Why do we rarely use our “dialetto” in literary translations, when translating from an “official”, dominant language? Translating poetry into minority regional languages can produce wonderful results, but this is often done only when the original itself is written in a non-standard variety of a given language, as my friend Paul Howard did excellently with ‘The Good Life’, his translation of Giuseppe Belli’s poem ‘La Bbona Famijja’ from Romanesco into Yorkshire dialect (published in Modern Poetry in Translation, “Metamorphoses” Series 3, No 3).

Why, instead, don’t we start challenging the status quo by translating more and more renowned literature from a dominant language into a non-standard variety of another language?

This is what Transferre is all about!

Transferre is an unapologetically multilingual blog about translation of poetry in verse or prose, and of short texts, from any language into any language, standard or not, with a particular focus on endangered local languages. The idea is to encourage poetry in translation for the preservation and the promotion of minority languages.

Doctor Valentina Gosetti photographed by Andrew Ogilvy Photograp

Twitter: @GosettiV                 Photo: @AndrewOgilvy

My name is Valentina, I am an academic and I love poetry in verse and prose. I am originally from Collio di Vobarno, a small town in the province of Brescia in Italy, where, in the 80s and 90s, the everyday language was still el Dialèt Bresà (or Bresciano, the local vernacular), a Gallo-Italic language. I grew up there with my grandmother, my parents, my aunt, all people whose first language was Bresciano. Standard Italian was only learned at school. For this reason, I consider myself to be bilingual from birth in Italian and Bresà, but perhaps, Bresà might even be my real mother tongue, since it was the language that my family was more confortable speaking at home.

Today, my everyday languages are mainly English, French, and Italian. In a contemporary world, where dialetti and local languages are under threat and increasingly forgotten, I decided to revive my mother tongue by combining some of my passions: poetry and translation.

Transferre welcomes comments and feedback and is always looking for new contributors. If you would like to propose a translation from or into an endangered language, please send me a message, or leave a comment here below.

Hope you’ll enjoy discovering my language!


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2 responses to “Transferre

  1. Dear Valentina,
    We like your poetry translation project very much. We (my mother and I) translated a french poem by Jean Cocteau into West Frisian. Is it possible to add the poem to this website? We will also translate some of Cocteau’s earlier works into Bilts, an endangered dialect form the north of the Netherlands. Is it possible to publish those translations on your website as well?
    Kind regards,

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