Press Releases

    UNIS/INF/320
    17 February 2009

    Salzburg Seminar Opens on International Mother Language Day

    VIENNA, 17 February (UN Information Service) - The vital role that translators play in making literature more internationally accessible will be discussed at a global seminar opening in Salzburg on 21 February - International Mother Language Day.  Among those attending will be German author and publisher Michael Kruger, Indian author, publisher and expert on mother languages Geeta Dharmarajan, and UNESCO representative Marie Paule Roudil.

    The annual observance of International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by UNESCO in 1999 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The session will be the first of the 2009 programme ( www.salzburgglobal.org) sponsored by the Salzburg Global Seminar, an international institution which has brought together world leaders in politics, business, academia, culture and the arts, to discuss and influence policy-makers on a wide range of global issues for more than 60 years.

    Titled "Traduttore Traditore?" (an Italian saying meaning "Translator = Traitor"), the discussion will focus on the critical role of translation in a global culture. Given the undeniable value of literature as a means of understanding social developments and capturing the rich diversity of our cultures, literary translation is a key to cross-cultural communication. It enables literature to transcend linguistic borders and facilitates inter-cultural exchange and understanding.

    The five-day session will bring together translators, publishers, literary agents, critics, scholars, philanthropists and cultural authorities. Participants will shed new light on the valuable work of translators, identify where deficits exist, and what actions could be taken to increase demand for and encourage the publication of more and better translations.

    A number of questions will be posed to the participants including:

    • Who decides what gets translated, and how can they be influenced?
    • What role can the public sector, philanthropists, translators and authors' networks do to increase awareness of the importance of translation?
    • How can the audience for translations be expanded?

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    For further information, please contact:

    Susanna Seidl-Fox
    Telephone: (+43-662) 839 830
    Fax: (+43-662) 839 837
    Email: sfox@SalzburgGlobal.org