ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: http://www.humanite.fr/journal/2004...
by Ixchel Delaporte
Published in l'Humanité on 9 August 2004
Translated Wednesday 6 October 2004, by
Volunteer translators have been translating l’Humanité into English since January 2004.
“We aren’t celebrating our hundredth anniversary, but we’re almost ready to celebrate our 7-month anniversary,” says Hervé Fuyet, the philosophy professor and militant communist living in Quebec who initiated the English version of the l’Humanité website. The Internet site was created in January 2004, and carries a selection of articles which were published in the newspaper and then translated into English. “I was wondering why an English version of l”Humanité didn’t exist. Lots of web publications have English translations - why not l’Huma?”, he said.
This idea was quickly imlplemented. He submitted the project to the newspaper’s board of directors, which accepted. After a few weeks, Hervé Fuyet started looking for professional translators who might be interested in making volunteer and militant contributions on behalf of the newspaper. “We needed to find translators who would be able to donate several hours of their time on a regular monthly basis. “Some thirty-odd translators throughout the world answered our appeal. We have a translator in Tokyo, another one in Melbourne, others in London, in Quebec and in the USA”, he explained. Before proudly adding: “our webmaster is also a volunteer - he is Haitian.”
For Hervé Fuyet, who is also a translator, “English is the language of international communication”. Thus, his interest in translating l’Humanité - “it’s a way of enlarging our influence throughout the world”. The English website for l’Huma is based on the French site. “Sort of a little sister”... Of course, ideally, the contributors to the English website would translate all of the articles. But the possibilities are limited due to the number of translators and their geographic organisation. The selection criteria is relatively flexible: for example, there is the central issue of Europe. Given Europe’s current orientation - that of major capital - it is essential that other, non-francophone countries have access to this debate which carries a different point of view than does the dominant media.” This is particularly crucial when it comes to “Americans and their imperialism. We consider it vital that an additional democratic voice be heard via our web site”.
The site also favors the more analytical articles, and those less related to current events: criticism of books and films and philosophical ideas. But when it comes to “burning” news, “we try to translate it within hours”. What method does he employ? “I examine each day’s l’Humanité and make a selection of articles which I send to our various translators. Depending on their availability and the inclination they might have for such or such a topic, they propose a translation and may also submit translations which are not on my list. “In the Internet era and given the predominance of the English language, the English version of l’Humanité is timely. All the more so since “the l’Humanité newspaper is unique in the world”, assures Hervé Fuyet. Before adding “furthermore, we are still looking for new translators!” A useful and selfless action which allows as many people as possible to read the newspaper.