Translation activities in 2016

It is exciting and rewarding to see that there is an active international conversation about the translation of Swedish literature, which would never be able to cross our country’s borders were it not for our outstanding translators!

Translation seminars

Through our international literature grants, the Swedish Arts Council supports various types of translation seminars and workshops, among other things. This year, we have continued our efforts to encourage and support translation by funding initiatives in a number of countries, including France, Russia, Poland, Italy and Germany. A new event in 2016 is a seminar in China, arranged by the Swedish embassy in Beijing in collaboration with the city’s foreign language university.

The Swedish Arts Council and our Nordic colleagues from Denmark, Norway and Finland attended the seminar’s second meeting, which took place in conjunction with the Beijing Book Fair in August. The theme was children’s literature and Sweden was represented by children’s writers Ulf Stark and Lisen Adbåge, who had the opportunity to meet their Chinese translators during a workshop. The two Swedish authors were also the focus of a number of popular events at the Fair and in the city, an indication of China’s extensive interest in Nordic children’s literature.

This year, the Swedish Arts Council also supported a so-called Translation Mine, which took place in Swedish Bergslagen. The event gathered translators of the works of Ulf Peter Hallberg who over the course of a few days discussed the translation of his books into various languages under the guidance of seminar leader Elena Balzamo. A successful concept that will be reprised in 2017. The event is arranged by Enrica Hallvarsson.

In 2016, the Swedish Literature Exchange organized its own larger Translation conference for the first time.

Fifty translators from twenty-seven language areas were invited to Långholmen in Stockholm for a three-day programme packed with workshops, lectures and meetings with authors, Swedish agents and publishers. So pleased were we with how the conference come off, we have decided to make it a biannual event.

In collaboration with our colleagues in NordLit, we also organized a translation seminar in Helsinki for Nordic translators of children’s literature. Twenty translators from across the Nordic countries attended and were given an opportunity to visit the book fair, which this year had a Nordic theme.

"Translation Mine" in Bergslagen. Photo: Giampiero Assumma.

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