The History of Slovene Literary Translation (Vol. II)
Introduction to Volume II of The History of Slovene Literary Translation (Nike K. Pokorn)
The introduction to the second volume of The History of Slovene Literary Translation outlines the three main sections of the book: the first section, in which the histories of literary exchanges between Slovene and selected foreign languages are provided; the second section that contains the histories of translations of the works of the giants of world literature and of national authors into Slovene, and of translations of Slovene national authors into other languages; and the third section with its presentation of the lives and works of selected Slovene literary translators.
A. TRANSLATION CONTACTS
Literary translation contact between different cultures can be described using the theory of the world translation system, according to which languages can be divided into four groups with regard to the amount of translation from each language. These are the hypercentral language (English), the central languages (French, German), the semi-peripheral languages (e.g., Spanish, Italian, Danish, Swedish, Polish, Russian) and the peripheral languages (all others, including Slovene). In choosing the languages to include in the monograph, we took into account the criterion of centrality of the languages, as well as other important factors affecting translation flows at the local level, and also pragmatic considerations such as the existence of translation studies for a particular language pair and the availability of authors.
V poglavju je predstavljen pregled publicistične prevodne kritike in razvoja diskurza o publicistični prevodni kritiki na Slovenskem od zgodnjih petdesetih let prejšnjega stoletja do danes. Vsebina je obdelana v treh obdobjih. V prvem obdobju, od povojnega časa do leta 1975, so posamezne izjave o prevodni kritiki vključene v časopisne recenzije. Recenzije o novih prevodih na slovenskem trgu vsebujejo sumativne izjave o prevodni kakovosti, v negativnih ocenah pa so večinoma izpostavljene pravopisne napake. V letih od 1975 do 1995 prevajalsko aktivni avtorji objavljajo prve strokovne članke o vlogi prevodne kritike. Negativne kritike knjižnih novosti ali novejših del so obdelane v publicističnih prevodnokritiških prispevkih. Obdobje od leta 1995 dalje je prevodnokritiško razgibano. Okrepi se strokovni in znanstveni diskurz o publicistični prevodni kritiki. Publicistična prevodna kritika z razvojem digitalnih tehnologij in elektronskih virov postaja vse bolj dostopna in v laični različici tudi učinkovito orodje organiziranih bralcev, ki zmorejo vplivati na založniške odločitve. Ves čas od prvih omemb v 50. letih prejšnjega stoletja do danes prevladuje laično in strokovno mnenje, da je prevodne kritike v Sloveniji premalo.
The chapter examines Slovene-English and English-Slovene translation of literary works from the mid-19th century to the present day, based on the data in the Mutual Bibliographic and Cataloguing Database of Slovenian Libraries (COBIB). It presents the main quantitative and qualitative characteristics of translation in the above-mentioned language pair, especially its volume, dynamics, authors and translators who have influenced it the most, and it also presents translation studies articles on English-Slovene translations.
An analysis of translations included in COBIB has shown that the trends in the translation of literature in both directions are similar. Until the end of the Second World War, there were relatively few literary translations into Slovene and especially into English, but in the following decades the number of translations began to increase, especially in the period after Slovene independence. It is noticeable that the share of genre literature in Slovene translation has increased significantly since 1991, while the share of more challenging literary genres in English translation has remained relatively high, also thanks to support mechanisms and programme support for literary translation into foreign languages. In parallel with the increased production of translations, the number of translation studies on English-Slovene literary translation has also increased significantly over the last three decades.
A rather small number of works have been translated into Slovene from Arabic and Persian, but the translations are of high quality and well received by readers. The most commonly translated works are classical works, fairy tales, mystical poetry and contemporary novels. Translators see their work as cross-cultural mediation, as well as a mission, which is also reflected in a number of translation studies articles in which they present the context, literary tradition and challenges of the translations. Translations into Persian and Arabic are even rarer, and they are frequently done indirectly via English or French. The number of quality translations into and from Arabic and Persian, as well as research on both translations and literary studies, could be increased only with the establishment of Arabic and Persian study programmes at one of the Slovene universities.
The chapter introduces an outline of Bulgarian-Slovene literary and cultural contacts from the second half of the 19th century to the present, followed by a history of translation flows. The first translations of Bulgarian literature into Slovene and vice versa were published in literary magazines at the turn of the 20th century. By 1945, more than 10 book-length translations of Bulgarian prose works had been published in Slovene, and Slovene literature was presented in Bulgarian in magazines and anthologies during this period. In the period from 1949 to 1989, despite the rigid political relations between Bulgaria and Yugoslavia, some key Bulgarian works of fiction were translated into Slovene, and Bulgarian book translations of some Slovene classics, especially fiction, were also published. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, a new dynamic of mutual translation was established, but it was only after 2000 that book translations appeared. The data from COBISS and the survey articles with bibliographies of translated works show a balanced mutual translation of Bulgarian and Slovene literature. The majority of Slovene translations of Bulgarian literature were published in the 20th century, while the majority of Bulgarian translations of Slovene literature were published after 2000. The proportion of translations of important works is also shown, highlighting contemporary authors who appear in translation with at least two standalone books. The most important translators are introduced, and finally some translation studies are mentioned, which consist mainly of comprehensive overviews of published works set in a cultural-historical context, with little analysis of the translations.
The chapter examines the dynamics and specifics of the evolution of literary translation from Czech into Slovene and vice versa, mainly in the period from the second half of the 19th century to the present day. We consider the history of the translation flows between Czech and Slovene within the context of the cultural and historical relations between Czechs and Slovenes. In the field of translation, we identify different developmental stages of inter-literary contacts and determine their characteristics. The quantity of works translated has been fairly balanced in both directions, with individual cultural mediators and translators playing an important role in this. From the point of view of literary genres, the majority of translations have been prose works; a significant share of children’s and youth literature is also worth mentioning. Poetry has been somewhat neglected. The translations include works by most of the key authors on both the Czech and Slovene sides, although the way authors and works have been selected for translation has been influenced by historical and political circumstances in both countries. The internationally renowned Czech (or Czechoslovak) translation theory has received less attention in Slovenia, although in recent decades we have seen an increase in research and studies devoted to its examination.
The chapter outlines the literary translation exchanges between the French and Slovene cultures. First, on the basis of data obtained from the most comprehensive Slovene bibliographical collection and the shared catalogue of Slovene libraries, COBISS, the dynamics of translation of French literary works into Slovene are described in different historical periods: in the 17th and 18th centuries, in the 19th century, in the period from the beginning of the 20th century until the end of the First World War, in the interwar period, in socialist times (between 1946 and 1952; 1953 and 1971 and between 1972 and 1991), and in the post-socialist period until 2021. The history of literary translation from Slovene into French is outlined. Second, the historical overview is followed by a brief presentation of the profiles of the most prominent translators of French literature into Slovene and those of Slovene literature into French. Third, the chapter is concluded with a short overview of translatorial research focused on Slovene-French literary translation. Although translations of French literature into Slovene have never been among the most numerous if compared to the exchanges with other literatures throughout Slovene history, an overview of the translation flows between these two languages shows that this exchange was among the most influential ones, in particular because of the centrality of French literature in the West.
