Category Archives: News


The first issue of the new CEATL e‑zine is out!

Coun­ter­point is an e‑zine for every­one inter­ested in lit­er­ary trans­la­tion. Wheth­er you are a trans­lat­or, pub­lish­er, agent, research­er, stu­dent or journ­al­ist, or just have a gen­er­al interest in lit­er­at­ure across bor­ders, the European book mar­ket, and in the people that shape both, there will be some­thing in Coun­ter­point of interest to you.

The e‑zine reports on what’s going on inside CEATL, and it looks out­side as well. It present fea­ture art­icles about trans­lat­ors and trans­lat­ing and deal with the broad cul­tur­al, artist­ic and eco­nom­ic con­text of our work. The edit­ors intend Coun­ter­point to live up to its name and be a place where inde­pend­ent and some­times con­trast­ing voices come togeth­er and form a stronger and more enthralling whole, much like the art of lit­er­ary trans­la­tion itself.

Coun­ter­point is free of charge and pub­lished twice a year in Eng­lish and French.

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New Board

In April 2019 the Gen­er­al Assembly of  Lit­er­ary Trans­la­tion Sec­tion to Bul­gari­an Trans­lat­ors’ Uni­on elec­ted a new Chair­per­son of the Sec­tion: Milena Pop­ova. Deputy Chair-persons are: Vladi­mir Molev and Teodora Tzankova. The man­date of the board is three years.

Three Cases of Plagiarism

In the past year the Bul­gari­an Trans­lat­ors’ Uni­on has dealt with a num­ber of cases of trans­la­tion pla­gi­ar­ism.

Last March Prof. Ana Dimova, lit­er­ary trans­lat­or and BTU mem­ber, pub­lished an art­icle entitled The (Un)known Joseph Roth: Trans­la­tion or Tran­script in the renowned lit­er­ary news­pa­per Lit­er­at­uren Vest­nikIn the art­icle she com­pared a recent trans­la­tion of Joseph Roth’s stor­ies into Bul­gari­an by Vladko Murdarov („Легенда за пияницата светец“, Black Flamingo, 2015) with her own trans­la­tion of the same stor­ies of thirty years pre­vi­ously („Гробницата на капуцините“. Избрани творби. Народна култура, 1986) and found the dif­fer­ences min­im­al. BTU’s Pro­fes­sion­al Eth­ics Com­mit­tee decided to invest­ig­ate the case and asked for an expert opin­ion. Ger­gana Fyrkova-Angelova, PhD, schol­ar and lit­er­ary trans­lat­or her­self, ana­lysed the two Bul­gari­an ver­sions of the same works (namely Der VorzugsschülerKar­ri­ereKranke Mensch­heitApril. Die Geschichte ein­er LiebeDer blinde SpiegelSta­tion­schef Fallmeray­erTri­umph der Schön­heitDie Büste des Kais­ersDer Leviath­anDie Legende vom hei­li­gen Trink­er) in detail, tak­ing into account the spe­cif­ics of the ori­gin­al texts and con­cluded that in their oth­er trans­la­tion work the two trans­lat­ors have their own, very dif­fer­ent approaches, that Vladko Murdarov used Ana Dimova’s trans­la­tion, mak­ing insig­ni­fic­ant cor­rec­tions to it and that, in short, his trans­la­tion can­not be con­sidered an autonom­ous work. On the basis of Fyrkova-Angelova’s expert opin­ion, BTU pub­lished an offi­cial state­ment claim­ing that Ana Dimova’s trans­la­tion had been bor­rowed from dir­ectly by Vladko Murdarov, and con­demned the unlaw­ful deed.

Sev­er­al months later, the Pro­fes­sion­al Eth­ics Com­mit­tee received anoth­er notice of pla­gi­ar­ism: this time it was about the trans­la­tion of a col­lec­tion of stor­ies by Arthur Schnitz­ler („Като насън“, Black Flamingo, 2012) by Vladko Murdarov. The ana­lyt­ic­al expert­ise of Ger­gana Fyrkova-Angelova con­cluded once again that Murdarov had delib­er­atedly used pre­vi­ous trans­la­tions of the same ori­gin­al texts (Fräulein ElseSpiel im Mor­gen­grauen, Traum­nov­elle), trans­lated respect­ively by Nikola Tol­chev, Panayot K. Chilkov and Nedyalka Pop­ova, mak­ing min­im­al changes, not related to exist­ing mis­takes. BTU pub­lished anoth­er offi­cial state­ment defend­ing the copy­right of the trans­lat­ors whose work had been stolen and drew atten­tion to the fact that a second trans­la­tion of Schnitzler’s stor­ies was pub­lished in Bul­garia not because of defi­cien­cies in the first one but because of the fin­an­cial sup­port by for­eign cul­tur­al insti­tu­tions.

Finally, Kon­stantin Iliev, a dis­tin­guished Bul­gari­an play­wright, author and trans­lat­or, wrote a let­ter to inform BTU that his trans­la­tion of Die Klein­bür­ger­hochzeit („Избрани творби на Бертолт Брехт“, т. ІІІ, Народна култура, 1985) had been pla­gi­ar­ised once again by Vladko Murdarov („Едноактни и пиеси уроци“, Рива, 2009). Iliev him­self gave repeated and irre­fut­able proof of the deed. BTU con­demned the unlaw­ful prac­tice of trans­la­tion pla­gi­ar­ism and declared its resolve to con­tin­ue defend­ing trans­lat­ors’ rights.

