Éric Reyes Roher, Pierre-François Caillé Award for Translation 2022

The award was established in memory of Pierre-Francois Caille (1907-1979), one of the founders of which was the honorary president of the SFT and the founding president of the International Federation of Translators (FIT).

The jury consists of approximately fifteen working or retired professional translators, including several past SFT presidents and translation teachers. This year they reviewed twelve books translated from Hindi, German, Belarusian, Malagasy, English, Italian and Ukrainian.

To date, this distinction has awarded 39 translations from 18 source languages, including English, Spanish, Italian, as well as Turkish, Japanese, Russian, Greek, Romanian, Dutch, Swedish, Icelandic, Chinese and, for the first time in 2017, german

To reward a talented translator at the beginning of his publishing career, to attract the attention of the general public to the translation profession and to contribute to its recognition. », here is the triple appeal of the award, emphasized by the president of the jury, Bernhard Lorenz.

Here is the editor’s summary of the winning text:

Mystery: this is a big part of the book. But what secret? Encompassing beings we don’t see, have never seen, but exist nonetheless. The big question: does it have to be seen to be believed? On one of his travels, Gabi Martinez hears about the Nile shoe sole, a bird that no one sees anymore due to habitat loss, but which we know is not completely extinct…
For Gabi Martínez, it’s a click! The animals he talks about are mysterious for three reasons: either because they are on the verge of extinction; or because it is the fruit of legends from other places; or because they cannot be located. So the six stories that make up the framework of this book, where the sole of the shoe, the Great Barrier Reef and the yeti encounter the moa (Dinornithidae, extinct), the Korean tiger and the “danta” (a type of Venezuelan tapir).
By painting their portraits, Gabi Martinez highlights the local people’s relationship with these animals, how they care for them, kill them, and sometimes remember them. More than travel stories: an adventure at the heart of the imagination of foreign cultures.

Éric Reyes Roher was born to a French mother and a Mexican father. ” During family meals, if some do not speak French and others do not speak Spanish, we have to translate remarks, innuendos, jokes, jokes. An exercise that really helps to master the intricacies of the language “, he admits.

A young man in Mexico, studying in Paris, began to learn two Mayan languages, especially in Inalco. He then moved to London, Barcelona, ​​Cairo, and then to the south of France. Rich in many languages, it can now translate from Spanish, English and Catalan to French as well as Spanish.

After a ten-week residency in 2018, “ produces translators Commissioned translation by Éric Le Seuil at the International College of Literary Translators in Arles.Learn to talk to plants, a novel by Martha Orriols. From there he started translatinginvisible animalsavoiding a slavish translation, sometimes changing the rhythm, but respecting the baroque expression of Gabi Martínez “.

Juror Maryvonne Simoneau testifies: “ When translating from Spanish, you need to prune often to avoid redundancy. This book is an excellent translation. No offense, lack of information, very rich lexicon evidence of a well-documented work, rich and respectful style of the author, provocative descriptions of emotions. “And to add:” outbursts of emotion “on point” sometimes re-read some parts for enjoyment “.

From left to right: Annabelle Macia (Éditions Le Pommier), Julien Brocard (Éditions Le Pommier), Erik Reyes Roher (2022 winner), Freddie Plassard (jury member), Bernhard Lorenz (Pierre-François Caillé prize jury president), Sylvie Escat ( jury), Philippe Minns (jury), Bruno Chanteau (President of the French Society of Translators), Sandrine Détienne (Secretary General of the Pierre-François Caille Prize), Françoise Wirth (jury), Agnes Debarge (jury), Dominique Durand-Fleischer (juror) and Lucile Gubler (juror). Pierre-François Caillé Award for Translation.

An excerpt from Éric Reyes Roher’s translation:

A baboon was climbing the trunk just 2 meters away. What species are there among the thirty identified species? Anubis. Nature manifested itself in all its rich diversity at this moment. With mahogany trees. His wife. His musicians. Its palm trees. His climbers. Its climbing plants. Its ferns. His cacti love obelisks. Rowing canopies that cover humus under thick leaves sheltered by trunks that slow the onslaught of the wind. It is like a sponge that protects the roots from floods.

At this point, the vegetable pump was producing evaporation that would coalesce into gentle clouds in a few hours. Plants have digested a sufficient supply of glucose and oxygen. There were forest factories producing honey, wax, rubber, and mushrooms. Cellular microorganisms multiply. as well as infectious agents. Medicinal plants with which the locals fight malaria, dysentery, leukemia, syphilis and spirochetes.

On the side of the road, three people were mowing excessively with small scythes and scattering pieces of grass. But apart from humans and monkeys, we could not distinguish any animals, not even birds, in the green canopy. More than a thousand species live here, but there, in front of our eyes, not a shadow of a feather. No Gabon gray, that common parrot. We knew she was there and she wasn’t afraid of the man. And still nothing. Not even a gray from Gabon.

The 2021 edition honored Benjamin Pecoud for his translation from German baby lizard By Vincenzo Todisco, published by Zoé publications.

Photo credits: Society of French Translators (SFT) / Pierre-François Caillé Award for Translation

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