DELT roundtable and networking reception, Vancouver 4 June 2019

As part of this year’s AASSC conference (at Congress 2019), DELT will be represented in a public panel/roundtable

Chairs on Chairs: A Guide to Scandinavian Literary Translators’ Networks

The Swedish-English Literary Translators’ Association (SELTA) was founded in the UK 1982 and has since served the interests of its members – practising, professional literary translators – as well as promoting Swedish-language literature to the English-speaking world through its house journal Swedish Book Review. Swedish Translators in North America (STiNA) was established in 2004 to represent the interests of literary translators of Swedish working in the USA and Canada. The Association of Danish-English Literary Translators (DELT) is the new kid on the (Scandinavian literary translation) block, having been first established as a network in 2014 before forming a full association in 2018.

The three organisations come from different backgrounds, but all fulfil important roles in representing Scandinavian literary culture abroad. Ian Giles (SELTA), Ellen Kythor (DELT), and Paul Norlen (STiNA) will be discussing the role and purposes of translator networks in the Scandinavian-English context, as well as what the future may hold.

The panel/roundtable discussion will be followed immediately by a networking reception.

Translators, students of translation, DELT members, AASSC conference delegates, and anyone interested in literary translation from Danish (and other Scandinavian languages) – all welcome! 

VENUE: University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. (venue: CHOI 120 then CHOI Atrium)

TIME/DATE: Tuesday 4 June 2019, 4.30pm-5.30pm (public panel/roundtable), 5.30pm onwards (reception. venue: CHOI Atrium)

Please email the DELT Chair if you would like more information in advance.

DELT’s participation in this event has been kindly supported by the Danish Arts Foundation.

Report from 1st AGM, Copenhagen, October 2018

On 26th October 2018, DELT held its first Annual General Meeting (AGM) followed by a panel discussion and informal dinner at Dansk Forfatterforening‘s beautiful baroque premises in Christianshavn, Copenhagen.

At the meeting, the Constitution was ratified and signed by the formally elected first Committee. We thank Gyldendal for contributing bubbly for toasting the official founding of DELT.

DELT committee
DELT’s First Committee (left to right): Sinéad Quirke Køngerskov (co-Secretary), Lin Falk van Rooyen (Events), Paul Russell Garrett (Treasurer), John Mason (co-Secretary), Ellen Kythor (Chair)

The AGM covered finances, strategy, events, and future potential projects including a proposal for an independent DELT publication. (Members can read the full AGM Minutes in the website’s Members’ Area.)

Following the formal AGM and a quick break for coffee (during which members enjoyed Sinéad’s delicious vegan Guinness cake!), a panel discussion on the topic ‘No Translator is an Island’ was opened by DELT events coordinator Lin Falk van Rooyen, prefaced with a round of introductions from all attendees, including a brief mention of members’ current translation projects.

Ably moderated by Lin, established literary translators and DELT members, Martin Aitken and Misha Hoekstra, shared their (rather different!) day-to-day working practices with the audience, including insights into the ways in which professional relationships with colleagues, authors, and publishers have been maintained from their respective ‘lonely’ desks in Denmark. Following Misha and Martin’s lively exchange the discussion was opened to the floor for questions.

Dinner in the same venue was informal and convivial, enabling members to network and lively discussion continued including topics arising from the meeting and panel. Attendees enjoyed Govinda’s tasty vegan buffet, arranged by Sinéad and Paul. A die-hard group pitched in with the dishes and and clearing up afterwards that provided ample opportunity for laughter and building friendships!

Ellen Kythor welcomes attendees to the AGM
  • report by Ellen Kythor (DELT Chair) and Lin Falk van Rooyen (DELT events coordinator)

21 DELT members attended. Meeting attendees (alphabetical by first name): Anna Halager, Annette David, Ellen Kythor, Fiona Harris, Ian Giles, John Mason, Katrine Øgaard Jensen, Larry Morlan, Lin Falk van Rooyen, Martin Aitken, Michael Goldman, Misha Hoekstra, Nina Sokol, Paul Larkin, Paul Russell Garrett, Phillip Sheils, Sherilyn Hellberg, Sinéad Quirke Køngerskov, Solvej Todd, Tam McTurk, and Thom Satterlee.