The study focuses on Slovene translations from Graeco-Roman antiquity, from the fragmentary beginnings in the 14th and 15th centuries, through the flowering of Bible translations during the Reformation in the 16th century and the rudimentary examples in the homiletical works of the 17th and 18th centuries, to the increasingly systematic attempts in the 19th century, as represented in particular by Anton Janežič and his collection Cvetje iz domačih in tujih logov [Flowers from Local and Foreign Groves]. In the 20th century the field began to develop rapidly, particularly in the cases of drama and patristics. Patristic translations were no longer published after the Communist takeover in 1945, with several texts remaining in manuscripts. Among the notable translators of this period were Anton Sovre, Fran Bradač, and Kajetan Gantar. Democratization and independence in the 1990s led to an expansion of translation in all fields, in patristics, philosophy, drama, poetry, and elsewhere. Translations into Greek and Latin are also presented, starting with the renditions of Valentin Vodnik and Jernej Kopitar. These were later joined by Janko Pajk and Anton Sovre, who translated France Prešeren into Latin, by Ferdinand Kolednik and his mega-project with Josip Jurčič, and by Silvester Kopriva with some 200 translations into Latin in his Versus Latini.
Slovene translations of Indian literature involve works of Classical and pre-Classical Old Indic works as well as a substantial number of translations of more contemporary literary creations. Since the Slovene indological tradition has always focused primarily on the older period of Indian literary creativity, there is an unmistakable bias towards literary and philosophical works written in Vedic, Sanskrit and Prakrit. Of these the Slovene body of indologists (from Karol Glaser to Vlasta Pacheiner Klander and the younger generation) has managed to produce a number of highly competent, even though mostly partial translations of the essential works of Old Indic literary tradition. Side by side with these endeavours, Slovene readership has for the past century also been offered a significant number of translations of the most representative and influential works of contemporary Indic fiction and poetry, typically, however, indirectly translated from English (not counting numerous works of Indian English literature), German and French, only very rarely directly from the original.
Italian-Slovene contact began in the 16th century, and has continued with varying intensity since. Due to the great cultural capital of Italian literature and the peripheral position of the Slovene language in the world of translation, the asymmetry of the translation flows favours Italian authors: translations from Italian to Slovene are around three times more than vice versa. After a brief introduction, the chapter presents the history of the translation flows between the two literatures, based on the existing bibliographies and data collected from the COBISS online bibliographic system. In terms of Italian-to-Slovene translation, in the 19th century interest shifted from the initial religious texts to theatrical works, including a number of librettos. Prose and poetry started to be published more frequently only after the Second World War, with prose becoming the most translated genre in recent times. A tendency can be observed to translate classic authors and, most recently, commercially successful authors as well. Translation from Slovene to Italian starts towards the end of the 19th century and displays different dynamics among the observed genres: prose translation is dominant throughout this time, although poetry selections are translated almost as often. The authors translated are the most prominent representatives of Slovene literature, as well as members of the Slovene minority in Italy. As with the translation activity itself, the reception studies and translation studies research into Italian-Slovene translations has been rather abundant, and covers a range of different topics.
In this article, key data on the translation of Japanese literature into Slovene from the beginning of the 20th century to 2022 are compiled. Previous research on the translation of Japanese literature into Slovene after the Second World War by Iztok Ilc, and by Lija Gantar, who also included the earlier decades, is summarised. The corpus of translated Japanese fiction is divided into indirect and direct translations, different genres (poetry, prose, drama, essays) are discussed, and the main translators are listed. In the case of indirect translation, the most commonly used intermediary languages are mentioned, followed by the discussion of the problem of relying on a selection of authors and works, as shaped in particular by the American corpus of Japanese literature. The development and the advantages of direct translation are outlined, and the importance of the establishment of chairs for East Asian languages at the University of Ljubljana is highlighted in this proces. It is noted in the article that the range of indirect translators is much more diverse than that of direct translators, where the continuous work of some translators is evident. Finally, the article concluded by briefly touching upon the importance of translation for Japanese culture in the late 19th century.
A walk through the short history of literary translation from Chinese into Slovene and vice versa highlights the mutual interest that began with intercultural exchanges through indirect translations, and with the possibility of learning a distant language two distant cultures are also introduced to each other through direct translation. Both cultures have already exchanged some fundamental classical literary works, and exchanges between contemporary writers are increasingly lively. Lyric poetry, short fiction, and novels dominate the genres. Despite the small number of translations, some works have been translated twice or even more times on both sides. While the indirect translation of Chinese literature into Slovene has already been undertaken by experienced translators, direct translations are mostly undertaken by experts who have spent a longer period inside the foreign culture. While translation has borne some fruit, translation studies are still very limited and are mostly replaced by brief observations in accompanying studies, which translators use to point out the difficulty of translation due to the gaps between the two languages, especially the visual nature of the Chinese language, rhythm, rhyme, tonal components, etc. However, there are signs of further developments in both translation and translation studies in this context.
The chapter analyses the history of translated fiction from Hungarian to Slovene and vice versa. The first part examines the most translated authors in different periods, and it highlights selected important literary translations, with special attention being paid to Slovene translations of the Hungarian authors Sándor Petőfi and Mór Jókai, representatives of 19th-century literature, and in more recent times to six editions of Slovene translation of Ferenc Molnár’s novel Dečki Pavlove ulice [The Paul Street Boys]. In both languages prose translations are twice as frequent as poetry translations, and translated drama is relatively rare. Among the translators from Hungarian, Marjanca Mihelič and Gabriella Gaál are singled out, whereas in the opposite direction a special mention is given to Orsolya Gállos and Jože Hradil, who also translated from Hungarian in Slovene. The most influential researchers of Slovene-Hungarian translation contacts are Štefan Barbarič, István Lukács, Jutka Rudaš, Judit Zágorec-Csuka, and Júlia Bálint-Čeh. In conclusion, the chapter assesses the importance of Hungarian and Slovene translations in both cultures and draws attention to selected contemporary trends in translations.
This chapter introduces an outline of Macedonian-Slovene literary and cultural contacts from the second half of the 19th century to the present, followed by a history of translation flows. The first published translations of Macedonian literature into Slovene and vice versa appeared shortly after the Second World War, and until 1991 there was a fairly organized process of mutual translation, but after the independence of Slovenia and Macedonia in 1991 the dynamics and system of mutual translation changed. Data from COBISS and bibliographical summaries of works translated from Macedonian into Slovene and vice versa show that the former are significantly fewer, both during the time of the common state and after its break-up. In the period 1945-1991, the largest number of books translated from Macedonian into Slovene and vice versa was juvenile literature, while after 1991 the predominant genre of translation from Slovene was poetry collections, followed by novels, and dramas. The following sections highlight Macedonian authors who appear in Slovene translations with at least three stand-alone books, as well as Slovene authors who were reprinted in Macedonian before 1991 and contemporary authors with at least three book translations in Macedonian. Major translators are also presented, and finally, translation studies of the inter-translation of Macedonian and Slovene literature are mentioned, which mostly consist of reviews of published works, and less of an analysis of the translations.
