The History of Slovene Literary Translation (Vol. I)
The introductory chapter to The History of Slovene Literary Translation presents the overall methodological and ethical approach used in the conception of the monograph and its chapters. The approaches are in tune with the main aim of the History: to highlight the role of Slovene literary translators and translation in the development of Slovene literature, language and culture, examine the connections between the Slovene and other cultures, and thus contribute to the visibility of literary translators. Special emphasis is laid on the role of literary translators in the development and standardisation of the Slovene language and literature, and in the nation-building enterprise. The chapter also provides the working definition of literature used in this monograph, which is defined as a functional and not an ontological term, and covers all texts that are considered and regarded as literature within Slovene culture and society – this means that translations of important religious texts of the Western and Eastern traditions, and of the selected theoretical, philosophical texts, are also included in the monograph. The overview of translational activity is also not limited by directionality: the chapters focus not only on translations into Slovene, but also on translations of Slovene source texts into other languages. And finally, since the History aims to be a national history of literary translation, its scope is not limited by the confines of the Republic of Slovenia, but also covers translatorial activity within Slovene ethnic minorities and in Slovene diasporas, i.e., in all environments where the Slovene language is involved in the translational process.
The chapter deals with the analysis of foreign translation history works as possible theoretical-methodological basis for the analysis of the history of Slovene literary translation. The analysis included 19 translation history works, which could be classified into three categories: (a) general or linguistically and culturally non-specific works, (b) linguistically and culturally specific (restricted to individual areas) works, and (c) field-specific or problem-oriented works. The most relevant studies for the analysis of the history of Slovene literary translation are the linguistically and culturally specific works, especially the analyses of the Serbian, Czech, Slovak, Finnish and Irish situations, as they investigate the translation history of smaller peripheral cultural-linguistic areas with specific histories, which corresponds to the Slovene situation. The most relevant study for the analysis of Slovene translations through history proved to be the content-rich Suomennoskirjalisuuden historia [The History of Literary Translation into Finnish] (ed. Riikonen et al. 2007), as it includes a chronologically and thematically organised analysis of numerous aspects – from textual and linguistic topics and issues related to translators, to publishing and socio-cultural aspects. The other works are useful for Slovene translation history either because they analyse situations in areas socio-culturally connected to Slovenia, or because they address various methodological and content issues.
This chapter presents the structure of Zgodovina slovenskega literarnega prevoda [The History of Slovene Literary Translation], developed in the context of the HiSLiT project. The organization of the individual parts and chapters is outlined, and the common guidelines, developed in advance as the starting point for individual papers, are presented. Reasons are given for the way in which various aspects of translation are outlined, with a specific focus on the contextualisation of editorial decisions.
The chapter analyses the first Slovene – manuscript – translations from the period between the 10th and the mid-16th centuries: Brižinski spomeniki [Freising monuments], Celovški/Rateški rokopis [Celovec/Rateče manuscript], Starogorski rokopis [Stara Gora manuscript], Stiški rokopis [Stična manuscript], Slovenski načrt za pridigo [Slovene sketch for a sermon] are all religious texts, Černjejski [Černjeja manuscript] and Kranjski rokopis [Kranj manuscript] are administrative texts, while two plurilingual poems by Oswald von Wolkenstein and Auerspergov rokopis [Auersperg manuscript] represent literary texts. The source texts of the first Slovene translations include reconstructed supposed German (and Latin) confession, sermon, and prayer formulas, which were translated, complemented, and copied, as in the case of Brižinski spomeniki, Celovški/Rateški and Starogorski rokopis, and a part of Stiški rokopis; the source text of Slovenski načrt za pridigo is more difficult to determine. In the two plurilingual poems by Oswald von Wolkenstein the Slovene verses represent translations of parallel German verses, the source text of the Easter poem “Naš gospud je od smrti vstal” [Our Lord has risen from the death] in Stiški rokopis is the German poem “Christ is erstanden” [Christ has risen], the Slovene judge’s precept in Kranjski rokopis has a parallel German text; in a part of Černjejski rokopis Slovene records are accompanied by Italian and Latin source texts. Parts of Černjejski and Kranjski rokopis are without foreign-language source texts. The interlingual/intercultural character of these texts is highlighted by foreign-language elements and – at least in a part of translated texts – by their supposed foreign-language authors (copyists, translators). The earliest Slovene translations point to the needs and importance of the Slovene population in a specific geographical area, as well as to the role of Slovene language in liturgy, administration, and literature in the Middle Ages.
