On September 29th 2012, the Cyprus PEN Centre organised a meeting, at the premises of the Society of Cypriot Studies in Nicosia, on the subject “Literary Translation”. The meeting, which was sponsored by the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture, was attended by a large number of members of PEN, many lovers of literature and also writers who translate. Among those invited was the distinguished Greek poet Titos Patrikios, a loyal friend of our Centre and of Cyprus, who took an active part in the discussion which followed the speakers’ papers.
The speakers at the meeting were Frangiski Ambatzopoulou, Emeritus Professor of the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, the academics Stefanos Stefanou, Andis Panayiotou Hadjiodysseos and Klitos Ioannides, the Spanish translator Selma Ancira, and two regular translators for the Centre, Christine Georghiades and Irena Joannides.
In her talk, Frangiski Ambatzopoulou examined the difficulties which arise in every demanding literary translation. She took as an example a poem by T.S.Eliot which George Seferis translated into Greek. The distinguished and award-winning Spanish translator Selma Ancira, who came from Barcelona especially for this meeting, talked about her experiences and the problems she encountered when translating the Russian poetess Tsvetaeva from Russian and George Seferis from Greek.
Andis Panayiotou Hadjiodysseos talked about the English translations of Cypriot poetry. Despina Pirketti, author, translator and collaborator of Cyprus PEN, also contributed comments on this subject.
Stefanos Stefanou, also an academic, spoke more generally about the philosophy of translation. Dr Klitos Ioannides’ comments came within the same framework. Two translators who have been collaborating with Cyprus PEN for a long time, Christine Georghiades and Irena Joannides, talked about the experiences gleaned from translating Cypriot literature into English.
In this issue we are publishing the talks by Selma Ancira, Christine Georghiades and Irena Joannides. We plan to include the other papers in future issues.