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Patois translation competition salutes Miss Lou

Published:Friday | October 4, 2019 | 12:11 AMJudana Murphy/Gleaner Writer
Miss Lou
Miss Lou

The Translators and Interpreters' Association of Jamaica will today launch a translation competition, paying homage to cultural icon Louise Bennett-Coverley.

The decision was made to include Patois against the background of the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages and the 100 days of celebration to commemorate the icon’s centenary birthday.

Competitors will be required to translate a document or literary work written in English to Patois.

French, Spanish, and Japanese will be translated to English for the other components of the competition.

Secretary of the association Dr Rohan Lewis said the competition is open to the general public, and knowledge of Cassidy, the writing system for Jamaican Creole, is not a requirement.

“We have determined that the people who will be translating into Jamaican Creole will need to use the Cassidy system, and so we will be having a series of workshops with prospective contestants on how the system works,” Lewis said.

The categories are high-school students, registered undergraduate students, graduate students, professional translators, and an open category.

“Part of the aim, especially with the Jamaican Creole aspect, is to be able to demonstrate that you can say anything in any language – that languages do what speakers do with them,” Lewis added.

The competition was first held in September 2017 to mark the first United Nations International Translation Day.