Slovene Protestant writers translated biblical texts from one or two basic sources and revised them with the aid of additional source texts. When a Slovene translation was already available, its translation solutions were also taken into consideration. In Jurij Dalmatin’s translations, based on those made by Primož Trubar, the ratio between Trubar’s existing translation solutions and Dalmatin’s new solutions stands at approximately 80% to 20%.
With respect to translation techniques, Slovene non-biblical works can be divided into three general categories: works which include original texts and summaries/paraphrases of identifiable sources, as well as literal translations of easily identifiable sources; works which include explicit indications of their translation sources on the cover or in the accompanying texts, even though these texts did not serve as their sources but were roughly summarised at best; and works which represent translations in the modern sense.
In this period, Slovene translations mostly included works translated from German or Latin, exceptionally also from other languages, and particularly notable is the German influence on the syntax and vocabulary of Slovene biblical translations. The influence of translations by Slovene Protestant authors in the 16th century has been considerable, as they determined the development of Slovene literary language in a significant manner. At the same time, the still emerging Slovene literary language was faced with the difficult task of having to express some very complicated content.
Two multilingual dictionaries including the Slovene language (published in 1592 and 1603) are among the first books published in Slovene, brought about by the Protestant movement in the Slovene territory in the second half of the 16th century. The two dictionaries were compiled by the German polymath Hieronymus Mesiger. Prior to the publication of these, there existed only shorter glossaries (e.g., the so-called Registers, added to Dalmatin’s translation of the Bible (1578 and 1584) and trilingual glossaries in Bohorič’s grammar (1584). In the Counter-Reformation period Mesiger’s two dictionaries were soon followed by the Italian-Slovene dictionary by Alasiea da Sommaripa, a priest from Piedmont. The first dictionary representations of the Slovene language differ according to their type, size and purpose. From the 19th until the mid-20th century, the first dictionaries were only mentioned briefly in scholarly research. However, after that followed a period of increased research interest in the early dictionary descriptions of the Slovene language. The studies of a number of authors focused on a range of different topics. These revealed the dictionary characteristics of the first dictionary representations of the Slovene language, including word-formation and semantic relations between the entry and equivalent. Specific attention was given to the variety of the vocabulary covered by the dictionary, the dialectal component, the connections between different dictionaries and their sources. The studies also highlighted the importance of the early dictionaries for the development of Slovene lexicography and the Standard Slovene language (i.e., Slovene literary language).
Throughout the history of Bible translation, the dilemma of translating ad verbum or translating ad sensum has always been at the centre of attention. In the context of this fundamental question, the contribution discusses the implementation of all complete Catholic translations of the Bible. In doing so, the author relies on the information provided in the introductions to the translations and in professional literature, and in the treatment of the last two translations on his own experiences in connection with his colleagues. The basic principle of judging the adequacy of translations is the question of the extent to which individual translations take into account the literary nature of the biblical texts. More specially, whether translators consider the wealth of metaphors in the original, or they replace these with abstract concepts, and whether they translate basic vocabulary uniformly or freely without supervision. In standard translations of the Bible, it is especially important to take into account the basic literary form of parallelism, which in the original enabled the creation of synonymous or antithetical word pairs, which bear the stamp of the constancy of theological hermeneutics. The contribution also touches on the importance of unifying the forms of biblical personal and geographical names, which underwent significant transformations in the Greek and Latin translations of the Bible (Septuagint and Vulgate) and served as the basis for the development of name forms in European languages for two thousand years.
This chapter examines how Slovene Protestant translation of the Bible created the literary norms of the Slovene language. The Slovene literary language was created by Trubar’s choice of the specific language variant of the target language, which was then chosen by Jurij Dalmatin as well. However, the translation of the Bible contained also lexical and syntactic Germanisms. It was only in the 19th century that syntactic Germanisms began to be purged by Catholic translators, while at the same time the style of Slovene Bible translation was improved by the paraphrased citations of biblical sayings taken from Slovene literature which guided Bible translation towards more genuine-sounding Slovene.
