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The Warsaw Voice » Society » July 1, 2009
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Talking the Same Language
July 1, 2009 By M.M.    
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The Second World Congress of Translators of Polish Literature took place June 4-6 in Cracow. It was attended by over 200 translators from 56 countries. The event featured discussions about literature and the work of a translator, translation workshops and meetings with writers.

The congress opened with a lecture by Olga Tokarczuk, one of Poland's most frequently translated writers. Participants met with a number of other internationally popular Polish authors such as Hanna Krall, Stefan Chwin, Tadeusz Różewicz, Jacek Dehnel, Wojciech Kuczok and Michał Witkowski. During panel discussions, the participants got to talk with well-known literary critics, publishers and professors of Polish literature. Finally, there were 40 workshops on new Polish literature.

Though most of the attendees came from Europe, there were also guests from China, South Korea, Cuba, Vietnam and Syria.

Held every four years, the World Congress of Translators of Polish Literature is organized by the Book Institute in Cracow, a national cultural institution which works to promote literature and encourage reading.

"The translators said how important it was in their work to be able to have direct contact with Polish culture and other translators who form a huge community of people dedicated to the promotion of Polish literature," said a Book Institute spokesman.

Congress participants learned about the Book Institute's programs for translators, scholarships for translators and an online database created following suggestions made at the first congress four years ago.

The congress saw the fifth Trans-Atlantyk Award ceremony held June 5 at the Stary Theater. The award, for outstanding contribution to the promotion of Polish literature abroad, went this year to Serbian translator Biserka Rajcić.
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