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I’ve noticed a trend amongst both translators that I’ve interviewed for the blog and those that I follow on Twitter. They’re very much cat people. We’re very much cat people. (Am I allowed to say that? I’m only just getting started with translation, but fuck it, yes, I’m a translator too.)
People who write have a certain affinity for felines, I find. Take a look at all the blog posts on famous writers and their bewhiskered muses, for one. But translators? Why do we love cats so much? Apart from the fact that they’re perfect little beings, I don’t have an answer to that, but perhaps there’s something about the calming, aloof energy of a cat that lends itself to accompanying an essentially sedentary person on a day-to-day basis.
Unlike dogs, they don’t require walks; rather, they’re perfectly content to curl up on your lap while you type-type-type away translating your silly little words.
Anyway, enough of my pointless speculation. I know why you’re here: for cat pictures. Enjoy, etc.
Julia Sanches translates from Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, and French into English. Her recent translations include Amora by Natalia Borges Polesso, Eartheater by Dolores Reyes, and Slash and Burn by Claudia D. Hernández. These are her cats Babka and Cannoli. Excellent names. 10/10.
Related: In Conversation with Multilingual Translator Julia Sanches
Emma Rault translates from German and Dutch into English. Her recent translations include The Dandy by Nina Polak and Ghosts of Berlin by Rodolph Herzog. This is Joseph, though he sometimes goes by Mrrp. An elegant gentleman. 10/10.
Robin Myers translates from Spanish to English. Her recent translations include Alberca vacía / Empty Pool by Isabel Zapata, Cars on Fire by Mónica Ramón Ríos, and The Restless Dead by Cristina Rivera Garza. This is her cat Humita. Enigmatic and adorable. 10/10.
Related: In Conversation with Robin Myers, Poet and Translator
Charlotte Coombe translates from French and Spanish to English. Her recent translations include Fish Soup and Holiday Heart by Margarita García Robayo, The Imagined Land by Eduardo Berti, and Khomeini, Sade and Me by Abnousse Shalmani. This is Benji. He’s a teddybear. 10/10.
Bethan Cunningham translates from Spanish, French, and Catalan to English. Her recent translations include short stories by Bel Olid, Lucia Pietrelli, and Antònia Vicens. These are her cats Leo and Lunes. Big supermodel vibes. 10/10.
Isabel Adey translates from Spanish and German to English. Her recent translation samples include ‘Tea in Augsburg’ by Marvel Moreno (with Charlotte Coombe) and ‘On Time for Breakfast’ by Solange Rodríguez Pappe. This is Alfred, elegantly devouring his favourite toy. Incredible fur, like a shampoo ad. 10/10.
Emma Ramadan translates from French to English. Her recent or forthcoming translations include In Concrete by Anne F. Garréta, Pretty Things by Virginie Despentes, and I’m Writing You From Tehran by Delphine Minoui. This is her cat Betty, reading Into English. What a scholar. 10/10.
Whitney DeVos translates from Spanish to English. Her recent translations include The Semblable by Chantal Maillard and Notes Toward a Pamphlet by Sergio Chefjec. This is her cat Rulfo. A true Renaissance man. 10/10.
Ellen Jones translated from Spanish to English. Her recent translations include Nancy by Bruno Lloret, Trout, Belly Up by Rodrigo Fuentes, and ‘The Myth of Mestizaje’ by Federico Navarrete. This is her cat Chamaca. Cute and murderous. 10/10.
Related: In Conversation with Ellen Jones, Translator of Contemporary Latin American Literature
Charlotte Whittle translates from Spanish to English. Her recent translations include People in the Room and Notes from Childhood by Norah Lange, and The Mutations by Jorge Comensal. This is her cat Bagel. A conscientious editor. 10/10.
Related: In Conversation with Charlotte Whittle, Editor and Literary Translator
Soje translates from Korean to English. Their recent translations include Unexpected Vanilla by Lee Hyemi, To the Warm Horizon by Choi Jin-young, and Catcalling by Lee Soho. These are their cats, Jjingjjing (Whiney) and Jjinbbang (Steamed Bun). Deeply photogenic, incredible banana bed. 10/10.
Ruth Martin translates from German into English. Her recent translations include The Coral Merchant by Joseph Roth and The Eighth Life by Nino Haratischwili (co-translation with Charlotte Collins). These are her cats, Little Cat (!) and Gary, the tabby. They’re both deeply over your shit. 10/10.
Gigi Chang translates from Chinese to English. Her recent translations include A Bond Undone: The Definitive Edition by Jin Yong, classical Chinese dramas for the RSC, and contemporary Chinese plays for London’s Royal Court Theatre and more. This is her cat Mognum P.I. Inspired name, great ‘tache. 10/10.
Ilana Luna translates from Spanish to English. Her recent translations include Tiawanaku by Judith Santopietro and Sub Verse Workshop by Giancarlo Huapaya. This is her travelling cat, Martina. Her fur is glorious, I’m jel tbh. 10/10.
Related: In Conversation with Ilana Luna, Award-Nominated Poetry Translator
Rachel Ward translates from German and French into English. Her recent translations include The Train Mouse by Uwe Timm and Mexico Street by Simone Buchholz. These are her cats Mitzi, Tolly, and Bella. A triad of joy. 10/10.
Megan McDowell translates from Spanish into English. Her recent translations include Multiple Choice by Alejandro Zambra, Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin, and Humiliation by Paulina Flores. This is her cat Bubbles. An actual cloud. 10/10.
Related: In Conversation with Megan McDowell, Translator of Chilean and Argentine Literature
Rosalind Harvey translates from Spanish into English. Her forthcoming translations include an untitled novel by Juan Pablo Villalobos, La hija única by Guadalupe Nettel, and Here Be Icebergs by Katya Adaui. This is her cat Ferris. An elusive gentleman with an objectively adorable nose. 10/10.
Related: In Conversation with Literary Translator Rosalind Harvey
Charlotte Collins translates from German into English. Her recent translations include The Field by Robert Seethaler, Olga by Bernhard Schlink, and The Eighth Life by Nino Haratischvili (in a co-translation with Ruth Martin). These are her cats Caliban a.k.a. Banski (black) and Ariel (black and white). They clearly own those soft furnishings and just very kindly allow you to use them. 10/10.
Jennifer Croft translates from Polish and Spanish into English. Her recent translations include Flights by Olga Tokarczuk, August by Romina Paula, and A Perfect Cemetery by Federico Falco. This is her cat Pushkin. Can you think of a better name for a Russian Blue? 10/10.
Related: In Conversation with Jennifer Croft, Translator of Argentina and Polish Literature