On the other hand, Slovene literature has throughout history always been characterised by free and creative Bible translation, as shown in the second part of this chapter. Canonical Slovene poets and writers used biblical metaphors for the verbalisation of their central themes, for instance France Prešeren in his Romantic lyrical poetry and Ivan Cankar in his Neo-Romantic narrative of yearning. In Prešeren’s work this is most visible in the glorification of his beloved, upon whom he had bestowed nothing less than “glory”, which in the Old Testament meant the radiant Divine presence on Earth. Conversely, Cankar de-eroticised Prešeren’s paradigm of noble love, turning it into yearning for a new life. He voiced this yearning with the help of the Bible in one of his short stories from his middle period, where the Second Coming of Christ is depicted.
Research into Slovene Baroque literature of the 17th and 18th centuries has remained deficient to this day, which is why new studies are needed. Most Slovene Baroque texts circulated among readers and listeners only in the form of manuscripts, and many of them have been lost altogether.
Slovene translations of the Baroque period had various historical forms, including adaptation, variation, abridgement, report and translation in the modern sense.
With the pastoral initiatives of Bishop Tomaž Hren for the renewal of religious life and church singing, the Catholic revival of the early 17th century gave rise to a new movement, and thus several kinds of new texts in Slovene were needed. For this reason, many new Slovene translations or adaptations of older texts were created in the 17th century.
The genre in which translation has the longest tradition in Slovene literature is the hymn. In the intense literary life of the 17th century, there were even translations of long poems, such as the medieval Cistercian poem about the tortured limbs of Christ, the Rhythmica oratio, in two Slovene versions. In the 18th century there were also many translations and adaptations of songs for the veneration of the Blessed Virgin, the saints, for pilgrimages and brotherhoods.
In the genre of meditative prose, Slovene Baroque writers translated several hagiographic and ascetic works. Four translations of the famous work Imitation of Christ by Thomas of Kempis were made, but only two of them were published.
In the field of Baroque drama, two Passion plays in Slovene have been preserved in manuscripts: one from Eisenkappel and the other from Škofja Loka. As a whole, they were originally written in Slovene, but the individual elements probably originated from an older Passion tradition in Latin.
Slovene Baroque literature, through original and numerous translated texts, was able to achieve an important advance over earlier periods, and gave rise to the entire literary system of poetry, prose and drama.
In the Age of Enlightenment, two original works and several translations gradually shaped Slovene secular drama, while translation itself progressively allowed the language to eventually function on stage in the secular theatre. Translators (such as Jurij Japelj, Anton Tomaž Linhart, Žiga Zois, Jernej Kopitar and Valentin Vodnik) translated Italian (Pietro Metastasio, Filippo Livigni, Giuseppe Maria Foppa), Austrian (Joseph Richter), French (Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais) and German works (August von Kotzebue). Additionally, two translations of plays were published (Županova Micka [Micka the Mayor’s Daughter] and Veseli dan ali Matiček se ženi [The Merry Day or Matiček’s Wedding]), and two were put on stage (Županova Micka and Tinček Petelinček [Tinček the little rooster]). The pinnacle of these efforts was Linhart’s Matiček, based, on the one hand, on the tradition of Slovene literature, and on the other hand, on classical works of European drama (Beaumarchais’ comedy La Folle Journée ou le Mariage de Figaro) and opera (Mozart’s opera Le nozze di Figaro). The achievements of the Age of Englightenment, especially the successful staging of Micka, became the foundation of the future continuous development of Slovene secular drama and theatre.
This chapter deals with the beginnings of Slovene secular poetry, which began to develop towards the end of the 18th century, building on the centuries-old tradition of folk and religious poetry. Like any new poetic tradition, Slovene secular poetry inevitably drew on foreign models. In addition to the canonical works in Latin and Greek that they had learned at school, the first Slovene poets drew inspiration primarily from German poetry, but also from the poetry of other literatures: Italian, Hungarian, Croatian, and partly French. Foreign models influenced them in terms of content or form, and sometimes they also became the direct source of adaptations and translations – although Slovene poets, in accordance with contemporary norms, dealt with the models relatively freely and usually did not aim at a literal translation in the modern sense. This chapter deals with the translation and adaptation of secular poetry into Slovene in the Enlightenment period (in particular, with the works of the most important poets Anton Feliks Dev, Žiga Zois, Anton Tomaž Linhart, Juri Japelj, Valentin Vodnik, Leopold Volkmer, Štefan Modrinjak, and Urban Jarnik). The basic concepts that guided the poets are presented, as well as some fundamental problems related to the development of translational self-reflection and theory.
