Quebec Declaration on Literary Translation and Translators
Déclaration de Québec sur la traduction littéraire, les traductrices et les traducteurs
81e Congrès annuel du PEN international du 13 au 16 octobre 2015 à Québec, Canada
Version finale - 13-10-15
The Quebec Declaration on Literary Translation and Translators
Literary translation is an art of passion. Promoting values of openness, acting for peace and freedom and against injustice, intolerance and censorship, translation invites a dialogue with the world.
All cultures are not equal when it comes to translation. Some cultures translate by choice, others by obligation. Translation is a key to the protection of languages and cultures.
Respectful of authors and original texts, translators are nevertheless creators in their own right. They seek not only to reproduce a literary work but to move the work forward, to expand its presence in the world. Translators are not simply messengers: though they speak for others, their voices are also their own. In particular, they act in favour of cultural diversity by remaining loyal to marginalized authors, literary styles and social groups.
The rights of translators must be protected. Governments, publishers, the media, employers—all must respect the status and needs of translators, give prominence to their names, and ensure equitable remuneration and respectful working conditions—in all forms of print and digital media.
The physical safety and freedom of expression of translators must be guaranteed at all times.
As creative writers with specific skills and knowledge, translators must be shown respect and consulted for all questions related to their work. Translations belong to those who create them.
Translated by Sherry Simon