The Lithuanian Association of Literary Translators
was founded in May 2004.
At the moment it comprises 166 members (150 regular members and 16 honorary members).
LLVS is member of the Lithuanian Association of Artists since 2007, the European Council of Associations of Literary Translators (CEATL) since 2005, International Federation of Translators (FIT) since 2009, Baltic Writers' Council (BWC) since 2007 and Three Seas Writers' and Translators' Council (TSWTC) since 2004.
- To bring together translators of fiction, poetry, and humanities;
- To protect the professional, social, legal, and financial status of translators;
- To encourage the professional and highly mastered art of translation;
- To promote theory and criticism of literary translation;
- To create better conditions for the professional development of translators;
- To call to public attention the creative work of translators and translation’s culture-unifying mission;
- To raise the prestige of the translator’s profession;
- To promote and maintain the quality of literary translations published in Lithuania;
- To advance publishers’ and readers’ awareness of the quality of translation;
- To promote international culture and literature in Lithuania.
The Lithuanian Association of Literary Translators:
- Represents the interests of its members toward state institutions; before the law; in matters regarding copyright protection; and in other areas;
- Co-operates with Lithuanian artists’ unions and cultural institutions (e.g. the Institute of the Lithuanian language, the State Comission of the Lithuanian Language, Lithuanian P.E.N. Club and other organizations). It is gratifying that linguists are eager to consult the translators considering the role of translators to be very important in preserving and enriching the native language itself); the LLVS is member of the Lithuanian Association of Artists;
- Co-operates with foreign translators’ organisations, cultural representatives, foundations, etc.
- Participates in the activities of international organisations. The LLVS is member of the European Council of Associations of Literary Translators (CEATL) since 2005, International Federation of Translators (FIT), Baltic Writers' Council (BWC) since 2007 and Three Seas Writers' and Translators' Council (TSWTC) since 2004;
- Serves as a vehicle for public relations, disseminating information about the translator’s profession and the activities of the LLVS in the press, radio, television, and other media;
- Draws up contracts with state institutions on long-term programs of assistance for translators (Our projects are financed by the Ministry of Culture and the Culture Support Foundation).
- Publishes important information relevant to translators about tax and social policy, copyright, fees, topical professional news, events and conferences, awards, contests, grants, and workshops in Lithuania and abroad on the LLVS website and in its newsletters;
- Maintains a translators’ database (www.llvs.lt);
- Presents a model contract;
- Celebrates Translators Day, St Jerome, on September 30th.
Organizes contests and gives awards:
- St. Jerome Award in two categories:
- to a translator of literature (fiction, humanities) for the most professional and skillful translations into Lithuanian of the past three years, as well as notable contributions to the translator’s profession, to theory and criticism of literary translation and to the training of translators.
- to a translator of Lithuanian literature (fiction, humanities) for professional and skillful translations into a foreign language, and for the promotion of Lithuanian literature abroad. The purpose of this Award is to appreciate and to promote the work of a translator of Lithuanian literature and his or her contribution to international cultural exchange, to the dissemination of Lithuanian national culture abroad and to the formation of an attractive image of the Lithuanian state.
The St. Jerome Award in both categories is announced on September the 30th, the International Translation Day, also called the St. Jerome’s Day. The awarding ceremony is followed by a concert of famous Lithuanian musicians and a reception.
- Dominykas Urbas Prize for young translators (not older than 35). The prize is given for the best first or second translation into Lithuanian of a book-length literary work. The winner is awarded April 28, the birthday of the outstanding translator, editor and linguist Dominykas Urbas (1908-1996).
- The Companion Prize is awarded to a person or an organization for special merits in regard to literary translation and translator’s profession during the previous year. Thus, it can be awarded to a critic, a journalist, an educator, a librarian or a library, a linguist, a publisher, etc. The aim of the prize is to appreciate the winner’s work and contribution to the art of literary translation, to its popularization and dissemination. The winner is announced at the Vilnius Book Fair. The winner is presented with a diploma and a miniature sculpture made by the famous Lithuanian artist Arvydas Ališanka.