In the 18th century, the translation corpus of the Premurje Protestants was similar to that in Central Slovenia: the first two printed works were a catechism (Mali Katechismus, 1715 – translation from Hungarian) and abecedarium (Abecedarium Szlovenszko, 1725). The most important translation achievement is the first translation of the New Commitment from Greek into Slovene (Števan Küzmič, Nouvi Zákon, 1771). After that, the Catholic texts of Mikloš Küzmič established Prekmurje literary norms with translations of ecclesiastical texts from Latin, e.g. Szveti evangyeliomi (1780). Attempts at reaching literary norms also appeared in fiction texts, such as translations of Hungarian romantic poets, e.g., Petőfi, Vörösmarty and Arany in the Prijatel newspaper.
In the 18th century, translations into East-Styrian literary language were modelled on German templates, such as Parchamer’s catechism (1758, 1764, 1777). Normativity was established by Dajnko in the German written grammar (1824), translations of ecclesiastical texts from German (e.g. gospels, 1817) and Latin (e.g. the beginning of the Old Testament, manuscript 1836). These works were followed by translations of sermons, e.g. Šerf, (1835) and Rižner (1835), or Lah with the translation of the tale of Christoph Schmid from German (Leseni križec, 1835). The language used in several texts performed a unifying function, most notably the works by Murko (Grammar, 1832) and the German-Slovene and Slovene-German dictionaries (1833), as well as Slomšek and Krempl with translations of catechism (1826) and gospels (1843).
In addition to the global Latin and Greek, the regional German language of the Kranjska and East Styria region was replaced in Prekmurje by the regional Hungarian language.
Throughout the 19th century, translation activity in Carinthia was characterised by a distinct linguistic asymmetry, with German being the official and main language of communication, while Slovene was written in regional variants, and literary Slovene was still being formed deep into the second half of the century. The first prominent translators from German and other languages into Slovene were the priest and poet Urban Jarnik and the autodidact Andrej Schuster-Drabosjak, who adapted German templates writing his own texts in the local dialect. By translating some of Jarnik’s poems, the poet Johann Georg Fellinger provided the first translations of Slovene poetry into German around 1812. The first boom in translation activity, which initially served religious-educational purposes, can be recorded in the 1830s at the Klagenfurt seminary under the influence of Anton M. Slomšek, and reached its peak after 1850, when, thanks to Anton Janežič, editor of the first Slovene literary periodical, the Mohorjeva book programme and the collection Cvetje iz domačih in tujih logov [Flowers from the local and foreign groves), Klagenfurt established itself not only as a literary organisational centre, but also as a centre for the transmission of translated literature into Slovene, even though there were not a large number of native translators. With the development of original Slovene literature, translated literature began to lose importance after 1865, and continued to decline.
This introductory chapter briefly outlines the most important historical events and gradual codification and formation of the Slovene language and of the Slovene national identity in the 19th century. Special emphasis is given to bilingualism of the Slovene population in this period and to different forms of censorial control in the 19th-century Habsburg monarchy.
The chapter provides an insight into the attitude towards and presence of literary translations in two 19th-century literary magazines: in the first Slovene literary magazine Zvon and in all 19th-century issues of the most important Slovene literary magazine of the period, Ljubljanski zvon. First, Josip Stritar’s attitude towards translation and the controversy connected to Stritar’s adaptation of Oliver Goldsmith’s novel The Vicar of Wakefield are outlined. Then, the presence of translations in the section of Ljubljanski zvon, called “Slovene Herald” (in vol. 1 to 5) or “Feuilleton” (in vol. 6 to 20), are described. In these sections the editors informed their readers of the publications of new literary translations (including librettos) and of the translations of Slovene literary works into foreign languages. The names of the translated Slovene authors whose works were most often translated into foreign languages are identified, and the editors’ attitudes towards literary translation and its role in the cultural life of Slovenes in the second part of the 19th century are described. The overview concludes that literary translation in this period was often used as one of the means through which linguistic borders were imposed on a community that was not completely linguistically separated, and through which two distinct ethno-linguistic unities were created: a Slovene and a German one.