All state­ments by BTU and Ger­gana Fyrkova-Angelova’s expert opin­ions are avail­able on the BTU’s web­site and have been pub­lished in the cul­tur­al press. Kon­stantin Iliev’s let­ter is pub­lished in Kul­tura news­pa­per.

Bulgarian Translators’ Union honours translator Iglika Vassileva

At the end of 2017 the Bul­gari­an Trans­lat­ors’ Uni­on organ­ised an even­ing ded­ic­ated to lit­er­ary trans­lat­or Iglika Vassil­eva and her inter­pret­a­tion of the works of Vir­gin­ia Woolf in Bul­gari­an. It was the twen­ti­eth anniversary of the first pub­lic­a­tion of Vassileva’s trans­la­tion of  To the Light­house  and a birth­day anniversary of the admired trans­lat­or.

Aca­dem­ics and crit­ics shared their views on Vassileva’s always per­cept­ive, thor­ough and inspir­ing work as a lit­er­ary trans­lat­or. Frag­ments from her trans­la­tions were read aloud. Vassil­eva her­self talked about her exper­i­ence in lit­er­ary trans­la­tion. The event was widely atten­ded and repor­ted on in the cul­tur­al press.

Iglika Vassil­eva

Iglika Vassil­eva is the Bul­gari­an trans­lat­or of almost all works by Vir­gin­ia Woolf: To the Light­house (1997), A Room of One’s Own (1999), Three Guineas (2001), The Years (2009), Between the Acts (2011), Orlando (2013), The Voy­age Out (2014), The Waves (2014), Lit­er­ary Essays (2015), Night and Day(2016), Jacob’s Room (2017), The Wid­ow and the Par­rot (2017)She has also trans­lated into Bul­gari­an works by James Joyce, John Ban­ville, Iris Mur­doch, Vladi­mir Nabokov, Paul Aus­ter, Lawrence Dur­rell and oth­ers.


On Janu­ary 1, 2017 nine European organ­isa­tions* offi­cially launched the PETRA‑E Net­work for the Edu­ca­tion and Train­ing of Lit­er­ary Trans­lat­ors. The part­ners will expand, imple­ment and fur­ther devel­op the PETRA‑E Frame­work, the res­ult of the suc­cess­ful Erasmus+ fun­ded PETRA‑E pro­ject (2014–2016), and will provide a col­lab­or­at­ive space for the dis­cus­sion of related top­ics.

The PETRA‑E Frame­work maps out com­pet­ences and levels in lit­er­ary trans­lat­ing. It serves to improve the qual­ity of lit­er­ary trans­la­tions and the vis­ib­il­ity of lit­er­ary trans­lat­ors in Europe. It is now avail­able in nine lan­guages: Bul­gari­an, Dutch, Eng­lish, French, Ger­man, Hun­gari­an, Itali­an, Por­tuguese and Span­ish.

In the short time since the Frame­work was launched, a large num­ber of organ­isa­tions has shown interest in becom­ing involved in the fur­ther devel­op­ment. The Net­work wel­comes new mem­bers, aca­dem­ic and non-academic, who are com­mit­ted to the PETRA‑E Frame­work and its under­ly­ing prin­ciples, and wish to imple­ment the Frame­work in their own insti­tu­tions and pro­grammes and con­trib­ute to its fur­ther devel­op­ment. The first meet­ing will be held in the Autumn of 2017. We are cur­rently approach­ing the organ­isa­tions that have already shown interest. After the first meet­ing we cer­tainly need oth­er organ­isa­tions to come on board and put the Frame­work into action.

The PETRA‑E pro­ject was recently com­pleted and eval­u­ated with very high rat­ings (93/100).  The Frame­work can be down­loaded here (click on the flag for dif­fer­ent lan­guages). Click here for a data­base with European pro­grams and courses for lit­er­ary trans­la­tion, anoth­er res­ult of the PETRA‑E pro­ject.



Any enquir­ies and expres­sions of interest can be dir­ec­ted to the PETRA‑E sec­ret­ari­at at the Neder­landse Taalunie:, c/o Karlijn Water­man, Post­bus 10595, NL 2501 HN Den Haag, Neth­er­lands, petra‑

*Cur­rent mem­bers : Brit­ish Centre for Lit­er­ary Trans­la­tion (BCLT), Con­seil Européen des Asso­ci­ations de Tra­duc­teurs Lit­téraires (CEATL), Deutscher Über­set­zer­fonds, Eötvös Loránd Uni­ver­sity (ELTE),  Expert­i­se­centrum Lit­erair Ver­talen (ELV), Fondazione Uni­versit­ar­ia San Pel­legrino (FUSP), KU Leuven, Neder­landse Taalunie, Uni­versiteit Utrecht.

PETRA=Plateforme Européenne pour la Tra­duc­tion Lit­téraire. PETRA‑E= PETRA-Education.