- In 2008 LLVS jointly with the publishing house “Vaga” established an award for an editor of fictional and humanities literature for lifetime achievement: professional editing, education of translators and editors. The purpose of the award is to honour editors by appreciating their merits in accompanying a work of literature on its way from an author and a translator up to a published book. The publishing house “Vaga” annually presents the winner with a miniature sculpture called The Golden Magnifying Glass, symbolizing the diligent work of an editor. The winner is awarded on the 28th of April.
- With the aim of drawing publishers’ and readers’ attention to translation quality and translators’ work, and of defending the prestige of literary translators, in 2007, the LLVS conferred, for the first time, an Anti-Prize for negligent attitude towards translators’ work and disregard for traditions of fine publishing during the last three years: for poor translations (distortion of the original, inferior Lithuanian language, blind imitation of another translation of the work in question), for an infringement of copyright (failing to mention translator’s name, issuing new editions without a contract, etc.), for deficient editing. Thus, the “Anti-Winners” can be publishers or media representatives who show no regard for translators’ work or for literature on the whole, as well as those second-rate translators who have no adequate knowledge of the language of the original and of Lithuanian, or ignorant editors. The winners of the Anti-Prize were announced at the Vilnius Book Fair in February 2007 and 2008, and the whole project drew much positive attention from the general public and the media.
Promotes the criticism of translations.
- The LLVS encourages critics and reviewers to write criticism about translated books, especially regarding the performance of the translator. Since the cultural press can not pay enough for solid articles, the LLVS is paying additional rewards. The second part of this project is compiling a database of the articles on translation and storing of the texts on the website of the LLVS. We also encourage interviews with experienced translators and editors. These interviews are published in the press and on our homepage. Twice a year we organize workshops for translated book reviewers “How to write a review about a translated book”. Every participant has to write a review about a book of his/her choice and send it to the workshop leaders and other participants 3 days before the workshop. They can use the reviewer’s guidelines for translated books permanently published on the website of the LLVS. During the workshop the leader (experienced literary critic, translator) discuss the articles, advise how to improve the form and content of the review. Afterwards, the LLVS helps to publish their articles in Lithuanian cultural press and even pays a fee for it. Every workshop is a great success. We found new talents (mostly students of philology with /almost/ no publication experience), who can write about translation now.
- Organizes meetings with translators and book presentations in public libraries of various Lithuanian towns (18 events in 2009, 16 in 2010);
- Organizes translators’ discussions, workshops, and conferences aimed at solving problems of translating practice, increasing skills of translators (on such topics as translation of drama works, literature for children and youth, translation of wordplay, translation of swear-words, translation problems of the titles of literary works, creation of neologisms in the Lithuanian language, second (or third) translation of the same literary work etc.);
- Organizes workshops and courses for the training of novice translators. Since 2006 every autumn the LLVS has organized master classes for novice translators from English, German and French. Many experienced translators run the workshops for 2,5 months, once a week (in total 10 workshops).
- Organizes a competition "Noriu versti" ("I want to be a translator"). Every autumn Lithuanian Association of Literary Translators (LLVS) invites anybody, who has not yet translated a single book, to try one’s hand at a competition of literary translation. The aim of the competition is to give an opportunity to translate a very short text to those who dream of becoming translators or to those who imagine that translation is a very simple thing if you just know a foreign language. They all are evaluated and are able to evaluate translations of others. Everybody can choose the text in the language they know and, having translated, to send it by e-mail. The participants are offered to choose texts in more than 20 languages. After the deadline the translations, along with the original, are on display on our website www.llvs.lt for two weeks and everybody can discuss, evaluate and pick out the best translation. The names of the translators are not made public; the translations are marked by numbers. The translations are also evaluated by experienced translators. The authors of the best translations are given a prize.