The chapter deals with two corpora: Slovene historical novels translated into other languages (works by Josip Jurčič, Ivan Tavčar, Ivan Pregelj, Vladimir Bartol, and Drago Jančar) and historical novels of other literatures translated into Slovene. The corpus of historical novels translated into Slovene up to 1945 comprises around 200 works. German historical novels were translated the most frequently, other major literatures (Russian, English and French) were fairly equally represented, followed by historical novels in other Slavic languages. Among the original authors were world classics of the genre (more than ten novels contributed August Šenoa, Henryk Sienkiewicz and Alexandre Dumas). The most prolific translators (with more than five translations) were Vladimir Levstik, Ivan Mulaček, Peter Miklavec and Boris Rihteršič. A notably large number of novels was translated anonymously. South Slavic historical themes were particularly dear to translators and publishers in the Slovene west, i. e. in Gorica/Gorizia and Trst/Trieste. The bibliographical overview of the translated historical novel on Wikivir and this contribution should encourage the completion of the missing chapters in the history of Slovene translation and their encyclopaedic coverage.
This chapter presents Slovenska Talija [Slovene Thalia], a collection of Slovene originals and translations of dramatic works and plays published by the Dramatic Society in Ljubljana between 1867 and 1896, its influence on the development of original Slovene drama and drama translation, and its overall impact on the emergence of Slovene theatre. Since most of the texts in the collection, in fact as many as 92%, were translations, the chapter starts by discussing the general policy outline of translations of Slovene literary texts in the second half of the 19th century. Next, the chapter attempts to answer to what extent did the Dramatic Society’s translation policy follow or deviate from the wider translation policy of literary texts in the Slovene crownlands of the Habsburg monarchy. In this regard, bilingualism is identified as an important element influencing both the selection of texts to be translated and, consequently, the overall Slovene theatre production of the period. Further to this, the chapter turns to the question of whether the plays published in Slovenska Talija can be considered an important contribution to the establishment, professionalisation, and institutionalisation of the Slovene national theatre, and concludes by discussing the development of drama criticism of original and translated plays in this early period of organised theatre in Slovenia.
The introductory chapter outlines the historical events in the period between the First and the Second World Wars when the Slovene ethnic territory was divided into different states. It then presents an overview of the number of literary translations into and from Slovene. The chapter concludes with a description of translational activity during the Second World War.
The chapter examines the role and the attitude towards literary translation in selected national literary histories from the interwar period, written by Ivan Grafenauer (1920), Anton Slodnjak (1934), Ivan Pregelj (1938), and Fran Kidrič (1938), as well as in the theoretical work on comparative literary history by Anton Ocvirk (1936). In this respect, it complements the research conducted by Majda Stanovnik and Darko Dolinar on the role of translation in Slovene literary history. The chapter focuses on the ways in which the selected works address translation in the 19th century, i.e., at the time when the Slovene national and linguistic identities began to emerge, and when the modern concept of literature and the criterion of originality in literary writing were introduced. Although translation is of crucial importance in literary history, as it addresses the question of the authors’ influences and literary horizons while playing a central role in the development of minor literary traditions, it is perceived by literary historians of the interwar period only as an activity that complements the authors’ creativity. Due to an unsystematic and highly selective approach, translators and translations seem to be of secondary importance in the Slovene literary histories of the interwar period.
The chapter first outlines the history of Slovene settlements in the USA, and describes the periodicals of the Slovene diaspora in the interwar period when approximately 20 different publications were published in the Slovene language. Special emphasis is given to the newspapers Nova Doba and Prosveta, which in that period regularly published literary translations, first from different languages into Slovene and then in the late 1920s also from Slovene into English. The most prominent translators and the translations of Slovene literary works into English created by members of Slovene diaspora in the USA are presented. The chapter concludes by arguing that by means of English translations of Slovene contemporary literature (in particular of the works by Ivan Cankar) the Slovene émigré community in the USA attempted to create its own exemplary cultural identity and present it to its new cultural environment.
The text introduces a group of chapters focusing on translation activity during the socialist era, and provides an overview of changes in translation flows in three different periods in socialist Slovenia: in the time of the political pressure from 1945 to 1950, in the period of reforms between 1951 and 1970, and in the time of brief reactionary turn and later liberalisation from 1971 to 1991. Apart from the number of Slovene literary translations from selected languages, the most prominent translators that marked a particular period are also mentioned.
