SURCLA Seminar | The challenges of self-translation and bilingual writing
The challenges of self-translation and bilingual writing
Speaker: Judith Mendoza-White
In this paper Judith Mendoza-White looks at the challenges involved in the practice of self-translation and bilingual writing, as she writes in Spanish and English and has produced versions of most of her work in both languages. These challenges go beyond the linguistic realm, as cultural connotations and underlying meaning may remain unreachable to the second language speaker, however fluent and accurate her knowledge of the language may be. In addition to this, the writer’s identity can become compromised in the process of self-translation, as feelings of betrayal to the mother tongue may develop. The author will also look at the dual impact of self-translation, both on the mother tongue and the second language pieces: the two final versions of the same work involve recreation and rewriting rather than translation per se, and often affect each other in previously unsuspected ways.
About the speaker
Judith has been writing since she learned how to read. She has been the recipient of international literary awards, and as a result her novels and short stories have been published in several countries. Her novel Cuando pase la Lluvia was published in 2018 by Grupo Planeta, one of the main publishing groups in the Spanish speaking world. Her latest novel A veces la tarde duele will be published by Grupo Planeta in September 2020.
Her novel for children Un Remedio para Benvolio won first prize in the International Contest of Children and Young Adult Literature in Lima, Peru (2012) These awards resulted in the publication of her winning novels in Spain and Latin America.
Her short stories have been published in Spanish and English, and the English versions (self-translated) of her novels are awaiting publication in early 2021.
Judith holds a degree in English teaching and has studied French translation. In 2014 she completed a Master of Research at Macquarie University. At present she is studying a postgraduate degree in Creative Writing at Oxford University, UK. Judith teaches Academic Writing at the University of New South Wales and is constantly writing in Spanish and English.