Due to centuries of translation activity from German into Slovene, German had a great influence on the development of the Slovene literary language and the establishment of new literary genres. The article provides a comprehensive overview of existing translation studies research on translation exchanges between Slovene and German literature, with the contributions divided into different sets of topics. After the introductory part, the studies dealing with the history of translation flows from German into Slovene and vice versa are presented, followed by theoretical studies on individual genres in translation. In addition, the article also deals with important authors, repeatedly translated works, and important translators, while the last part discusses the broader translation studies research on literary translation. In conclusion, we find that existing translation studies research on Slovene-German translation exchanges cover a wide range of topics arising from the lively literary exchanges between the two cultures. However, there is a lack of broad and in-depth sociologically oriented research within translation studies in Slovenia that covers a longer period of time and analyses translation flows from Slovene into German, as well as the publishing market and the role of actors in the translation process.
The chapter presents translation flows from Croatian, Bosnian, Serbian and Montenegrin into Slovene and from Slovene into these languages; the umbrella term Central South Slavic languages, which includes the language successors of Serbo-Croat/Croato-Serbian, is used because the chapter also deals with the period of the common country, Yugoslavia (SFRY). The discussed systems of translated literature contain canonical texts (in the period of Yugoslavia this also included texts needed for educational needs). After the year 2000 several more contemporary works have been translated. Texts by Ivo Andrić, Branko Ćopić, Mato Lovrak and Grigor Vitez are the most represented among translations into Slovene. The largest number of translations (and reprints) from Slovene are Ciciban by Župančič, Bratovščina sinjega galeba by Seliškar, Muca Copatarica by Ela Peroci, Kekec by Vandot, Martin Krpan by Levstik, Knjiga o Titu and Mali upornik by Bevk, Cankar’s sketches, Deček z dvema imenoma by Ingolič, Solzice by Voranc and Prešeren’s poetry. In both directions (into/from Slovene) translations of prose predominate, in the 1990s mainly translations of poetry were published in periodicals, while translations of drama are rare. There are almost as many translators into Slovene as translators from Slovene, and their number is still increasing.
A significant part of the works of the most important Polish authors has been translated into Slovene. Very well represented in this regard is Polish realism, followed by modernism and postmodernism, whereas works from other periods have been translated less frequently. Prose and poetry are translated most regularly, while Polish drama has attracted less attention from Slovene translators. Polish modernist, postmodernist and partly romantic works have been translated, among others, by translators who were active in establishing the study of the Polish language and literature at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana, especially Rozka Štefan and Niko Jež. A prolific translator of Polish (post)modernist literature is Jana Unuk – a particular mention should be given to her translations of works by Olga Tokarczuk, a Nobel Prize laureate. Another very active translator from Polish since the 1970s is Katarina Šalamun-Biedrycka, who lives in Poland and who is considered one of the most important translators of Slovene poetry into Polish. Polish translations of Slovene literature include recent Slovene literary works, written from the 1990s onwards, and these are often the work of translators connected to Slovenia in one way or another. This applies even more to the Slovene-Polish translation reception, marked by several scholars, such as Rozka Štefan, Niko Jež, Bożena Tokarz, Bożena Ostromęcka-Frączak, and Agnieszka Zatorska, whose work is also continued by other researchers.
In the introduction, the chapter briefly presents various cultural and historical contexts that determined the reception of Russian literature in Slovenia in various historical periods, as well as the gradual establishment of Slovene literature as an independent national literature in Russia. The central part of the chapter is dedicated to a more detailed review of translations in different historical periods: the first, larger part is dedicated to the longer and richer history of translations of Russian authors in Slovenia, the second, shorter one, to Slovene literature in Russian. In both historical reviews the focus is on highlighting the specifics of translations in individual periods and the cultural and historical circumstances that potentially influenced it. In the final three sections, those works of Russian and Slovene literature that have been most often translated are highlighted, the most important literary translators are presented in a short overview, as well as some of the previous translation studies devoted to literary translations from Russian into Slovene and vice versa.
The aim of the chapter is to highlight the presence of literary translation from and into Slovak in Slovenia in the 20th century, especially after 1918. In this period, inter-literary contacts reflect a historical and identity-related experience and embeddedness in the regional and wider European cultural space. At the same time, they are determined by the socio-political situation and issues of national, religious and linguistic affiliation. The most frequently translated Slovene works into Slovak are classics from authors such as Prešeren, Cankar and Kosovel, while Slovak fairy tales and children and youth literature stand out from the genres translated into Slovene. At the beginning of the 20th century, literary translators of Slovene literature into Slovak were generally Slavists, editors, poets or professors. They usually did not translate exclusively from one language to another, but rather covered several neighbouring languages (South Slavic or Slovak and Czech). An overview of translation flows throughout the 20th century shows a continuous growth of published literary translations and the professionalization of translators, which is the result of long-term personal and institutionally supported work in the field of literary contacts. The study aims to reveal the context and factors influencing Slovene and Slovak literary translation exchange, as well as the existing dynamics of the translation production between these two languages from the point of view of genres, authors and translators.
The chapter presents a concise overview of the development of literary translation from Spanish into Slovene from the beginning of the 19th century to the present day, highlighting the most important translations (grouped by genre) and translators, and shedding light on the circumstances that contributed to an increased interest into Spanish or South American authors and translation flows in certain periods. Certain gaps are also exposed which need to be filled in order to give Slovene readers a more comprehensive knowledge of the rich literary tradition of one of the world’s most important literatures. A separate section of the chapter is devoted to the translation of Slovene literary works into Spanish. The review is rounded off by the summaries of selected translation studies literature on Spanish-Slovene translation and a list of the most important linguistic and literary-historical studies by Slovene researchers devoted to the reception of Spanish and Hispanic American literature in Slovenia.
Literary exchanges through translations of Slovene literature with various foreign literatures vary in intensity: partly, less intensive exchanges are due to the peripheral status of each literature, and partly to the fact that there are no literary translators available for certain linguistic combinations. In the past, some of the main cultural figures in Slovenia prepared recommendations on the selection of works that they felt should be translated into Slovene. The last such list was drawn up in 1991 under the name of the “National Translation Programme” and included important works from both central and peripheral literatures from all periods. In the 21st century, such translation policies no longer exist. The paper outlines the history of literary-translation exchanges with those peripheral literatures with which Slovenes have shared political space: the literatures in Turkish and Albanian, which we encountered in socialist Yugoslavia, and the twelve official EU languages that are not covered in the other chapters of the edited volume. The overview shows that the exchanges are modest and unbalanced in terms of authorship and genre, and sometimes even unrepresentative: often only one genre is present or dominant (for example, children’s literature) or the selection of translated works reflects the specific tastes of translators specializing in a particular language.
B. TRANSLATION BY GENRES AND TRANSLATING NATIONAL AUTHORS
The description of the history of Slovene literary translation must also include some of the genres that have received special attention in translation or translation studies, as well as those national authors who have in one way or another had a key impact on the literature of a particular linguistic community. As far as genres are concerned, we first highlight fantasy literature, which has had a strong response from readers in recent decades. We have also given special attention to fairy tales, due to their strong influence on certain past and present translation flows (e.g. translations from Arabic, Dutch, Swedish), and to opera librettos, which combine poetry, music and theatre. Among the national authors, we have included those whose status in their country of origin, as well as the quantity or quality of their translations into Slovenian, have earned them a special place in the Slovenian literary field.
