Promoting literary production in the indigenous languages of the Americas

Le Petit Prince parle amérindien

Chan-Ajau CoverOne of the projects of the Linguistics Department of the University of Bremen is the promotion of literary production in the lesser-used languages of the world.

An example of these activities is the forthcoming publication of the Yucatec Mayan translation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s classic text “Le Petit Prince” (which currently boasts of some 175 translations world-wide). Elisabeth Verhoeven, Christel Stolz, Thomas Stolz, the translator Amede Collí Collí, José Antonion Flores Farfán, Linguapax and the publisher Tintenfass in Germany have worked on this together in the hope to trigger off similar projects for other indigenous languages of the Americas. Currently, there are several Quechua translations, a Guaraní and a Toba version. To our mind, having a renowned piece of world literature handy in one’s own language may have a positive effect on the attitudes of native speakers to their ethnic language – and convince them of the feasibility of (original) literature in their language.

We would like to see the Little Prince translated into many autochthonous languages of the Americas.

Chan Ajau - Book Cover