The French translation competition for A level students, organised by Dr Sara-Louise Cooper, has been won by Shifa Mahomed Teeluck. Shifa won £50 and the two runners up won £10 each. For this competition, entrants were tasked with translating a short passage by contemporary author Patrick Chamoiseau . After the competition, local entrants will be invited to a translation workshop at the University of Kent to discuss the passage and learn more about the author.
The winning translation is featured below:
‘Pain has no borders!
No pain remains an orphan!
No suffering inflicted on the living has a limit to it.
The victim is within us and the persecutor too. Threats make alliances and affect us together. Each one of us is a target without shelter. A front line and a transmitting antenna. Inaction gives the slightest indecency a terrible impetus. A child who dies in the Mediterranean recaps the ignominies tolerated for thousands of years by the human conscience and accuses us too. And those who have let him die, claim our name and put us at their bedside as if we were complicit. The slave trade prospered at a level of consciousness fed by the Enlightenment. Our current level of consciousness, which is that – phenomenal – of a connected consciousness, becomes infected by the slightest cowardice, but it welcomes with as much force and speed a simple refusal, a little bit of indignation, a rage, a smile, a coffee… the slightest radiance where vital integrity is protected, and sustained, like an ultimate torch, human dignity.’
Sara said of the event: “There were over forty entries to the competition and the standard was very high.”