The author introduces a previously non-existent term in Slovene, namely fantazijka, to refer to fantasy fiction, i.e., a genre constructed from elements of an alien world and describing the magical conflict of Good and Evil. He also proposes new Slovene terms for subgenres of fantasy fiction, which he has derived from their respective narrative themes. Should the genre be read and translated as high literature, i.e., “periphrastically” (after Nabokov)? The author names some classical and/or innovative authors in this genre (starting with Tolkien) who deserve such treatment. But in the publishing business there prevails the view that, since the genre – which is mostly composed of coming-of-age stories with young heroines – serves the reading needs of the young, the standards should be lowered to the reading capabilities and interests of this audience. That means that instead of translations this readership is more or less being served with adaptations-in-disguise. The author goes on to describe the two greatest scandals in Slovene translation history: the first around the second translation of The Lord of the Rings, the second regarding his perceived “takeover” of Harry Potter. The fruit of this battle of the fandom’s wishful thinking against the translator’s paraphrastophilia has been his lexicon Lord of the Rings from A to Z, explaining, among other things, Gradisnik’s “translatology”.
The article presents an overview of the history of the translation of folk and literary fairy tales into Slovene, mainly in the 19th and 20th centuries, but focuses more deeply on three examples in particular: the translation of the Arabic fairy tales from the collection A Thousand and One Nights, the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm from the 1810 manuscript collection onwards, and the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen. The authors believe that translation of fairy tales should also take into account the passage of fairy tale motifs from culture to culture, where they merged with others and formed new narratives. The data show that the translation of fairy tales into Slovene was mostly done from German, since for centuries German was also the first language of Slovene intellectuals. The Slovenes thus received the translations of the Arabic fairy tales from A Thousand and One Nights and the literary fairy tales of Andersen through German.
The chapter sheds light on a hitherto little researched, but no less important and diverse Slovene translation practice, which is interwoven with the art of music. Starting with the chronology of translations as well as their respective genres, the chapter first discusses the beginnings of the translation of opera libretti and texts of popular arias and canzonas in the 18th century, and then introduces the most prominent translators of opera libretti in the 19th century under the auspices of the Ljubljana Dramatic Society (A. Funtek, M. Markič, A. Štritof, and others). Moreover, the spread of salon culture in the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century led to a new era of translating poetry set to music in the genre of art song. The cultural policy of staging musical theatre works in Slovene continued well into the 20th century, with the translations of N. Štritof, S. Samec and P. Oblak standing out in both number and quality. The lively pulse of the translation of lyrics continued after the Second World War, especially in the popular song genre influenced by The Beatles and American rock’n’roll. The rich legacy of song translation established by D. Velkaverh, A. Mežek, T. Domicelj and others is continued by the youngest generation of song lyrics translators and music performers, although it differs both in poetic quality and in the choice of language genres. The final part of the chapter draws attention to translation studies on translation practice in the broader interdisciplinary context of music and literature, highlighting some new findings by contemporary researchers in addition to the translation strategies advocated by older authors.
The chapter focuses on the translations of Homer in the territory of present-day Slovenia from their first documented beginnings, represented by the translation of the Iliad and Odyssey into Latin, published in 1537 by Andreas Divus Justinopolitanus. It then presents both early fragmentary and later complete Homeric translations into Slovene by Janez Nepomuk Primic (c. 1811), Stanko Vraz (c. 1830), Fran Miklošič, Janez Trdina (1852), Jovan Vesel Koseski (1852-1870), Matija Valjavec (1854), Jože Ljubič (1860-1862), Fran Levstik (1862), Josip Šuman (1865), Fran Celestin (1867), Frančišek Marešič (1868), Janez Svetina (1868), and Valentin Kermavner (1870-76), whose translation initiated the public polemic later termed the “Quarrel over the Slovene hexameter.” Other translations were done by Frančišek Lampe (1875), Simon Gregorčič (1879-1903), Mihael Opeka (1889), Ivan Košir (1882), Andrej Kragelj (1894-1900), Luka Pintar (1897), Jože Barle (1911), Anton Gornik (1912), Leon Kreft, Blazij Bevk (1911), Fran Omerza (1913-22), Anton Sovre (1942-1951), Kajetan Gantar (1992-2021) and Jelena Isak Kres (2017). In addition to presenting the translators and the features of their work, the study discusses the series and the publishing houses involved, as well as their reception.
The chapter analyses Slovene translations of the works of Dante Alighieri (1265–1321), Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch, 1304–1374), and Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375), three giants of Italian and world literature. Introductory presentations of the three authors and their works are followed by overviews of their Slovene translations and translators: book translations of Dante’s works include the Divine Comedy (multiple partial and two integral translations), Dante’s poetry, and the political treatise De Monarchia [On Monarchy]; Petrarch is represented with book translations of his poetry, which include different selections and the integral translation of Canzoniere [Song Book], and two translations of Petrarch’s existential work Secretum [The Secret]; Slovene book translations of Boccaccio’s works encompass two translations and one “revised” version of Decameron, as well as Boccaccio’s biography of Dante entitled Trattatello in laude di Dante [A Little Treatise in Praise of Dante]. Dante’s, Petrarch’s, and Boccaccio’s works have been translated into Slovene by distinguished Slovene translators, such as Jože Debevec, Alojz Gradnik, Andrej Budal, Tine Debeljak, Božidar Borko, Niko Košir, Ciril Zlobec, Andrej Capuder, Srečko Fišer, Tomaž Jurca, Peter Amalietti, and Tomaž Potočnik. Most reception studies, including translations analyses, have dealt with Dante (primarily, with his Divine Comedy), followed by Petrarch, which is probably the result of their influence on Slovene literature – particularly prominent was their influence on Slovene romanticism.
The chapter deals with the translation of 15th and 16th century Italian poets. The period saw the flourishing of Renaissance culture, which privileged lyrical poetry in the Petrarchan style celebrating an idealized female figure as a manifestation of spiritual beauty. Michelangelo Buonarroti and Torquato Tasso are the authors who have seen the most translations into Slovene. Alojz Gradnik translated numerous Renaissance poets for his anthology Italian Lyric Poetry (1940) covering the period from the Middle Ages to the first half of the 20th century. The collection includes the largest number of Renaissance poets translated into Slovene to date. Translations of Michelangelo’s poems in book form include Gradnik’s Sonnets (1945) and Srečko Fišer’s extensive selection of Poems (2014). Fišer published a selection of Tasso’s poetry in Love is the Soul of the World, which further includes excerpts from the heroic poem “Jerusalem Delivered” and the pastoral play Aminta (2004). Excerpts from Tasso’s poem were translated by Niko Košir and Andrej Capuder (1977), while those from Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso were published by Ciril Zlobec (1977) and Fišer (2018). Whereas Gradnik’s translations have been studied particularly by Ana Toroš, many translations have not yet met with a critical response.
The first Slovene translations of Shakespeare appeared in the mid-19th century, when Slovene literature opened up to translation and the arrival of the Slovene Drama Society enabled performances in Slovene. Shakespeare was well known and appreciated even before the first performance (Othello, 1897), and the first stagings were popular with the audiences. Since then, Shakespeare has never left Slovene stages, and the translations have been done by some of the greatest names in Slovene contemporary literature and literary translation. Hamlet occupies a special position among Shakespeare’s works, has been translated six times, and was so popular after the First World War that it was considered entirely a part of Slovene culture. Four of the translations have been published as books, Shakespeare has long been an integral part of the school curriculum and the leaving exam; and his works have inspired a number of performances, interpretations, and adaptations in Slovenia, including a graphic novel.
