In June, the Banff International Literary Translation Centre (BILTC) welcomed its seventeenth cohort of participants to its three-week program. This year, fifteen experienced literary translators, three emerging translators and three students were offered the opportunity to work in the Banff Centre’s idyllic setting. Most were from Canada, Mexico and the United States—BILTC’s three founding countries—, but the program also hosted participants from Germany, Argentina, Finland, Israel, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Ukraine. Beyond the usual language combinations, this year’s cohort had translators working into Dutch, Portuguese, Slovak, Chinese, Turkish and even Mep’haa, an indigenous language spoken in Mexico. Four LTAC members were in attendance: Rhonda Mullins and Madeleine Stratford as consulting translators, and Beatriz Hausner and Catherine Ego as participants.
Madeleine has very fond memories of her time in Banff. “The people from this year’s group spanned at least three generations. They were very well matched and didn’t hesitate to help each other. Most of the participants were Spanish speakers, which was a first as far as I know. Those who couldn’t speak the language of Cervantes were able to rely on others to cheerfully whisper translated accounts of what their colleagues had to say. The program’s atmosphere was wonderful; two months on, our WhatsApp discussion group is still very active!”