Translating for Cervantes

Cervantes-y-Saavedra-1547-1615-2April 22, 2016 will mark the four-hundredth anniversary of Cervantes’s death. To commemorate the occasion, the Hispanic Institute at Columbia University is collecting translations of the following sentence from the prologue to Cervantes’s Novelas ejemplares:

[Y]o soy el primero que he novelado en lengua castellana, que las muchas novelas que en ella andan impresas todas son traducidas de lenguas estranjeras, y éstas son mías propias, no imitadas ni hurtadas: mi ingenio las engendró, y las parió mi pluma, y van creciendo en los brazos de la estampa.

I’m not sure quite what they’re planning to do with the translations once they get them. I’m guessing the top submissions will be printed in gold leaf and distributed at a seance at which Sancho Panza is raised from the dead. This isn’t specified in the official announcement, however. According to the guidelines the Hispanic Institute has sent around, they encourage “both literal and irreverent translations into any language,” adding: “Translations of translations are accepted. Translations based on a free translation of the term ‘translation’ are also welcome.” In other words, anything goes. They ask that you include your name and city of residence. Submit your translations here by March 29, 2016.

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