CFP Translating flamenco songs

“Translating Flamenco Songs” 

Study Day and Workshop

University of Limoges (France), Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences

Thursday 24 September 2020 and Friday 25 September 2020[1]

Organisers: Anne-Sophie Riegler and Vinciane Trancart (EHIC)


Call for contributions


The EHIC laboratory (Human Spaces and Cultural Interaction, EA 1087) of the University of Limoges in France is organizing a study day and a workshop on the translation of flamenco song. This event is the extension of the distance workshop of flamenco translation, which has been translating from 2019 An Anthology Of Cante Flamenco (Perico el del Lunar, 1958).

This research takes its starting point from the observation of a lack and a need: translating flamenco through a combination of scientific rigor, poetic character and singability. It is indeed paradoxical that translations up until today have been exclusively written, whereas flamenco is fundamentally oral. Thus, existing translations most often give priority to the literal aspect or to a certain poeticity. Moreover, even if free translations are infrequent (Bois: 2016), the search for singability is even more rare: only Vicente Pradal openly aspires to aim for the “cantabile” (2014). These translations are generally designed to be read apart from performances (except concert programs: 1995, 1996 and 2002). However, for both researchers and flamenco aficionados, and even for music lovers interested in this internationally-renowned aesthetic genre, an understand of texts as sung is a real need, because singers themselves attach great importance to them. The planned study day and workshop aim to meet some of this need.

The event will revolve around two complementary approaches: one scientific, the other artistic. It will involve both exposing and commenting on translations, and trying to put them into song and / or music.

  • The study day (24 September) will be dedicated to the presentation of research.
  • The workshop (25 September) will be dedicated to collective translation and will provide space for vocal interpretations.

These days are therefore open to researchers (from various disciplines, such as languages, literatures, linguistics, history, philosophy, arts, etc.), to specialists of translation and to artists (flamenco or not). The framework for collective thinking will be multidisciplinary and theoretical-practical.


The proposed lines of work are as follows:

  • Translation and commentary of cantes

During the study day, the aim will be to present one or more translations of cantes and provide commentaries including the history of the coplas and their interpretations, an inventory of variants, a justification of translation choices, or even a comparison with earlier versions. The organizers will examine all proposals for translations and comments from transcribed or oral flamenco sources, although priority will be given to works focusing on An Anthology Of Cante Flamenco (Perico el del Lunar, 1958 [1954]).

During the workshop, we will translate more coplas from this anthology. Sung interpretations of these translations may then be offered.


  • History and analysis of sources

We will approach the history and analysis of oral sources, in particular those of An Anthology Of Cante Flamenco (Perico el del Lunar, 1958), in order to shed light on the recording and its oral or written origins.


  • Transcription

The translation of oral literature would be much more difficult without a prior transcription process. This process makes it possible to fix a form and to leave a trail but supposes the making of choices, which betray the original song and its variants. It will be necessary to study this point in a concrete way.


  • Traductology

Song translation raises specific questions that affect meaning and form. We will ask ourselves which choices to make and priorities to establish with regard to the translation of language registers, gypsy and Andalusian manners of speech, metric aspects, singability parameters, etc.


  • Reflection on previous translations

We will be interested in translations into French, English or other languages. These reflections can be incorporated into the various papers or be the subject of specific proposals.




Performative approach

This line of work applies to artists. Singers (flamenco or not) may interpret translated coplas. These interpretations may be presented during the workshop (25 September). Musical genre is open, as well as instrumental group (possibility of a capella or with accompaniment).

Nota Bene:      1) Artists can ask for translations in advance.

2) Two professional artists will participate in the workshop: Andrés de Jerez (cantaor) y Santiago Lara Puerto (tocaor).




French, English, Spanish


Event venue

Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences, University of Limoges

Campus Vanteaux

39E Rue Camille Guérin

87036 Limoges



Important dates

  • Submission Date: August 23rd, 2020
  • Response to the authors: August 27th, 2020
  • Program notification: September 8, 2020

Proposals with a title, an abstract (250 words maximum) and an academic biography (250 words maximum) are to be sent in a single PDF file called Name_Flamenco_Limoges to the two scientific organisers, no later than August 23rd.

Reference url:


Nota Bene: Given the uncertainties regarding the reopening of borders, the presentation of communications by videoconference may be considered if necessary.


Other flamenco events planned in Limoges

An evening show by the flamenco artists of Limoges (Triana Flamenca association)

Cante and baile courses during the weekend (from 25 to 27 September) by Andrés de Jerez (cante), Mercedes Ruiz (baile) and Santiago Lara Puerto (toque).


Indicative bibliography (selection)

General works on flamenco including translations

BRETÉCHÉ, G. (2008), Histoire du flamenco. Éloge de l’éclair, Biarritz, Atlantica.

GOBIN, A. (1975), Le Flamenco, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France.

LEBLON, B. (1995), Flamenco, Paris, Cité de la musique.

PASQUALINO, C. (2003), Dire le chant: les gitans flamencos d’Andalousie, Roma, Meltemi.


Translations of flamenco songs in French

ALCALÁ, M. & A. E. PÉREZ OROZCO (1987), Le flamenco et les Gitans, Paris, Filipacchi.

