“If you’re an editor at a major publishing house, you have to look globally [for new works to translate] and that can be overwhelming.”
The variety of human expression is staggering. According to the Ethnologue, which publishes a database of all known global tongues, more than 7000 languages are spoken today. In the ancient myth of the Tower of Babel, the multitude of languages were a curse on humanity from God. Translation, though, can rescue us from that predicament and draw us closer together.
Cedilla & Co. is a Translators Collective devoted to bringing the world’s voices to an English-speaking audience. Nine translators who work in ten languages have banded together to provide publishers not only with top-quality literary translations but also market intelligence across the world’s languages and literatures.
Cedilla & Co. co-founder Heather Cleary is a translator from Spanish and a founding editor of the digital, bilingual Buenos Aires Review. She holds a PhD in Latin American Cultures from Columbia University and currently teaches at Sarah Lawrence College. As she tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally, today’s resource-strapped publishers may be unwittingly turning their backs on the world.
“If you’re an editor at a major publishing house, you have to look globally [for new works to translate] and that can be overwhelming,” Cleary says.
Joining the discussion about the challenges publishing houses confront when seeking out works from other languages and markets, and how Cedilla can help them sort through it all was collective co-founder Julia Sanches, a translator of Portuguese, Spanish, French, and Catalan. She hold a graduate degree in Comparative Literature and Literary Translation from Universidat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona; the school was named for the linguist Pompeu Fabra, an expert on the Catalan language.