The official opening yesterday of the European Translation Center (EKEMEL) marked the inception of an ambitious new project. A non-profit-making concern funded by the National Book Center, EKEMEL has embarked on the task of training and supporting new and established translators. Its broader cultural mission is to initiate fruitful exchanges that will bring together translators and others from the world of books. In addition to a fully fledged two-year training course for translators of literature and the social sciences, EKEMEL will provide back-up infrastructure for working translators, including access to computer terminals,the Pavlos Zannas library and a venue for lectures, seminars and other cultural events at its attractively refurbished 1930s premises in downtown Athens. Luminaries from Greece and abroad are participating in the first of these events. Poet and Deputy Culture Minister of Spain Luis Alberto de Cuenca, philosopher-poet Michel Deguy, poets Michael Kruger and Titos Patrikios, writer Jorge Semprun and journalists Florence Noiville and Alix Mac Sweeny will discuss The Trials and Tribulations of Translation at the Foreign Press Association (Academias 23, September 30 at 7.30 pm). Translating Shakespeare, (November 6) inaugurates the Translation in the Four Winds series of six events to be held on the first Tuesday of the month. Cultivating European, Mediterranean and Balkan ties is a priority for EKEMEL, which has already helped organize a conference on Reading, Publishing and Translation Activity in the Mediterranean (Marseilles, October 6-7). Future plans include the establishment of an award for exceptional translations in the fields of literature or the social sciences, summer seminars on the Greek islands (starting in 2002) and an electronic quarterly magazine, Apiliotis, on EKEMEL’s website at www.ekemel.gr Taught by practicing professionals, the translation studies course offers solid grounding in practice and theory. Several language combinations are available. Currently, students may choose from the Greek to English, English to Greek, Greek to French, French to Greek, Greek to German and German to Greek translation departments. Other languages will be added in due course and there is talk of an Ancient Greek to modern Greek department. Admission is subject to an entrance test of language skills, and certificates will be awarded to students who successfully complete the two-year, four-semester course. Fees are 650,000 drachmas per year, payable in three installments. The deadline for registration is October 10. Classes start on November 5. Many prospective students have already expressed interest, says director Catherine Velissari. With a staff lineup that looks like a Who’s Who of leading practitioners of the craft, that is hardly surprising. EKEMEL is at 2 Lykavittou & Academias, 3rd-4th floors, tel 363.9520 and 363.9525, fax. 363.9350 e-mail [email protected] If we are to assume that an actor’s film roles are a reflection of their personality, then any attempt to sketch your portrait on the basis of your cinema appearances would result in a picture of complete confusion!