Twelve or so years ago when I was studying for a Master of Translation Studies degree, I read set works by the New Caledonian author Claudine Jacques, and as part of the course I visited her island for two weeks and even had lunch in her home. Choosing texts for my translation assessment was simple for me: I chose New Caledonian authors, including Claudine’s short stories, since her writing is easy to relate to. One story was ‘La Croix bleue’, or in English ‘The Blue Cross’. Her writing in general reflects the social problems on her island which are not too different from those here in Australia, hardly surprising in spite of the language difference since we’re only a two-hour flight apart and we have similar colonial histories. Not long after, I submitted my translation to the AALITRA journal here in Australia and it was published in 2010.
These days when I read ‘The Blue Cross’ I can see words and phrases I would translate differently, having now had 12 years’ translating experience. Nevertheless I was chuffed yesterday to stumble upon a review by a reader who was looking for women’s writing that has been translated (August is Women in Translation Month). She found my story freely available online, and reviewed it. For a short story it’s a long review.
Thank you Whispering Gums.