Nominations for the Best Translated Book of the Year:
- Every year the Lithuanian Association of Literary Translators selects the Best Translated Books of the Year. The experts of the Association – translators, literary critics, literary researchers – select what they consider the best contemporary books of world literature published for the first time in Lithuanian in the previous year. The selection is made from bibliographical lists provided by the National Library. Translators, publishers, and specialists of literature are invited to submit their proposals. Into consideration are taken books of adult fiction, playwriting, poetry, and literary essays, first published abroad no earlier than 30 years ago. The main criterion is the literary value of the original work. It is also important that the translation should be of good quality. The aim of the project is to help readers, libraries and bookshops pay attention to significant works of world literature, and to encourage reading. At the same time, the profession of literary translator is enhanced. The shortlist is presented at a special event at the Vilnius Book Fair in February and the information is distributed to the media. The Association invites the public to read the books and to vote for their favourite book on the list. The results of the vote are announced on April 23 – World Book and Copyright Day. In addition, the Lithuanian Association of Literary Translators makes a list of classic literature and other significant, translated books which first appeared in Lithuanian last year (those which were first published in the original earlier than 30 years ago). There is no voting for these books, as they have already stood the test of time. The list can be found on the website of the Association, together with a list of other excellent books which did not make it onto the shortlist.
Includes translators of Lithuanian literature in its activities:
- The LLVS organized the first workshop for translators from German to Lithuanian and from Lithuanian to German, providing the opportunity for 12 colleagues (6 from Lithuania and 6 from Germany, Austria and Switzerland) to present and discuss translations they were working on. The workshop ran for three days 24 - 28 May 2007 at the Thomas Mann Cultural Centre in Nida (on the Curonian Spit). The second German-Lithuanian workshop in Nida was organized in May 2009. The third workshop followed in October 2010 in Vilnius.
Project “Vilnius academy of literature: Acquaintances and connections” in 2009:
- The information centre on the Lithuanian literature “Books from Lithuania” and the Lithuanian Association of Literary Translators organized this project in the context of “Vilnius – European Capital of Culture 2009”. The project consisted of two parts:
- Residences (in the course of May-July 2009): six young writers (up to 35 years old) from Austria, Belgium, Italy, Latvia, Poland and United Kingdom were invited for a 2 weeks residence in Vilnius to become acquainted with the city and the Lithuanian literary scene. Each of them was expected to write a short literary text, in some way referring to Vilnius.
- Translators’ workshops (in September 2009): 6 bilingual workshops for young translators from German, French, Italian, Latvian, Polish and English into Lithuanian and vice versa. In each workshop participated 3 translators from a foreign language into Lithuanian and 3 translators from Lithuanian into respective language, also 2 experts: one from abroad and one Lithuanian. Duration of the workshop – 3 days. The Lithuanian translators translated the texts on Vilnius written by the young writers, the foreign translators translated the texts on Vilnius written by a Lithuanian writer.
The project resulted in the publication of the texts in an anthology and the presentation of the translations to the Vilnius audience.
Partners: European Council of Associations of Literary Translators (CEATL) (Ros Schwartz); Collège Européen des Traducteurs Littéraires de Seneffe (Belgium) (Françoise Wuilmart); Übersetzergemeinschaft (Austria) and others.
- In December 2007 we have started a survey on the homepage of the LLVS. Translators were asked to answer anonymously questions as follows: What was your remuneration per page (2000 keystrokes, taxes included) in 2007? What schedule of payment has been agreed upon with the publisher in 2007? Do you always look through your translation after it has been edited [corrected]? Where you satisfied with editor’s job [corrections] on your last translation? Why have you become literary translator? Have you been to the country whose literature you translate? Have you ever refused a translation offer? Have you ever visited a translators’ centre abroad? Etc. The results are accessible to everyone on the homepage www.llvs.lt anytime.
- A member can be a professional translator from the Republic of Lithuania or abroad who translates works of literature or humanities, and who has had published no fewer than two translated books, or two plays which have been produced by theatre companies, or published no fewer than six substantial translations of poetry (in periodicals, etc.). An Associate Member can be a novice translator who has translated and published one book, or one play which has been staged, or significant translations in periodicals.
Phone: +370 698 18116
Address: Šv. Ignoto g. 5-264, LT-01120 Vilnius, Lithuania
Bank: Swedbank AB - SWIFT: HABALT22 - Account no. LT697300010086605167