and this time. This data could clearify how strong the influence of the participants themselves has been on the overall results. 3) I would have preferred it if the translations had been evaluated by famous and well established translators of literature, altough I realize that this option might not be realistic. I say this because in the case of EN/IT I found that style has been considered more important than adherence to the original meaning even when the final text contained mistakes, and I wonder if an expert in the field would have done the same. So, I am sorry to say that this time I felt slightly bitter about the experience. Ciao ciao
I agree with unadiluna's first two points. Personally I voted for some translations in my pair, but only at the qualifying stage. As regards the third point, of course translation can be approached in different ways, and with different priorities. Perhaps the source texts could be accompanied by an "editorial brief" to orient the participants and guide voters?
I don't think it is possible to provide an editorial brief for an art activity.
Literary translation is art, it is as related to the translation most of us are making a living of, as painting is related to redecoration. I am fairly skilled at paiting my kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, even my furnitures. Yet painting a landscape is beyond my abilities and I would never try to copy a Van Gogh.
Along the same line, I don't think it is a particularly good idea to increase participation by giving away points. There are those who are gifted in this, and then those of us who are not. Why not leaving it at this?
There is a nice summary by Robert Wechsler of what literary translation is all about: http://www.catbirdpress.com/firstchaps/trans.htm.
Ps: I agree, it would be nice to get opinions from professional literary translators.
As announced, special icons will be posted in the profiles belonging to the contest winners, who will be able to hide/show them.
It is also planned to add a contest reference section (like the one that is available for the conferences attended), with links to the corresponding entries, in the profiles of members whose entries qualified for the voting round and who decided to show their names in the contest.
Your feedback and comments on these and other contest-related initiatives will be greatly appreciated.
I took part in the Spanish_Portuguese contest, but was not contemplated this time. I agree with unidiluna in some points; I also do literary translation and I am taking a master this year in IrishLiterature and I do agree that evaluating a literary translation depends from proofreader to proofreader.
I would nonetheless congratulate ALL who did win - most especially Ana from Lisbon - and here I shall be for the next one.
Sorry for coming again, but I've just noticed that there is no winner for the Spanish-Portuguese text, I wonder why!
One more thing, my own is Portuguese European and the other is Brazilian Portuguese - the contest sould contemplate both next time, for they are very different, as you may know.
Thanks for your kind words. Let me tell you that the reason why there was no winner for the Spanish> Portuguese pair was because there were only two entries made on that pair. Remember that voting was possble only in those language pairs with at least three entries.
As announced, special icons have just been posted in the profiles belonging to the contest winners. The contest reference section is now in your profiles as well, with the option of hiding or showing it.
Please do feel free to contact me if you have any doubt or concern about these new features.