AMAYA, P. (1993), El mundo es mi casa: cantes flamencos y otros poemas gitanos, Céret, L’Aphélie.

ANDRADE DE SILVA, T. (1954), Anthologie du cante flamenco, Paris, éditions du Tambourinaire.

ANONYMOUS (1939), 333 coplas populaires andalouses, Alger, Cafre.

ANONYMOUS (1896), Chansons populaires de l’Espagne, Paris, A. Charles, [consultation: 2019-10-31].

ANONYMOUS (1946), 333 coplas populaires suivies de 33 coplas sentencieuses du folklore andalou, Paris, Charlot.

BOIS, M. (2016), Le flamenco dans le texte. Grand chant et poésie populaire, Biarritz [Paris], Atlantica [Max Fourny].

DUMAS, D. (ed.) (1973), Chants flamencos. Coplas flamencas, Paris, Aubier Montaigne.

FRAYSSINET-SAVY, C. (1995), Flamenco à la Cité. Notes de programme et traductions, Paris, Cité de la musique.

— (1996), L’Andalousie, musiques traditionnelles, musiques gitanes : notes de programme et traductions, Paris, Cité de la musique.

— (2002), Flamenco: créativité ou innovation? Notes de programme et traductions, Paris, Cité de la musique.

JOULIA, M. (2001), Je me consume. 2, Coplas flamencas, introduction de Jean-Yves Bériou, Barcelone, Laüt.

LÉVIS MANO, G. (ed.) (2016), Coplas, poèmes de l’amour andalou, Paris, Allia.

PRADAL, V. (2014), 100 coplas flamencas, Toulouse, Sables.

PRIETO, J.-R. (1996) Je me consume. Coplas flamencas, Barcelone, Laüt.

VIDAL, R.-J. (1992), Coplería flamenca: coplas et letras, Hyères, L’Or des îles.


Anthologies of coplas in Spanish

BALMASEDA Y GONZÁLEZ, M. (2019), Primer cancionero de coplas flamencas populares, Australia, Wentworth Press.

Fernández Bañuls, J. A. & Pérez Orozco, J. M. (eds.) (1983) La poesía flamenca lírica en andaluz, Sevilla, Servicio de Publicaciones del Ayuntamiento.

MACHADO Y ÁLVAREZ, A. (1881), Coleccion de cantes flamencos recogidos y anotados por Demófilo, Sevilla, [s.n.] (Impr. y Lit. de El Porvenir), [Consultation: 2019-09-06].

Rodríguez Marín, F. (1882), Cantos populares españoles, [Consultation: 2019-09-06].


Cantes albums including translations

CURRO PIÑANA (2011), Anthologie du Cante Minero, CD, Inédit Maison des cultures du monde.

EL BARULLO & MORAITO (1995), Plazuela, CD, Paris, Audivis.

PERICO EL DEL LUNAR (1954), Antología del cante flamenco, CD, Madrid, Ducretet-Thomson.

PERICO EL DEL LUNAR (1958), Antología del cante flamenco, CD, Madrid, Hispavox.


Translation and poetry

BONNEFOY, Y. (1994), La petite phrase et la longue phrase, [Paris], La TILV.

ETKIND, E. (1982), Un art en crise: essai de poétique de la traduction poétique, Lausanne, L’Âge d’homme.

JAKOBSON, R. (1978-1979), Essais de linguistique générale, Paris, Éditions de Minuit.

LOTMAN, Y. (1975), La structure du texte artistique, Paris, Gallimard.

MAZALEYRAT, J. (1995), Éléments de métrique française, (8th ed.), Paris, Armand Colin.

MESCHONNIC, H. (1986), Pour la poétique II. Épistémologie de l’écriture. Poétique de la traduction, [Paris], Gallimard.

PARDO, M. & A. PARDO (2010), Précis de métrique espagnole, Paris, Armand Colin.


Translation and song

ABBRUGIATI, P. (Dir.), (2017), Réécriture et chanson, Chants Sons, Presses universitaires de Provence (PUP).

BOSSEAUX, C. (2011), “Song Translation”, in Handbook in Translation Studies (eds). Kirsten Malmkjær and Kevin Windle. Oxford University Press, p. 183-197.

ESPAGNE, M. (2013), “La notion de transfert culturel”, Revue Sciences/Lettres,; DOI: 10.4000/rsl.219

FRANZON (2008), “Choices in Song Translation”. The Translator. 14.2, p. 373-399.

GORLEE, L. D., ed. (2005), Song and Significance: virtues and Vices of Vocal Translation. Amsterdam and New York, Rodopi.

HEWITT, E. (2000), “A study of pop song translations”. Perspectives: Studies in Translatology, 8 (3), p. 187-195,

LOW, P. (2003), “Singable translations of songs”. Perspectives: Studies in Translatology. 11 (2), p. 87-103.

— (2008), “Translating Songs that Rhyme”, Studies in Translation Theory and Practice, 16 (1-2), p. 1-20.

MOSSOP, B. (2013), “Singing in unknown languages: a small exercise in applied translation theory”, in Special issue of JoSTrans, The Journal of Specialised Translation, 20,




Full call for papers in PDF format


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