The Little Prince in Babel: Translations into Lesser Known Languages ​​– Study Days (ILARA and Collège de France)

In 2023, the world marks eighty years since the publication of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince in French and of its first translation into English. This extraordinary book holds the record as one of the most translated literary works, reaching an estimated 527 languages and dialects, surpassing even conventional bestsellers like Agatha Christie.

The number of translations into major languages is impressive, especially in East Asia, with over 60 translations into Mandarin Chinese, more than 40 into Korean and over 20 into Japanese. However, the target languages also include less-spoken, sometimes very rare, languages, and even ancient languages such as Sanskrit, Ancient Greek and Latin.

Two study days, uniting specialists from various fields and focussing on rare languages, are organised with the support of the Collège de France, the EPHE-affiliated Institute for Linguistic Heritage and Diversity (ILARA) and LLACAN with the goal of delving into the history of The Little Prince translations — a subject deserving to be studied independently of other globally successful literary works.

As part of this event, which coincides with the Science Festival, we invite you to explore an exhibition devoted to editions of The Little Prince in rare and precious languages, running until 13 October and organised by the libraries and archives of the Collège de France.

12–13 October 2023

The Little Prince in Babel: Translations into Lesser Known Languages

Institute of Civilisations of the Collège de France

52, rue du Cardinal Lemoine, 75005 Paris

Entry by pre-registration within the limit of 50 seats (please register at the following email address: jean-noel.robert@college-de-france.fr)

Programme

12 October Collège de France, Institute of Civilisations, Cardinal Lemoine building, Conference Hall

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. – Reception

9:20 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. – Welcome speeches delivered by representatives of the various organising institutions

10:00 a.m. – 10:10 a.m. – Speech by representatives of the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – d’Agay Estate

10:10 a.m. – 10:20 a.m. – Jean-Marc Probst (Jean-Marc Probst Foundation for The Little Prince)

10:20 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. – Jean-Noël Robert (Collège de France)

10:30 a.m. – 11:10 a.m. 

  • Talk by Philippe Forest (Université de Nantes)

11:10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Break

11:30 a.m. – 12:10 a.m. – The Ancient Youth of the Little Prince: Translations into Ancient Languages

  • Muriel Debié (EPHE–PSL)
  • Samra Azarnouche (EPHE–PSL)

12:10 p.m. – 12:50 p.m. – The Polyglot Little Princes

  • Walter Sauer – Germanic languages (Tintenfass Publishing)

12:50 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Lunch

2:30 p.m. – 3:10 p.m. – Echoes of the Americas

  • Marie Chosson – Mayan languages (Inalco)
  • César Itier – Quechua (Inalco)

3:10 p.m. – 3:50 p.m. – The Little Prince between oc and oïl: language varieties of the Croissant

  • Nicolas Quint (LLACAN)
  • Walter Sauer (Tintenfass Publishing)

3:50 p.m. – 4:10 p.m. – Break

4:10 p.m. – 4:50 p.m. – From the Bay of Bengal to the Himalayan Peaks: The Little Prince in Tibeto-Burman Languages

  • Françoise Robin – Tibetic languages (Inalco)
  • San San Hnin Tun – Burmese (Inalco)

4:50 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Sub-Saharan Accents: From Senegal to Zanzibar

  • Maximilien Guérin – Wolof (University of Lille)
  • El Hadji Dièye – Wolof (Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar)
  • Nathalie Carré – Swahili (Inalco)

6:00 p.m. Reception (by invitation) at the Blue Salon of the Collège de France 11, place Marcelin Berthelot

13 October Collège de France, Institute of Civilisations, Cardinal Lemoine building, Conference Hall

9:45 a.m.  Introduction

10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.  Treasures of Yesterday and Today

  • George Kiraz – Classical Syriac (Gorgias Press)
  • Samra Azarnouche – Middle Persian (EPHE–PSL)
  • Arthur Defrance – Classical Japanese (Inalco)
  • Additional speaker (to be confirmed)

Moderator: Myriam Olah (University of Lausanne)

11:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. – Break

11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  The Voices of The Little Prince Translators

  • Anne-Marie Martin-Guerre – Saint-Pantaléonnien
  • El Hadji Dièye – Wolof (Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar)
  • Murad Suleymanov – Languages of the Caucasus (Institute for Linguistic Heritage and Diversity, EPHE–PSL)
  • Mohammed-Amin Benaribi – Algerian Arabic and Tuareg (University of Tlemcen)

Moderator: Nicolas Quint (LLACAN)

1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Lunch

2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. The Paths of the Translators

  • Walter Sauer (Tintenfass Publishing)
  • Jean-Noël Robert (Collège de France)

Moderator: Claudine Le Blanc (Sorbonne Nouvelle)

3:45 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. – Break

4:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. – Questions and Discussion

Partner institutions

Centre for Japanese Studies, Institute of Civilisations, Collège de France

Hugot Foundation of the Collège de France

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – d’Agay Estate

Jean-Marc Probst Foundation for The Little Prince

Institut Universitaire de France

Labex EFL

LLACAN (UMR 8135–CNRS/EPHE/Inalco)



Cite this blog post
ILARA (2023, November 22). The Little Prince in Babel: Translations into Lesser Known Languages ​​– Study Days (ILARA and Collège de France). ILARA, the Institute for Linguistic Heritage and Diversity. Retrieved February 29, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.58079/q3b1

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