French Translation Workshop

On Wednesday 27 January, the French Department welcomed Dr Emma Bielecki, Lecturer in Nineteenth-Century French Studies at King’s College London.

Dr Bielecki’s workshop focused on the translation of the opening line of Camus’ L’Etranger: ‘Aujourd’hui, maman est morte.’ We spent half an hour trying to pinpoint the best translation of a single four-word sentence; our eyes were opened to both the immense dilemmas and possibilities, which led us to wonder whether translation can ever really, truly convey the voice and emotion achieved by the original writer, and whether to favour the route of domestication or of foreignization when approaching a text.

Written by Head of French, Francesca Byrne