Photo credits: Lin Falk van Rooyen, Paul Russell Garrett, Ian Giles, Ellen Kythor, Sinéad Quirke Køngerskov

We are grateful for assistance from the Danish Arts Foundation’s Networking Fund (pulje for oversætternetværk) to host this event.

AGM and Dinner, 26 October 2018

We are thrilled that so many DELT members have responded to confirm their attendance at our first AGM, to be held in Copenhagen on the afternoon of Friday 26th October 2018. The AGM part of the meeting will be followed by an engaging and informative panel discussion on the topic ‘No Translator is an Island’, after which we will enjoy a convivial, informal dinner and a toast to DELT’s future.


  • Welcome

  • AGM (Agenda below)

  • Coffee

  • Panel/Speakers (Outline below)

  • Dinner

AGM Agenda

1. Statement of the purpose of the Founding AGM and on the formation of DELT

2. Election of a member to chair the meeting and another to write the minutes

3. Motion to declare and adopt DELT’s Constitution

4. Motion to elect DELT’s Founding Committee as DELT’s First Committee

5. Founding Chair’s report

6. Founding Treasurer’s report

7. DELT’s current projects:

  • publication ideas

  • strategy ideas

  • future events

  • mentorship/skills/CPD

8. AOB

Panel Discussion

Topic: ‘No Translator is an Island’

Panellists: Martin Aitken and Misha Hoekstra

Moderator: Lin Falk van Rooyen, DELT Committee

Martin Aitken and Misha Hoekstra have translated an impressive list of prize-winning books by internationally acclaimed Danish authors including Peter Høeg, Dorthe Nors, Helle Helle, Ida Jessen and Kim Leine. Their translations have appeared with renowned anglophone publishers like Archipelago and Graywolf Press in the United States and Pushkin Press and Vintage in the United Kingdom. Misha is a professional musician and Martin holds a PhD in linguistics; both highly respected translators now live in Denmark yet came to our profession from such different angles on opposite sides of the Atlantic. Drawing on their vast and varied experience in translation, we will discuss the multi-faceted challenges involved in the business of literary translation, which – perhaps paradoxically – is essentially practised alone.

The questions that the panellists will be discussing include:

– What challenges does the solo translator face in the day-to-day business of translation?

– How can we tackle the loneliness our profession?

– How can we approach the challenge of networking and creating and maintaining independent contacts with publishers on the UK/US market?

DELT members can contribute with questions they would like the panel to address on this topic via the DELT Facebook Group.

Dinner and wine to toast will conclude the afternoon/evening’s events.

First AGM – save the date

We are excited to announce that planning for DELT’s first AGM is underway. A talk/discussion panel and a social dinner will be held following the AGM in celebration of our first year.

The Founding AGM of the Association for Danish-English Literary Translators (DELT) will take place on Friday 26 October 2018, 3pm (AGM followed by guest speaker/s and dinner) in central Copenhagen. Dinner will be subsidised (other expenses for attendees unfortunately cannot be covered on this occasion).

RSVP to confirm your attendance and for venue details by Thursday 20 September 2018 (please advise of any dietary requirements):

Agenda and full programme to follow.

Report from DELT Launch and Translation Slam, London, 12 April 2018

On 12 April 2018 the Association of Danish to English Literary Translators (DELT) was formally launched at the Danish Embassy in London. DELT founding Chair Ellen Kythor presented the new DELT Constitution (PDF) written by the new founding committee. Listen to Ellen’s five-minute introduction to the meeting – which includes a brief history of DELT – here:


Our guest speaker, translator Rosalind Harvey, shared her experience of the launch and operation of the Emerging Translators Network (ETN).