After a short historical overview of the events after the Second World War in Slovenia, the chapter identifies different forms of ideological control of printed media in socialist Slovenia and describes the mechanisms of control in the publishing world, paying particular attention to translation. Through extensive research into the archives and interviews with the editors, the chapter identifies the main agents responsible for ideological shifts in translation, and exemplifies the workings of state control of print and publishing by focusing on the post-Second World War publishing house Mladinska knjiga. The chapter concludes by arguing that in this historical period a particularly influential role was played by the editors, who through their selection of the original texts and translators guaranteed that the publications were ideologically acceptable, but who, at the same time, with occasional deviations from the official ideological imperatives pushed the boundaries of what was considered acceptable and publishable in socialist Slovenia.
The text outlines the development of book publishing in Slovenia between 1945 and 1989, comparing it with the development of book publishing in Western Europe. The introductory part explains the indicators used to measure the size of book markets, describes the impact of the development of printing technology on the publishing processes in developed book markets, and the increase in the number of works published in this period. Specific attention is given to the changes in publishing competences at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries. The development of book publishing in Slovenia is outlined and compared to that of more developed book markets. The political and economic factors that influenced decisions on publishing lists in Slovenia during the socialist era are analysed, and the influences on decision-making with regard to the inclusion of translated works in publishing programmes are outlined.
In socialist Slovenia any works or passages directed against the Partisan and Resistance movement, revolutionary activity, new political order and (in the first years after the Second World War) the Soviet Union were prohibited. In addition to this, all religious, and in particular Christian, elements in the texts were not welcome. Translations for an adult readership were rarely altered, while those for juvenile readers represented an efficient way of ideological influence that allowed the Communist Party to use the authority of the original author to transfer and emphasise its atheistic convictions, and at the same time leave that indoctrination hidden. After a brief outline of the historical and philosophical reasons for ideological changes after the Second World War, the chapter identifies a few cases of prohibited translations and describes how the communist nomenclature influenced the actual text in translations: the ideological adaptations of translated texts were introduced either by editors or by translators. On the one hand, the editors influenced the final text of translations through the selection of translators or instructions given to them prior to the translating task, or else through amendments made to already published translations. On the other hand, some translators practiced self-censorship and altered their translations to meet the expectations and the dominant ideology themselves during the translation process. These interventions (which are exemplified by the excerpts taken from Cinderella and Bambi) were the result of either the worldview of the translator which was in line with the new ideological context, or a way the translator attempted to avoid sanctions.
The article addresses the representation of black people in Slovene literary translations from the middle of the 19th century to the beginning of the 21st century. In the translations published in the period until the end of Second World War, explicitly racist discourse about black people was not censored, pejorative terms for black people were almost completely neutralised, and grammatically incorrect discourse was used relatively often when translating African-American Vernacular English. To a certain extent, the latter translation strategy was also present in some translations from the socialist period, although black characters’ sociolect was standardised more often. During this period, negative terms for black people were often softened, and especially in translations of children’s or juvenile literature explicitly racist discourse about black people was sometimes censored. In the post-socialist period, such interventions on the macrostructural level of texts are less frequent, the most negatively marked Slovene terms are often still not used when translating the most pejorative terms for black people, while either colloquial or standard Slovene is mostly used when translating black characters’ discourse.
This chapter presents the translation of world poetry into Slovene in the second half of the 20th century. The development of this genre in Slovene was rapid and aligned with the expansion of literary translation. Since the 1980s on, contemporary literary criticism was accompanied by translation analysis and translation history, but the actual practice of translation was excluded from literary history overviews, since it was regarded as inferior to original production. Nevertheless, translators, often poets themselves, used translation to prove the expressive potential of Slovene, to study the norms and principles of intra-literary communication, to inform the domestic reception of poetry, and to expand the knowledge of the world poetry canon. They also attempted to understand complex foreign-language texts, transferring their characteristics and domesticating them in the target literary culture. The search for a balance between imitating the original and adapting it to the domestic patterns was especially demanding for those forms which originated in languages with different prosodic features. Two publishing houses take most credit for publishing translated poetry – Mladinska knjiga with its popular collection Knjižnica Kondor and its elite collection Lirika, and Cankarjeva založa with the collections Nobelovci and Bela krizantema. The Slovene literary horizon expanded with translations of poets from antiquity and romanticism. Since the 1960s new incentives have come from the translation of decadent poetry, neo-romanticism and symbolism, and particularly productive were translations of avant-garde and modernist poetry. Not only researchers, but also poets themselves recognised the formative impact of translated poetry and translation on the development of their own poetic expression. Their selection of and comments on their favourite translated poems suggest they did not simply submit to foreign influences, but accepted the foreign through their own creative process. The present overview confirms that translation is an important means of transfer of foreign linguistic, literary and cultural models, where foreign elements are first retained or modified in a different environment, and then ultimately accepted as a feature of the domestic system.
