International Translators' Seminar held 29 April–30 April. Nineteen translators from eleven linguistic areas participate

15. May, 2019 News

With this seminar, the Icelandic Literature Centre aims to strengthen the bonds with translators working from Icelandic to various other languages, demonstrate through action how appreciated their work is, and welcome new translators. 

  • Verold

There is great interest in Icelandic literature and its popularity is growing world-wide, which is evident by the fact that translations into foreign languages have almost tripled in number in the past ten years and applications to the Icelandic Literature Centre's for translations grant programme have increased accordingly.

The aim of the Icelandic Literature Center with this translators' seminar here in Iceland is to strengthen bonds with translators of Icelandic literature working into foreign languages and to demonstrate how appreciated their work is, because translators are important ambassadors for Icelandic literature, spreading the word far and wide.

The seminar's organisers would also like to encourage new and up-and-coming translators and enable all participants to get in touch with the Icelandic literary scene and contemporary culture.

Nineteen translators translating from Icelandic into 11 different languages are confirmed to participate. About half of them live in Iceland, the other half arrive from abroad. The native languages of the participants are as follows: Czech, Danish, English, German, Italian, Latvian, Norwegian, Polish, Russian, and Swedish.

The programme is diverse, taking the form of lectures and workshops that will be conducted in Veröld – Vigdís' House in addition to receptions, field excursions, meetings with authors, specialists, publishers, etc.

The seminar is held directly in the wake of the Reykjavík International Literary Festival. Polish literature will be discussed in the festival's programme at an event at Gerðuberg Culture House in collaboration with Reykjavík City Library. Translator Jacek Godek will give a talk about Icelandic literature in Polish translation at the event and will also be among participants at the translators' seminar.

On Friday 26 April the president of Iceland will present Orðstír, an honorary award for translators of Icelandic literature into a foreign language, and this is the third time that the award is presented, which is done in conjunction with the biennial Reykjavík International Literary Festival. Two translators are presented with the award each time as a token of appreciation of their great work.

Orðstír is awarded by the Icelandic Literature Center, the Office of the President of Iceland, Promote Iceland, The Icelandic Association of Translators an Interpreters, and the Reykjavik International Literary Festival. This year the programme with the recipients of the award will be in Veröld – Vigdís' House on Sunday 28 April at 3pm, and the event will be a bridge to the translators' seminar held by the Icelandic Literature Center that commences on Monday 29 April.

This is the third time that the translators' seminar is held in Iceland for translators of Icelandic literature into various other languages, the first was held in 2009, ahead of the Frankfurt Book Fair when Iceland was the guest of honour, and the second was held in autumn 2017.

The Icelandic Literature Center hosts and manages the seminar. Sponsors and collaborators are: Reykjavik – Unesco City of Literature, Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, The Icelandic Publishers Association, Reykjavík International Literary Festival, The Writers' Union of Iceland, The Icelandic Association of Translators and Interpreters, and Veröld – Vigdís' House

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