The chapter analyses Slovene translations of the works of Alessandro Manzoni (1785–1863), an Italian romantic writer, poet and dramatist, and one of the most important Italian authors in general. An introductory presentation of the author’s status in the source literature is followed by an overview of Manzoni’s Slovene translations and translators: the first individual translations (published in newspapers or anthologies) appeared in the mid-19th century and continued to be published until the end of the 20th century (their translators include, for example, Jovan Vesel Koseski, Fran Zakrajšek, and Alojz Gradnik). Manzoni’s book translations, on the other hand, appeared only in the 20th century: the novel I promessi sposi [The Betrothed] was translated in its entirety by Ivo Benkovič in 1901, Andrej Budal in 1925 and Jaša Zlobec in 1977, Manzoni’s Inni sacri [Holy Hymns] were translated by Vinko Beličič in 1973. In the case of translation analysis of Manzoni’s Slovene translations, the most attention was given to the novel I promessi sposi. Benkovič’s translation represents an early translation attempt with inconsistencies, Budal’s translation can be viewed as a quality improvement with respect to Benkovič’s translation, while Zlobec’s translation is characterized by a linguistic modernization and stylistic refinement. In his translation of Inni sacri, Beličič focuses mainly on the formal characteristics of Manzoni’s poems. The Slovene reception of Manzoni’s works, which began with Matija Čop, a renowned Slovene linguist and literary critic in the first half of the 19th century, includes both individual overviews and in-depth translation analyses, among which Martina Ožbot’s articles on Slovene translations of I promessi sposi should be noted. The influence of Manzoni’s works on Slovene literature was probably limited.
The chapter presents the translation of the works of Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1749–1832) into Slovene. Today, Goethe is considered the most prominent author of German literature, and since the end of the 18 th century he has been considered a central literary figure in Europe. The paper begins with the early reception of Goethe and the first translations from the beginning of the 19th century, which is followed by the reception during the Romantic period and a presentation of the translations produced from the second half of the 19th century onwards, with a central focus on the translation of the first part of Faust prepared by Valentin Mandelc, who died before finishing the work. The first part of Faust was then translated by Anton Funtek and published in 1908. After Funtek, other translators tackled Faust (Božo Vodušek, Erika Vouk), until, finally, Janko Moder translated both parts in 2005. The paper then turns to the translation of Goethe’s prose works (such as The Sorrows of Young Werther, Elective Affinities) and poems. It is worth mentioning that some poems have been translated several times. The second part of the chapter briefly introduces the translators of Goethe’s works (among them Herbert Grün, Stanka Rendla, and Štefan Vevar), along with the collections in which the translations were published and the publishing houses that published them. The chapter ends with an overview of the studies of Goethe’s Slovene translations from a translation studies viewpoint.
The chapter analyses Slovene translations of the works of Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin (1799–1837), a Russian romanticist and one of the most important Russian authors, who explores the Russian character in his works. The introductory presentation of Pushkin’s works focuses on his literary evolution and great importance in Russian literature. The following section is dedicated to the translation of Pushkin’s works in Slovene which begins in the 19th century and continues up until the beginning of the 21st century (the intensity of translation of Pushkin’s works varies in different periods). Among these translations, a special mention can be given to Izbrano delo A. S. Puškina [Selected works of A. S. Pushkin] (in six volumes) published between 1949 and 1967 by Državna založba Slovenije. Pushkin’s works were translated in Slovene by important translators, e.g., Anton Aškerc, Ivan Prijatelj, Oton Župančič, Mile Klopčič, and Milan Jesih. The first Slovene studies on Pushkin appeared in the second half of the 19th century onwards, with the first important Slovene reception and translation study Pushkin being the 1901 “Puškin v slovenskih prevodih” [Pushkin in Slovene translations] by Ivan Prijatelj, which brought a critical presentation of Pushkin’s 19th-century Slovene translations and represented an important stage in the development of Slovene translation criticism. The reception literature on Pushkin also includes different analyses of Pushkin’s Slovene translations (by Dragan M. Cernetic, Dušan Željeznov, Majda Stanovnik) and overviews of Pushkin’s reception in Slovenia.
In the long 19th century, the figure of the “national poet” was meant to bring the level of the respective national literatures into line with the canonical standards of world literature. In the Slovene-speaking lands, France Prešeren became relevant as the figure of the singular “national classic”, whose work compensates for the obvious lack of classical and modern traditions in the Slovene language, and who stands on a par with the peaks of the European hypercanon. The imaginary “worlding” (Kadir) of Prešeren through perspectives and canonization within the Slovene literary system has proven ideologically successful. However, his actual presence in the global literary space does not correspond to domestic notions of his value. Prešeren’s peripherality in the world systems of languages, literatures, and translations has prevented his worldwide recognition, except for languages and publishing houses from Slovenia or countries that used to belong to the same states or cultural alliances (Habsburg Empire, Yugoslavia, the Slavic world). In addition, his translations and international acclaim have been hampered by his complex poetic texts.
In the introductory part of the chapter, the special role that Dostoevsky played in the contemporary literature of Russian realism and the importance that the author later acquired in both Russian and world literature, especially in the context of the culture of modernism, are briefly presented. The central part is dedicated to the presentation of the history of the author’s translations into Slovene, which offers a comprehensive overview of the gradual expansion and addition of the author’s Slovene translation œuvre, while at the same time the differences between individual periods and cultural-historical circumstances that potentially influenced the selection and number of published translations are highlighted. In the following three shorter sections, the most important translators of the Dostoyevsky’s works are presented, some interesting details from the history of Slovene translations of the author are pointed out in the form of questions that could direct some possible future translation studies research, and in the concluding section we briefly reflect on some aspects of the Slovene reception of the author’s translations.
The international best-selling author and Nobel laureate Henryk Sienkiewicz (1846–1916), best known for his historical novels, is considered the most famous Polish writer in history. He also achieved huge success in Slovenia, as he is by far the most popular Polish author among Slovene readers. From 1884, when the first book translation appeared, until 2022, a total of 62 book editions of his novels and short prose were published in Slovenia, of which the novels In Desert and Wilderness, Quo Vadis and With Fire and Sword most impressed the public. The most important translators of Sienkiewicz were Peter Miklavec, Janko Moder and Rudolf Molè. The largest number of books were published by Državna založba Slovenije, Mladinska knjiga and Goriška tiskarna. Sienkiewicz received the most attention during his lifetime, as his works, which he wrote in the name of God and nation, “strengthened the hearts” of Slovene readers and influenced Slovene literature. Although Slovenes no longer attached such great significance to them in later decades, Sienkiewicz remained a widely read author long after his death due to his attractive style of writing. His success in Slovenia also sparked the interest of several Slovene and Polish researchers. Among them, Janko Moder, Agnieszka Zatorska, Janž Snoj and Robert Grošelj have so far contributed articles in the field of translation studies. However, Slovene translations of Sienkiewicz’s works still offer many possibilities for future research.
Henrik Ibsen first appeared on Slovene stages with his play A Dolls’ House in 1892. The first reactions were relatively positive, and in the following years several of his other plays were also translated and performed. Despite the initially warm reception, however, the critics soon wondered whether Ibsen was too remote, old-fashioned or irrelevant, and he only gained the status of a classic author after the Second World War. A Dolls’ House is probably the most notorious of his plays, and it also has the most Slovene translations – six altogether, mostly done by the performers themselves, four of them indirectly, via German. When it was first performed, audiences were provoked by its themes, and especially by the controversial ending. It has been performed thirteen times, mostly in Slovene regional theatres. Three of the translations have been published as books, and it has twice been one of the texts selected for the secondary school graduation exam.
The chapter analyses Slovene translations and reception of the works of Luigi Pirandello (1867–1936), one of the most important Italian authors in the first half of the 20th century, who was awarded the 1934 Nobel Prize in Literature. An introductory presentation of the author and his works (Pirandello is important as a novelist, a short story writer, and – foremost – as a dramatist) is followed by an overview of Pirandello’s Slovene translations and translators. Slovene translations of Pirandello’s works include his most important prose works, e.g., the novel Il fu Mattia Pascal [The Late Mattia Pascal] and different selections of his short stories, and plays, e.g., Enrico IV [Henry IV] and Sei personaggi in cerca d’autore [Six Characters in Search of an Author]; Pirandello’s poetry, on the other hand, has not been translated into Slovene. Pirandello’s works have been translated into Slovene by important Slovene translators, such as Božidar Borko, Niko Košir, Janko Moder, Silvester Škerl, and Srečko Fišer. A detailed translation analysis of Pirandello’s Slovene translations can be found in the case of his play Sei personaggi in cerca d’autore: Ivo Šorli’s translation (1942) is relatively inadequate; the translation by Janko Moder (1978) is based on Šorli’s translation – it shows similar mistakes and it sometimes differs significantly from the source text; Srečko Fišer’s translation (1985) simplifies the source text’s stylistic features, but its content is kept close to the original; Mario Uršič’s text (2001) is an adaptation of Fišer’s translation. Until the middle of the 20th century, the Slovene reception of Pirandello’s works was relatively superficial, but it became more thorough and comprehensive in the following years. The influence of Pirandello’s works on Slovene literature can be seen in some works by Vladimir Bartol and Ciril Kosmač, a more direct influence can be noticed in the play Kriminalna zgodba [Criminal Story] by Jože Javoršek.
The chapter focuses on the translations and on the translation studies works dealing with translations of the most translated Slovene author, Ivan Cankar (1976-1918). Cankar’s work, which belong to the so-called “Slovene Moderna” (i.e., the literary current that characterizes Slovene literature at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries and intertwines Decadent elements, Ethical Realism, Impressionism, Symbolism and the first traces of Expressionism) has been translated into 26 different languages. The most frequently translated works belong to the Symbolic and Expressionist current, i.e., Cankar’s sketches and short stories taken from the collections My Field and Dream Visions, while his most often translated individual work is the novel Bailiff Yerney and his Rights, which has been translated into 22 languages. The chapter then introduces the most important translators into the languages that have more than 20 Cankar book translations, and briefly describes the translations of Bailiff Yerney into Serbian, English and Russian, i.e., the translations that were used as secondary originals for translations into other languages. Finally, the chapter also mentions two important promoters of Cankar’s work in the English-speaking world: Professor Janko Lavrin and the Slovene émigré community in the USA. In the conclusion, theoretical works dealing with the translations of Cankar’s works into different languages are outlined.
In Slovenia, James Joyce (1882-1941) was an unknown author until around 1930. The reception of his work and its translation was hampered by the ideological rejection of modernism in contrast to the prevailing social realism in the period before and just after the Second World War. In 1955, the first Joyce translation was published, Dubliners was translated by Herbert Grün, arousing interest and a desire to translate other works by Joyce. Two leading Slovene translators undertook the task: in 1964 a translation of The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man was translated by Jože Udovič, and in 1967 Ulysses was translated by Janez Gradišnik, who wrote also an in-depth commentary and added notes to his translation. Subsequently, Joyce was finally recognized in Slovenia as a leading European modernist writer. The following decades were characterized by critical examination and the publication of Joyce’s body of work, including a revised translation of Ulysses (1993), and a new translation of Dubliners (Tina Mahkota, 2012). In 2022, when the 100th anniversary of the publication of Ulysses was celebrated, the entire body of Joyce’s fiction had been translated, even a few excerpts from the “untranslatable” Finnegans Wake (trans. Andrej E. Skubic, 2000). As for the future, the question will certainly arise as to whether it would be apt to translate Joyce’s final novel in its entirety, or to publish new translations of his earlier works. Admittedly, these will be not only challenging and time-consuming, but also very costly publishing projects.
This chapter first introduces the German-Jewish poet Paul Celan as a modern canonical author. In his poetry, Celan thematized the central event of the 20th century, the Second World War, or rather the traumatic core of this event, the Nazi genocide of the Jews. After “what had happened”, as he laconically labelled the Holocaust, the only thing that was left to him was the language. The language of Celan’s poetry remained German, his mother tongue, even though German was also the language of his mother’s killers. He foreignized this language, making it dark and needing translation even for his German readers. He also foreignized the language of his translations. He translated poems of over forty poets from seven different languages. These translations, which contributed to his status of a canonical contemporary translator, comprise the last two of the five volumes of his collected works.
The chapter then outlines the dynamics of translating Celan’s work into Slovene, which follows the same trajectory as elsewhere: the first translations of selected poems appeared in literary journals during Celan’s lifetime. After his death, a selection from his entire poetic œuvre was made and, ultimately, the integral translation. Since creating new words is typical of Celan’s foreignization of the language, the chapter ends with an analysis of the translations of one of his neologisms by three Slovene translators.
C. PROMINENT TRANSLATORS AND EDITORS
The status of translators and interpreters has been marked by some turning points since 1991, as Slovenia’s independence brought a considerable increase in translation production, while the country’s accession to the European Union brought some more intensive collaborations with other countries. The studies presented here touch on the research on individual translators, either by translators themselves, discussing their own work, or by researchers observing the work of translators, as well as on broader research on literary translators and their status. The latter include general research on the literary translation market, based on responses to various questionnaires, as well as biographical and bibliographical research on Slovene literary translators, often based on interviews. The studies show that in recent decades the translation profession has become distinctly feminized, which has been, however, reflected in translation prizes with a considerable lag. Another important feature of the contemporary translation market is its precariousness, which has an impact on the way of working, the quality of life and other aspects of the lives of literary translators. Recent attempts to improve the status of translators include the White Paper on Translation.
This chapter presents the criteria for selecting 44 Slovene translators whose short biographies appear in the edited volume. The selection of portraits focuses on translators actively working in the 20 th and 21 st centuries. The selection of the translators whose work marked the first part of the 20 th century is based on a reference from Majda Stanonik’s Slovenski literarni prevod [Slovene literary translation]. The selection of the younger generation of translators is based on the Sovre Award, the most important professional award for literary translators in Slovenia. Those translators, who received the Sovre Award for their life’s work, received the award more than once or for more than one translation, were selected for presentation. In addition, the recipients of the most prestigious awards in the field of culture in Slovenia, the Prešeren Award or the Prešeren Fund Award, were also included in the selection, if the award was granted specifically for their translation work for more than one translation.
Oton Župančič did not only influence the Slovene language with his original works, but also with an extensive and above all extremely high-quality translation œuvre – he is considered one of the greatest Slovene translators of all time. Literary historian Joža Mahnič (1981, 177) even referred to him as “the founder of modern and high-quality translating among Slovenes”.
Alojz Gradnik translated several fundamental works of Italian, Serbian, Croatian, Russian, Spanish, French and English literature, while introducing Chinese, Bengali, Japanese and Persian poetry to Slovene readers through indirect translations. Gradnik valued his work as a translator greatly, and decided to publish many of his translations alongside his own original poems.
Jerneja Umer Kljun
The translation work of Fran Bradač has, among other things because he was often pressed for time, remained in the shadow of the translations of Anton Sovre, and later Kajetan Gantar and Primož Simoniti. Nevertheless, it should be highlighted that it was in fact Bradač who brought some of the fundamental works of the literature of Antiquity to Slovene readers.
The classical philologist Anton Sovrè is one of the most renowned and eminent Slovene literary translators, and this is reflected in the fact that the most important professional award for translation is named after him. His substantial and recognizable translation œuvre, characterized by meticulous style, tied to his mastery of the expressive potential of Slovene, has brought numerous Greek and Latin classics to Slovene readers.
Throughout his life, Izidor Cankar was constantly present, directly or indirectly, in Slovene culture, art, language and politics. Initially, his vision focused on editorial and artistic activities, but during his final years he contributed significantly to Slovene literature through his work as a translator.
Vladimir Levstik was, in terms of the number of his translations, one of the most prolific Slovene translators. He introduced the Slovene readership to numerous important novels of the Russian realist period, especially to the works of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy.
Fran Albrecht (known also as Fran Albreht) was one of the most important translators in the early post-Second World War period, translating from German, Czech and Serbian, both theatrical texts as well as fiction, but also children’s literature. As the co-founder and first president of the Slovenian Association of Translators, he helped improve the status of literary translators in Slovene society.
Josip Vidmar was an influential figure in cultural sector in post- Second World War Slovenia, who largely guided the cultural development of socialist society. A prolific literary translator, of both Russian writers and of some of the central texts of Moliere’s œuvre, he also wrote theoretical treatises on translation. He believed that translation played a key role in the development of peripheral language communities, such as the Slovene language community.
In the Slovene cultural sphere, the translator Karel Dobida was best known as the director of the National Gallery and a connoisseur of local and foreign art. After the Second World War, he contributed translations of many French canonical authors, such as Anatole France, Gustave Flaubert and Alphonse Daudet to Slovene literature.
Božidar Borko, who established himself primarily as a cultural mediator between the Slovene, Slavic and Romance literary systems, is known for his persistent endeavours to educate Slovene readers about translated literature, contributing significantly to the shaping of the Slovene cultural sphere.
Jerneja Umer Kljun
The life and work of Silverster Škerl was dedicated to Slovene culture, literature and language. Initially, he worked as a publisher and editor, but eventually circumstances compelled him to find his vocation in literary translation.
Agnes Pisanski Peterlin
France Vodnik was one of the most influential Slovene Catholic intellectuals in the interwar period, who had a profound impact on Slovene cultural life, especially as a critic and essayist. After 1945, political circumstances forced him to focus on translation, and he soon became one of the most important Slovene translators from the Polish language, making a significant contribution to the development of the Polish-Slovene cultural contacts in the decades after the Second World War.
Božo Vodušek was a Catholic expressionist poet who mainly translated poetry from German, Russian, French and Croatian. He is best known for his translations of Goethe and Baudelaire.
The life and work of Mile Klopčič was dedicated to social and political activism from an early age. He translated many important works of world literature, especially Russian poetry, which makes him one of the most highly regarded translators of the older generation in Slovenia.
Tone Potokar is particularly relevant for Slovene literature because of his translation opus, which includes translations of many literary works from three South Slavic languages, namely Croatian, Serbian and Bulgarian, into Slovene, and translations of key Slovene literary works into South Slavic languages. With his translation work, he significantly strengthened the cultural ties among the nations of socialist Yugoslavia.
Janez Gradišnik is rightly considered one of the greatest Slovene translators of all time due to his extensive and exceptionally high-quality translation opus, with which he enriched the number of classic works of world literature in the Slovene literary system.
Janko Moder did not only make his mark on Slovene literary history with his extremely extensive translation opus, but also as the spiritus movens of the Slovenian Association of Literary Translators and a tireless promoter of literary translation in general.
Radojka Vrančič introduced Marcel Proust’s novelistic opus In Search of Lost Time to the Slovene readership, along with other canonical French authors. This monumental endeavour is to this day considered one of the greatest translation triumphs in the period after the Second World War. Each year since 2002, the Association of Slovenian Literary Translators has presented an award named after Radojka Vrančič to the best young translator under the age of 35.
Two things stand out in Marjan Strojan’s translation opus: canonical works written in Old and Medieval English, and poetry by John Milton. Both present a great translation challenge from the literary and linguistic perspectives. The author of eight poetry collections, Strojan is himself an important poet, as well as an editor and critic. His articles on translation are invaluable for their intertwining of theory and long-term translation practice.
Janez Menart is considered one of the all-time best Slovene translators of verse, but his importance for the Slovene translation field transcends his own translation œuvre, since he also encouraged his fellow poets to translate the most important works of world poetry.
Primož Simoniti was a distinguished literary and cultural historian, an expert in the period of Humanism, and, at the same time, one of the key translators working from Latin and Ancient Greek into Slovene. His masterful translations of novels from the Antiquity and Medieval Latin poetry are an invaluable addition to the Slovene translational canon.
The translator, writer, and playwright Mira Mihelič was a prominent literary and social figure in Slovenia in the post-Second World War period. The recipient of the Sovre Prize (for her translations of Faulkner’s Light in August, Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel, and Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers) and the Prešeren Prize for literary and lifetime achievements, Mihelič was also the first woman to head the Slovene Writers’ Association and to serve as the Vice-President of the Slovene PEN Centre. Her translations made a significant contribution to forming the Slovene translation culture in the post-war period, while the originals of her translations are considered to be, almost without exception, essential texts of the Western literary canon.
Matej Bor was a singular and innovative Slovene translator, poet, novelist, playwright, and essayist, who devoted more than two decades of his life to Shakespeare and translated about half of his plays into Slovene.
Kajetan Gantar is one of the key mediators of the heritage of Antiquity in Slovenia. He has translated a wide range of different texts, and is known particularly for his translations of Greek and Latin poetry. His translated texts are characterized by his linguistic refinement in searching for translation solutions, including his reliance on practically all the registers of Slovene and Slovene phraseology.
Ivan Minatti is best known to Slovene readers as the author of the poem “Nekoga moraš imeti rad” (“You must love somebody”), which has become almost a folk poem, and as the Slovene translator of Saint-Exupéry’s Little Prince. Although Minatti holds an important place in the Slovene culture mostly on account of his poetry, his translation opus is of great importance as well, particularly his translations of poetry from ex-Yugoslavian languages.
