Home Page > PEN Adopts the Quebec Declaration on Literary Translation and Translators

pen con15 October 2015

The Assembly of Delegates, meeting at the 81st PEN International Congress in October 2015, adopted the Quebec Declaration on Literary Translation and Translators, sponsored by PEN International’s Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee and spearheaded by PEN Quebec.

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, drafted by FIT, 1976). Louis Jolicoeur of Quebec’s Laval University, Sherry Simon of Concordia University in Montreal, and Émile Martel, President of PEN’s Quebec Centre, were charged with preparing the initial draft of the Declaration, with contributions from Esther Allen of Baruch College at City University of New York, Hugh Hazelton of Concordia University in Montreal, and Fabio Scotto of the University of Bergamo.

The initial draft was submitted to the PEN Centres that form part of the Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee, which is chaired by Simona Škrabec. Their respective representatives were given the opportunity to debate all aspects of the declaration before agreeing on a final text in French, English and Spanish at two separate Committee meetings. The first was held in Barcelona in April 2015, while the second took place during the 81st PEN Congress held in the city of Quebec in October 2015. More than fifty delegates from across the globe took part in the debate, offering an in-depth knowledge of the literary and linguistic realities of the countries and regions to which they belonged.

This wide-ranging consultation process resulted in a text containing a six-point summary of the principles and objectives that PEN International intends to promote in the area of literary translation. These principles include the importance of translation in promoting the dignity of all cultures and languages, the need to draw attention to the conditions required in order to engage in this activity and, above all, the importance of defending the people who make communication possible – literary translators.

The Quebec Declaration was unanimously approved by the PEN International Assembly on 15 October 2015. The French, English and Spanish text was finalised during the course of the Quebec Congress, and all the other translations are the result of the work carried out by the PEN Centres and their supporters. Our aim is to ensure that the Declaration can be read in the highest possible number of languages and we hope that other institutions and organisations will adopt its principles and help us to defend and disseminate them. The Quebec Declaration forms part of PEN International’s broad strategy to promote literary creativity and collaboration between cultures.

Read the The Quebec Declaration on Literary Translation and Translators:

Afrikaans: Die Québec-verklaring oor literêre vertaling en vertalers
Bangla: The Quebec Declaration on Literary Translation and Translators
Basque: Quebeceko adierazpena, literatur itzulpenari eta itzultzaileei buruzkoa
Blin: ብሊን: ሉር ክቱቡዂሲ ተርጀመውዲ ኒት ከደመውዲት ቋላዂ ተምብህና/ኣዋጅ ኩበክሩዂ
Burmese: The Quebec Declaration on Literary Translation and Translators
English: The Quebec Declaration on Literary Translation and Translators
Catalan: Declaració de Quebec sobre la traducció literària i el traductor
Chichewa: Kulengeza Chimango Cha Ku Quebec Za Kutanthauzira Ndi Otanthauzira
Creole: Deklarasyon Kebèk sou tradiksyon literè ak tradiktè
Dangme: The Quebec Declaration on Literary Translation and Translators
Finnish: Quebecin julistus kirjallisuuden kääntämisestä ja kääntäjistä
French: Déclaration de Québec sur la traduction littéraire, les traductrices et les traducteurs
German: Quebec-Erklärung des Internationalen PEN zu literarischem Übersetzen, zu Übersetzerinnen und Übersetzern
Gujarati: સાહિત્યિક અનુવાદ અને અનુવાદકો અંગેનું ક્યુબૅક જાહેરનામુ
Hindi: साहित्यिक अनुवाद और अनुवादकों संबंधी क्युबॅक घोषणापत्र
Italiano: Dichiarazione di Québec sulla traduzione letteraria, le traduttrici ed i traduttori
Norwegian – Québec-erklæringen om skjønnlitterær oversettelse
Saaho: Kitaabinnat tabso kee tabisheenit yable qaraar/ Quebec deeco
Spanish: Declaración de Quebec sobre la traducción literaria, las traductoras y los traductores
Slovenian: The Quebec Declaration on Literary Translation and Translators
Swedish: Québec manifest om översättning av litteratur och om översättarnas rättigheter
Yoruba: Ìpinu Egbé Ònkòwe PEN Ni Québec Lori Isé Gbédègbeyò Fún Àwon Tí N Kòwé
Tigre: ተርጀመት ክቱብ-ፍጥር ወመተርጅመት ለከስስ ቀራር ኩቤክ
Tri: Quebec Mpaemukas1m a !fa Atwer1 ne Akenkan Asekyer1 ne Ns1masekyer1fo4 Ho
Portuguese: Declaração de Québec sobre a Tradução, as Tradutoras e os Tradutores literários
Occitan: Declaracion de Quebec sus la Traduccion literària, las traductrices e los traductors
Italian: Dichiarazione di Québec sulla traduzione letteraria, le traduttrici ed i traduttor
Tigrigya: ትግርኛ: ንስነ-ጽሑፋዊ ትርጒምን ተርጐምትን ዝምልከት ውሳኔ/ኣዋጅ ኲበክ
Welsh: Datganiad Cwebéc ar Gyfieithu Llenyddol a Chyfieithwyr