CULTURE

An ambitious translation program

A first taste of an ambitious program was presented at the Academy of Athens recently. Academy member and author Thanasis Valtinos unveiled a new program regarding the training of young translators of Greek literature, the training, in other words, of people translating Greek works into foreign languages.

?When it comes to Greek literature, the big problem is for Greek works to go beyond local borders and get translated,? said Valtinos. ?In order to achieve this, you need a number of top-level translators and we don?t have enough.?

The program has come together thanks to the Academy of Athens, the Kostas and Eleni Ourani Foundation and the Petrou Chari Foundation, while the National Book Center of Greece (EKEBI), the European Translation Center (EKEMEL) and the University of Athens will participate in the training of foreign students studying Greek literature and language. The program will further include funding for the translation of Greek works aimed at international publishing houses, though the amount of the annual funding which will come from the Ourani Foundation has yet to be determined.

The venture?s headquarters will be housed on the fourth floor of 9 Valaoritou Street and every bursar will receive a monthly stipend of 1,200 euros — the program will have a capacity of covering five to six bursars every year, with scholarships being renewed for a period of one to four years.

While the program is expected to launch in September, there are various questions which remain unanswered: Who will undertake the training and comprise the judging panel determining the final selection of candidates are but two. In the meantime, however, the announcement was met with a hopeful spirit. In the words of Valtinos, ?these are tough times, but instead of complaining, we wanted to take this opportunity to act in a more positive way.?