24 September 2009 Travalia Translates Children's Classic

In the fall of 2007, Hobart and William Smith Colleges welcomed assistant professor Caroline Travalia to the Spanish and Hispanic Studies department for her expertise Spanish linguistics and translation studies.  Recently, she drew on knowledge of each of those areas to translate the Spanish children’s classic “Manolito Four-Eyes: The 2nd Volume of the Great Encyclopedia of My Life.” 

The memorable Manolito Four-Eyes, a 10-year-old boy living in Spain whose thick glasses inspired his nickname, is back with all of his equally memorable friends and family in “Manolito Four-Eyes: The 2nd Volume of the Great Encyclopedia of My Life” by Elvira Lindo and illustrated by Emilio Urberuaga.  Manolito, Bozo (his little brother), Big Ears (his best friend), grandfather and Ozzy (the bully) are in trouble yet again.  Manolito’s voice is honest and thorough as he tells the reader how two of his friends came up with the idea to steal candy from the local convenience store. When the three of them get caught, Manolito ends up paying the price.  Manolito’s life continues to be a series of misfortune when at the crowded local pub, Manolito accidentally cheers on a player from the other soccer team who was playing against the Madrid team.  The story goes on to tell of Manolito’s struggle and persistence in a tale full of humor and moral that makes for an excellent read.

Lindo’s series about the adventures of Manolito Four-Eyes is wildly popular across the globe, even inspiring feature films and a TV series.  She has received Spain’s National Children’s Book Award, works as a screenwriter and has a weekly column in El Pais newspaper which is widely read in Spain and Latin America.  Emilio Urberuaga, the illustrator of “Manolito Four-Eyes: The 2nd Volume of the Great Encyclopedia of My Life,” is a famous writer and illustrator in Spain whose work has been published all over the world.  The work has been regularly translated into roughly 20 languages, but this is the first time this best selling novel has been available in English, thanks in part to Travalia, who has already translated the next book, “Manolito Four-Eyes: The 3rd Volume of the Great Encyclopedia of My Life,” scheduled to be released in the spring of 2010.

Prior to teaching at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Travalia was an instructor at Middlebury College and New York University in Madrid.  With almost native fluency in Spanish and Italian, she has done research in translation studies, second language learning and colloquial Spanish.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Italian from the University of Notre Dame and her master’s degree in Trans-Atlantic relations from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  In addition, she received a Doctorate of Modern Languages degree from Middlebury College and a Ph.D. from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid.