BCLT supports the launch of the new PETRA-E consortium
BCLT Academic Director, Dr Duncan Large, and Postgraduate and Professional Liaison, Dr Cecilia Rossi travelled to Utrecht in October 2014 to participate in the launch of the PETRA-E consortium.
Organisations from six European countries gave the starting signal for the development of a reference framework for the education and training of literary translators. For the first time, European teachers came together to discuss the knowledge and skills required by a literary translator. The European Commission has made € 277,482 available for the two year project.
The grant made available to Petra-E is an Erasmus+ subsidy allocated to a consortium of eight organizations: Utrecht University, KU Leuven, Dutch Language Union, Fondazione Universitaria San Pellegrino, Eötvös Loránd University Budapest, Deutscher Übersetzerfonds, the British Centre for Literary Translation, and CEATL, the European network of organisations for literary translators.
Petra-E’s reference framework is similar to the Common European Framework for Language Learning, except that it describes the specific knowledge and skills required by any good literary translator. Particularly important are language proficiency in the source and target language and knowledge of the source and target cultures and literatures, with their different systems and schools of thought.
One of the aims of the reference framework is to facilitate collaboration between European schools for literary translation. This is very important as the education and training of literary translators is of necessity a small-scale affair. The literary translation market is limited in size, but the number of possible language combinations is extremely large (e.g. Dutch-Portuguese, Portuguese-Hungarian).
The project is named ‘Petra-E’: ‘Petra’ stands for ‘Platforme Européenne pour la traduction littéraire’ and ‘E’ for ‘Education’. The development of a European framework was one of the most important recommendations put forward at the PETRA Congress in Brussels in 2011, which looked at ways to improve literary translation in Europe.
A new collaboration between BCLT and WCN
Writers’ Centre Norwich has been awarded National Portfolio Organisation funding to the amount of £466,405 as part of the Arts Council England National Portfolio settlement.
This award is a justification of the exciting plans that WCN has developed to become a National Centre for Writing from April 2015.
It also marks an exciting collaboration between WCN and the British Centre for Literary Translation (with the support of University of East Anglia) whereby the previously ACE funded public programmes of BCLT will be transferred to the National Centre for Writing from April 2015.
This collaboration responds to both the ever closer working relationships between BCLT and WCN, and the need to deliver outstanding work in the most efficient way possible.
As such, today’s funding award is not an increase in funding for WCN in real terms. Instead, the settlement offers great value for money as the combination between BCLT’s public programme of work and WCN’s programme offers a small reduction in overall costs, achieved through cost savings in office administration and other efficiencies.
As well as a chance to work more efficiently, it was a shared belief in the centrality of literary translation, creative writing and reading, and the desire to put those beliefs at the heart of our culture that prompted the partners at WCN, BCLT and UEA to explore new ways of developing and delivering programmes focusing on talent development, engagement, innovation, access for young people and international exchange.
Whilst the public programme of BCLT’s work is taken on by the National Centre for Writing, the non-public programmes will remain at BCLT’s vibrant academic hub at UEA. The close working relationship that this will foster between UEA, BCLT academic and the National Centre for Writing will be reflected in ambitious new programmes and activities nationally and internationally.
Chris Gribble, CEO of Writers’ Centre Norwich says:
“We are absolutely delighted that Arts Council England has recognised our expertise, track record and capacity in these areas. WCN and our key partners are developing a new organisation as well as a new physical space for the National Centre for Writing in the heart of Norwich, England’s UNESCO World City of Literature. This award is a great endorsement of that aim.”
Dr Duncan Large, Academic Director of BCLT says:
“The BCLT welcomes this wonderful news. It crowns our many successful collaborations with the Writers’ Centre Norwich, and marks a new era in our partnership. We are immensely excited at the prospect of helping to shape the new National Centre for Writing as a centre of excellence in literary translation.”
Prof Peter Womack, Head of the School of Literature Drama and Creative Writing (UEA) says:
“We welcome this decision very warmly, not only because of the joint initiatives the funding will make possible, but also because it marks and recognises a new kind of creative co-operation between the university and the public realm.”