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Translation Seminar for Translators of Slovenian Literature into German, Novo mesto, 14 – 18 August 2017

Between 14 and 18 august 2017, the Slovenian Book Agency (JAK) organized the second specialist Translation Seminar for Translators of Slovenian Literature into German.

This time, the participants focused on the novel Kakorkoli (However, Beletrina, 2014) by Polona Glavan and the children’s tale Močvirniki (Marshlanders, Mladinska knjiga, 2012) by Barbara Simoniti. The same as last year, the workshops were headed by German author and translator Matthias Göritz and translator and interpreter Rosemarie Linde. The list of participants included acclaimed literary translators Barbara Anderlič, Daniela Kocmut, Tadeja Lackner-Naberžnik, Liza Linde and Alexandra Zaleznik.

The opening event, an insightful conversation between Matthias Göritz (*1969) and German literature expert Tanja Petrič, took place in the garden of the Ljubljana Goethe Institute, where the esteemed German author also read selected passages from his novel Der kurze Traum des Jakob Voss (The Short Dream of Jakob Voss). The Slovenian translation of the novel by Mojca Krajnc is scheduled to be published by the Litera publishing house before the end of this year.

This year’s event also included two accompanying specialist lectures. The first, by Berlin-based editor Maike Nedo, introduced the participants to the concept of the role of the translator as a literary mediator and acquainted them with the possibilities for introducing works by Slovenian authors into the international programmes of German publishing houses.  The second lecture, by acclaimed translator and interpreter Amalija Maček, introduced the participants to the theory of consecutive interpreting and also included practical workshop. Consecutive interpreting is namely a frequent feature at events hosting foreign literary guests, the works of which accompanying interpreters have often translated themselves.

The Slovenian Book Agency (JAK) originally established the specialist Translation Seminar for Translators of Slovenian Literature into German in 2016 as one of the preparatory activities prior to the project “Slovenia – Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair” with the intent to facilitate regular and more frequent exchanges between the Slovenian and the German-speaking literary realms. The novel Kronosova žetev (The Harvest of Chronos) by Mojca Kumerdej, which was one of the selected works in focus last year, is currently being translated into German by Erwin Köstler, who was among the eight participants who attended the inaugural seminar in Ljubljana. The German translation of Mojca Kumerdej’s novel will be published by the Wallstein publishing house.

The third edition of JAK’s Translation Seminar for Translators of Slovenian Literature into German is scheduled to take place in 2019.


Photo: Ema Koncilija, Alenka Mestek and Goethe Institut Ljubljana