President Milanović Receives Delegation of “Društvo hrvatskih književnih prevodilaca” Celebrating 70 Years of Activity

22. November 2022.

The President of the Republic Zoran Milanović met today with representatives of the “Društvo hrvatskih književnih prevodilaca” (Society of Croatian Literary Translators) celebrating 70 years of activity this year. The “Društvo hrvatskih književnih prevodilaca” was founded on 11 November 1952, just two months after a decision was made at a UNESCO congress to encourage the founding of translators’ societies in all countries. It is one of the oldest professional societies in Europe.

In terms of the Society’s founding, current members reminded that 37 translators participated in the founding assembly held on the premises of the Croatian Writers’ Association, and today the Society has more than 300 members. They explained to President Milanović that advancing the literary translation profession and caring for the improvement of the social and financial status of literary translators as authors of literary translations is the Society’s most vital concern.

For seventy years the entire activity of the Society of Croatian Literary Translators has been at the service of the cultural environment in which they live and strengthening bonds with European and world cultures. With their activities the members not only enhance the Society’s image but also Croatian culture in the world. There was also talk of the material conditions and the value of their work. “When asked if we can earn a living from literary translations, we usually answer that it is possible if you have a second job as well”, vice-president Anda Bukvić Pažin picturesquely stated, explaining that just a small number of them live only from that profession today.

Some of the literary translators complained that the pay for their work is in constant decline, but, thanks to the Society’s activity, the affirmation of their profession is in an upward trend. In terms of the affirmation of their profession, they underlined that this year they launched a programme entitled ‘Tko vam je napisao lektiru?’ (Who wrote your required reading books?) in the scope of which they cooperate with secondary schools in Zagreb, Rijeka, Osijek and Split.

In the delegation of the Society of Croatian Literary Translators besides the vice-president of its Board of Directors and literary translator of English and German Anda Bukvić Pažin, were members of the Board of Directors and executive secretary of the European Council of Literary Translators Associations (CEATL) literary translator of English and German Lara Hölbling Matković, academician and honorary member of the Society of Croatian Literary Translators and literary translator of Italian Mladen Machiedo, literary translator of English Vjera Balen-Heidl, literary translator of English-Italian-French-Romanian Mate Maras, literary translator of Bulgarian Ksenija Banović, literary translator from and into English Tomislav Kuzmanović, literary translator of Dutch and English Svetlana Grubić Samaržija, literary translator of Spanish and English Ela Varošanec Krsnik, literary translator of Portuguese and English Josip Ivanović, and head of the office of the Society of Croatian Literary Translators, conference translator and translator of the Italian language Erika Koporčić.

The Special Adviser to the President for Culture Zdravko Zima attended the meeting alongside President Milanović.

PHOTO: Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia / Marko Beljan