The chapter outlines the history, role and importance of the Slovene Association of Literary Translators. On the basis of the study of written archival material, of the articles by prominent members describing the history of the association and published in the association’s publications, of the oral accounts and of the author’s own experience having been involved in the work of the association for the last 20 years, various activities of the association that have happened over the 70 years of its functioning are described. These activities have consisted of the organisation of public literary evenings and discussions, international professional meetings and symposia, and the publication of monographs and periodicals. Different awards given by the association, the Code of Ethics of Literary Translators and important mechanisms of the state support for literary translators are also presented.
Translation activity both from and into Slovene and translation studies work written by Slovene immigrants have been rather limited in Slovene émigré communities Canada and Australia, with a few notable exceptions, while financial support for publishing is practically non-existent in the Slovene diaspora in those two countries, with the exception of self-publishing and the support of a few cultural associations. As such, cross-cultural mediation in between English and Slovene has depended completely on the efforts of literary enthusiasts who tend to be, in addition to translators, also émigré authors writing in the Slovene language. It was these enthusiasts who have been the driving force of translation of Slovene literature into English, and vice versa, even though it should be noted that the number of translations is relatively low, with some genres, above all poetry and to some extent also novels, nonetheless fairly well-represented. Literary translation has largely depended on enthusiastic and inventive individuals, predominantly émigré authors, such as Ferdinand Kolednik, Ivan Dolenc, Irma Marinčič Ožbalt, Tom Priestly and Tom Ložar in Canada, and Bert Pribac and Katarina Mahnič in Australia. There have also been more original authors who have translated Slovene canonical literary texts into English in Canada, too. And finally, the year 1991, when the country gained its independence, also marked a turning point for publishing Slovene literature from the diaspora in Slovenia.
In the 20th century, the translation culture in Austrian Carinthia was significantly influenced by socio-political circumstances, as Carinthian Slovenes became one of Austria’s ethnic minorities and were exposed to strong assimilative pressures. It was only after the Second World War that literary translation into both languages regained its importance after a silence of several decades, and it flourished in the 1970s, not least in the context of efforts to ensure the fulfilment of national rights in the face of the re-emergence of German nationalism in Carinthia. The rise of Slovene literary production, the transformation of the publishing houses Drava and Mohorjeva into bilingual literary publishing houses and the establishment of the Wieser publishing house were the core of the translation enterprise that took place from the end of the 1980s onwards, as these three houses soon published more than half of all literary translations from Slovene into German, and Mohorjeva also began to transmit German Austrian literature to the Slovene-speaking area. Among the literary translators who have worked in the Carinthian context over the past few decades, and who have also been responsible for the transfer of literature from other former Yugoslav republics and from south-eastern and eastern Europe, we can find many of the most prominent Carinthian Slovene authors, but the majority of the translations has been contributed by professional translators who have also worked with other publishing houses in Carinthia, as well as Austrian and German publishing houses.
The Slovene ethnic territories that are presently part of Italy have had an extremely important role in the development of the Slovene national identity, therefore this chapter presents the most prominent publishers as well as translation activity in the regions of Trieste and Gorizia. Publishing and translation activity connected with Slovene in Trieste and Gorizia began in the mid-18th century with the translation of religious texts. A hundred years later, and along the first Slovene newspapers, translations of literary works from various languages began to appear. After an initial period of rich production with the common goal of developing the Slovene national identity, most Slovene publishing and printing houses were closed down in the years after the First World War, with only Edinost, Goriška matica and Goriška Mohorjeva družba remaining active. Apart from publishing newspapers, they also published translations of literary works into Slovene (with more or less pronounced publishing policies). After the Second World War in particular, translations of Slovene authors into Italian and other languages also gradually started to appear in the desire to introduce Slovene authors to a foreign readership. Thus, in the second half of the 20th century, and now into the 21st, and despite the considerable commercial production of translations from English and other languages, there is also a marked effort to preserve the Slovene national identity and to mediate between Italian and Slovene cultures. Another noteworthy aspect is the desire to present local Slovene authors, to whom such publishing houses devote a relatively large amount of resources.