Veno Taufer – poet, versatile author, playwright, and translator with an extensive œuvre – introduced a number of important poets to the Slovene audience. It is largely owing to Taufer that some of the most complex modernist poetry has been published in Slovene.
Jerneja Umer Kljun
Tone Pavček established himself as a poet early in life as one of the authors of the poetry volume Pesmi štirih [The Poems of the Four], which announced a new turn in Slovene poetry. Pavček received several important Slovene awards for his poetry collections. His translation opus is important as well: he translated poetry mostly from Russian, Croatian, Serbian, and other Slavic languages.
Tomaž Onič in Tjaša Mohar
Drago Bajt is a translator who has introduced Russian modernist and avant-garde literature to Slovene readers with his translations of literary works and works from the field of literary theory, as well as with his own studies in literary history.
With his many outstanding translations of fundamental works by influential Marxist and Western philosophers, Frane Jerman enriched the Slovene academic and cultural landscape, while playing a constructive role in the development of translation studies in Slovenia by promoting theoretical discussions on translation. The Jerman Award, presented for exceptional translations of texts from the fields of social sciences and humanities into Slovene and given by the Slovenian Association of Literary Translators, is named after him.
Jerneja Umer Kljun
The life and work of Vital Klabus was dedicated to cultural engagement, either through critical reflection on the cultural and political situation during the time of Communist Party rule, or through his translations of important French, English and German authors.
Marija Elizabeta Javoršek
Among Slovene translators, Marija Javoršek is associated with the formally pure, but also vibrant and vivid French authors, whether they be lyrical (Baudelaire, de France, Hugo, Genet, Verlaine), tragic (Corneille, Racine) or mischievously tongue-in-cheek (Corneille, Molière, la Fontaine). Her translations, of both fiction and verse, are substantial, marked by her own personal expression, and her attitude towards the style and the form of the original.
Srečko Fišer is a Slovene translator, playwright, language editor, publicist, and literary critic. He translates from English, Italian, French and Croatian, and is known and celebrated for his translations of English, American and Italian theoretical works, and classical writers, particularly dramatists, among others, Shakespeare, Molière, and the authors of the Theatre of the Absurd, e.g., Ionescu and Beckett. His poetry translations include Shakespeare, Tasso, Michelangelo Buonarotti and, most recently, Petrarch’s Canzoniere.
Marjan Poljanec is considered to be an experienced and meticulous translator, who has been bringing the works of some of the most important Russian and French authors to Slovene readers for half a century. His translations of non-fiction have furthermore introduced the Slovene audience to famous figures and events from Russian and French history.
As a poet and a literary editor, Miha Avanzo has made an important contribution to the development of contemporary Slovene poetry. He later became one of the leading translators working from English. In his long career, he has introduced a number of older as well as contemporary canonical American and English authors to Slovene readers. He has also translated the works of some of the most famous authors of international bestsellers.
Vesna Velkovrh Bukilica
Vesna Velkovrh Bukilica is a translator working from several languages, but has been recognized in particular for her superb translations of the most stylistically and linguistically demanding works of Spanish and Hispanic authors. Her translations have been awarded several prizes, and she is particularly well-known for her translations of the greatest names of Latin American literature, including the Chilean author Isabel Allende, the Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez and the Argentinian writers Julio Cortázar and Jorge Luis Borges.
Jerneja Umer Kljun
Gorazd Kocijančič is notable for his translations of philosophical, theological and spiritual texts from Greek, Latin and Hebrew. He has developed his own theoretical views on translation, which could, in the context of translation theory, be classified as hermeneutic due to the influence of Friedrich Schleiermacher, Franz Rosenzweig and Martin Buber.
Nike Kocijančič Pokorn
Vlasta Pacheiner Klander
Vlasta Pacheiner Klander is the most important Slovene Indologist and translator working from Sanskrit. As one of the few experts on ancient India in Slovenia, she has introduced a number of well-known and less well-known works of ancient Indian literature to Slovene readers through her translations and research papers. She has also carried out pioneering work in the field of Slovene Indology and has made a lasting impact on the development of the Indian-Slovene contacts.
Vasja Bratina, a translator working from several languages, has gained critical acclaim for his translations of contemporary Croatian and Italian postmodernist authors, including Predrag Matvejevič, Claudio Magris and, above all, Umberto Eco, whose literary and non-literary works are particularly prominent among his translations. Bratina has been awarded several prestigious awards for his translations from Italian, and his translation of Roberto Saviano’s novel Gomorrah is especially highly regarded.
Jerneja Umer Kljun
Andrej E. Skubic
Andrej E. Skubic is well-versed in introducing elements of non-standard linguistic variants and colloquialisms into his translations of contemporary British, American and Anglophone postcolonial literature, showing great skill and ingenuity. His translations of substandard speech in contemporary Scottish texts have been particularly influential.
Jerneja Umer Kljun
Nada Marija Grošelj
Nada Marija Grošelj, who translates from Slovene into English and from English, Latin, Swedish, German and Classical Greek into Slovene, is one of the most prolific and awarded Slovene contemporary translators and the recipient, among others, of the Sovre Prize for established translators (for her translation from Latin of works by Ovid and Plautus, and her translations of the Selected Works of Oscar Wilde) as well as of the Young Translator Award. She translates prose and poetry for children, young adults, and adults, as well as historical and contemporary theoretical texts across the fields of, e.g., literature, philosophy, theology, and mythology.
Uroš Kalčič began his career as a writer, but later focused almost exclusively on translation from English into Slovene. His translation œuvre is rich and varied, encompassing translations of contemporary canonical authors, such as Salman Rushdie and Orhan Pamuk, translations of key works of the British literary canon, for instance the works of D. H. Lawrence, and also genre fiction, including crime and fantasy.
Aleš Berger is one of the most important Slovene translators from the late 20th and early 21st centuries. In his finely honed and linguistically accomplished translations, he introduced some of the key 20th century French and Spanish authors, such as Guillaume Apollinaire, René Char, Raymond Queneau, Federico García Lorca and Jorge Luis Borges, to Slovene readers.
Suzana Koncut, the recipient of the Prešeren Fund Award in 2020, is a former dancer and choreographer, well known for her many diverse translations of French literature. She has translated both classical and contemporary texts that demand a great deal of linguistic knowledge, theoretical expertise and a strong will to engage in in-depth research. Her translation œuvre encompasses literary texts, as well as texts from the social sciences and the humanities, and even theatrical texts.
Boris A. Novak
The poet and translator Boris A. Novak is an engaged intellectual, who has contributed to the exchanges between the Slovene and the French culture above all with his skilful translations of French and Occitan poetry. He has also contributed to the translation norms at the turn of the 21st century with his thoughts on some of the problems associated with translating poetry.
Nike K. Pokorn
Niko Košir was one of the leading Slovene literary translators working from the Spanish and Italian languages. His translation œuvre encompasses translations of key Italian authors from different periods (including Bocaccio, Machiavelli, Verga and Pirandello), as well as translation of canonical Spanish texts, such as the epic The Poem of the Cid (El Cantar de mio Cid) and Cervantes’s Don Quixote (Don Quijote).