Interview with Olha Seniuk

June 2, 2009

In The Day, an interview with Ukrainian literary translator Olha Seniuk. Some of the issues seem to be shared between the American and Ukrainian publishing industries:

We know that you are trying to share your professional experience with young translators and that you taught at a school for translators in Yaremcha. 

“Sharing this experience is easier said than done. Sometimes I think that there is no continuity left in the realm of literary translation here. The impression is that the younger generation has categorically discarded everything previously achieved in Ukrainian literature and that these young people are starting from scratch.

“Furthermore, if there were market demand for literary translations in Ukraine, you could make demands on young translators. Literary translations are adequately appreciated [sic?!], so they have nearly dropped to an amateurish level. Besides, our publishing companies keep economizing and no longer hire style editors, so translations are publishes with a multitude of mistakes.”

People talk about a surge of interest in translation and I get all giddy and optimistic, but my inborn cynicism responds to statements like Seniuk’s. Here’s hoping the giddy optimisim is right on this one!



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