A resolution by Mark Richards, Chris Barkley and Juli Marr has been added to the Dublin 2019 Business Meeting agenda. It has been designated B4, (although there was another item which had that number.)
B.4 Credit to Translators of Written Fiction
Resolved, it is the sense of the Business Meeting that, for the written fiction categories of Best Novel, Novella, Novelette, and Short Story, when the winner in one of these categories is a translated work, the credited translator shall be awarded a Hugo alongside the author.
Mark Richards explains the purpose of the resolution with these comments:
The choice of translator can make the difference in the impact of a work of fiction in translation, in comparison to its impact in its original language.
Fluency in the original language may be enough for a good translation. We feel that familiarity with the context in which a work was written adds to the quality of the result, and that a translator’s contribution there can make a difference.
For example, Liu Cixin’s Three-Body Problem wouldn’t have been nearly as successful had Ken Liu not gotten all of the nuance of Chinese history during the Cultural Revolution and been able to transmit that
And there’s a collection of connected short stories, Kalpa Imperial, by the Argentine author Angelica Gorodischer, Any decent translator, I imagine, would have given us a good translation. It was the late
Ursula Le Guin, however, whose prose style was perfect for giving us as fine a work in English as it presumably was in the original Spanish.
Closing, we feel that a translator’s contribution to the success of a story merits recognition in the awarding of a Hugo.