In the last 120 or so years, when the conventions of written Slovene have been governed to a large extent by normative manuals in the form of orthographies, translators have been actively involved in the heated public debates following their publications. At the onset of modern Slovene normative efforts, in the early 20th century, they reacted strongly to the disparate, often arbitrary attempts to stabilise and regulate the norms of Slovene. As with most of the linguistic community, translators mostly opted for one of the two ideologies and their camps, i.e., those who insisted on the historical argumentation of language regulation and those who also argued for the importance of respecting language usage and its societal underpinnings. Later, the public reactions to the publications of orthographies were joined by translators’ reactions to the perceived (poor) use of Slovene in public (by the media, state enterprises, etc.), as well as to the language policy within ex-Yugoslavia, often taking a stand against the centralist pressures from Belgrade by employing linguistic arguments. Through their dynamic linguistic activity, the translators occupied the positions on the editorial boards of normative language manuals, thus shaping the image of Slovene in the 20th century, while at the same time responding to the contemporary challenges of the language through their extremely prolific public profiles.
This chapter briefly outlines the organisational and technological changes that took place in Slovene book publishing after 1991. It details statistics on the trends in book translations and book production itself, and highlights some of the cultural factors that have influenced translation from particular languages. The text also draws attention to the role of various European cultural policies in promoting translation between languages.
A review of national translation policies reveals that all EU countries and many others have in recent decades established mechanisms for systematically translating national literatures into foreign languages. This chapter focuses on how translation as an element of cultural policy is employed in Slovenia. As is the case with all cultural policies, the translation policy in Slovenia has been significantly under-researched, which has contributed in part to the spontaneous cultural policy decisions in this area that hinder the optimisation of funding dedicated to translation from Slovene. Support given to translation according to the type of content is presented in its historical development, which grew significantly after the independence of Slovenia.
An analysis of publishing practices in different cultural contexts shows that public support is increasingly becoming an important factor in shaping both publishing programmes and public literary life. This trend will continue given the fall in the income from published book sales, especially when it comes to more demanding texts, which tend to be canonical and more likely to be the ones chosen by national cultural policies to be introduced to other lingua-cultures. It can therefore be expected that national promotion of translation will increasingly become an important factor not only when it comes to the visibility of Slovene literary texts, but also to the possibility of their persistence in foreign cultures.
Book series of translated literary works are the most important promoters of the translation of texts from the world literary canon into Slovene. The chapter examines some of the most important book series published after 1945 (Sto romanov, Lirika, Nobelovci, Klasje, Moderni klasiki, XX. stoletje and Vrhunci stoletja) that introduced high-quality, award-winning translations into the Slovene cultural sphere, reaching a wider audience in the process and making a significant contribution to the shaping of the perception of literary genres. The chapter focuses on prominent editors and translators as well as on frequently translated authors, works and literary genres. On the one hand, classically oriented series (such as Sto Romanov and Lirika), resulted in translations of world classics from the major European languages and promoted the translation of other fundamental texts of the international literary canon. On the other hand, contemporary series (such as Moderni klasiki and XX. stoletje) have paved the way for less represented literary traditions, broadening the literary horizons of Slovene readers while signalling a shift in the field of translation in Slovenia, with the increasing participation of women translators and translators of the younger generation.
The chapter aims to outline the development of translatological thought in Slovene ethnic territory. The overview of such thought on translation in Slovene from the 16th century until the present time shows that the attitude towards translation and literary translation was, in general, positive. The only exception was the second part of the 19th century, when the most prominent Slovene literary figures, like Josip Stritar, expressed an extremely negative attitude towards literary translation, believing that it hindered original creativity in Slovene. In all other periods the most praised Slovene writers and translators considered translation as an important building block in the formation of Slovene national literature, culture and identity. The chapter then focuses on theoretical thinking with regard to translation in Slovenia, which started to develop in the last three decades of the 20th century. Because of the sheer number of articles published in journals and collected volumes, the chapter focuses only on monographs devoted to literary translation and translating; in more than 30 monographs we find adapted doctoral theses, monographs that deal with translation from the point of view of other, adjacent fields, and Translation Studies monographs proper. The chapter concludes with a description of aspects of theoretical thought that, according to the author of the chapter, represent an innovative Slovene contribution to Translation Theory, and could be found in the works of Frane Jerman, Gorazd Kocijančič, Erich Prunč, Nike K. Pokorn and Marko Juvan.