A group of 16 enthusiastic literary translators took part in our first ever Danish Translation Slam!

The slam was organized as a mini-workshop wherein three groups compared their individually prepared draft translations of Janne Teller’s KOM, Maren Uthaug’s HVOR DER ER FUGLE and Jonas T. Bengtsson’s SUS with the aim of creating a collaborative translation excerpt of these works. The resulting translation excerpts can be downloaded and read here (PDF). Much fun was had by all and we look forward to arranging similar events in the future and seeing you all there!

  • by Lin Falk van Rooyen (translator and DELT committee member)

Meeting attendees (alphabetical by first name): Anna Halager, Bruce Thomson, David Young, Ellen Kythor, Fiona Harris, Hans Christian Andersen, Ian Giles, John Mason, Larry Morlan, Lin Falk van Rooyen, Liz Stephens, Misha Hoekstra, Paul Larkin, Paul Russell Garrett, Peter Sean Woltemade, Philip Curry, Solvej Todd.

Photos credits: Ian Giles and Paul Russell Garrett

Many thanks to the Danish Embassy in London for hosting. Click here for the Danish Embassy’s Facebook post about our meeting.

DELT Meeting, April 2018, London

We are pleased to invite you to the launch of the Association of Danish-English Literary Translators (DELT) that will coincide with the Book Fair in London in April.

Date/Time: Thursday, 12 April 2018, 9:30 – 12:30

Place: The Danish Embassy, 55 Sloane Street, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 9SR

At the meeting our current chair, Ellen Kythor, will present an overview of DELT activities. This will be followed by a discussion of the future aims and ambitions of the organisation, an address by our guest speaker, Rosalind Harvey (Topic: ‘But isn’t it all just subjective?’) and an opportunity to network, which will be initiated by an informal translation slam: we have selected short extracts (ca 200 – 300 words) from three wonderful contemporary Danish novels (Maren Uthaug’s Hvor der er fugle, Jonas T. Bengstsson’s Sus and Janne Teller’s Kom) and attendees will be invited to prepare a draft translation of one of these extracts in advance of the meeting.

DELT will be applying for funding to cover attendees’ travel and accommodation expenses. Information on how to RSVP has been emailed to DELT members and posted on the Google+ Community – if you would like to attend but have not received these details, please contact us via email at

DENT meeting, March 2017, London

DENT meeting for Danish-English literary translators: ‘TRANSLATOR AS AGENT’

Wednesday 15th March 2017, 09.30 – 11.30

Danish Embassy in London, 55 Sloane Street, London SW1X 9SR

The theme ‘translator as agent’ will be addressed by guest speakers with publishing industry experience. The meeting will also be a networking opportunity and a chance to discuss the future of DENT. Agenda and speakers to be confirmed – information will follow on the Google+ Community.

MEETING OPEN TO ALL Danish-English literary translators. The meeting coincides with London Book Fair.

Please RSVP by 8 February to Ellen Kythor:


DENT meeting, November 2016, Copenhagen

Danish-English Network of literary Translators (DENT) meeting to coincide with Bogforum 2016 – all welcome

A meeting for Danish to English literary translators, emerging and established. Any interested translators can attend. A meeting to plan for DENT, talk about BogForum, and network with other translators.

DATE/TIME: Friday 11 November 2016, 9.00-11.30am

VENUE: Slots- og Kulturstyrelsen, H.C. Andersens Boulevard 2., København V

Morning refreshments provided (coffee, tea, croissants)

Please RSVP via the Google+ event (visible to DENT Google+ Community members) or directly to Ellen Kythor (

The Helmer Project 13-14 November 2014

‘Henrik Ibsen died in 1906, taking the answer of what happened to Nora with him to the grave. Nora was gone once and for all, the author was dead, and from this point, we were left to imagine what became of Nora after she walked out, and many have imagined just this. For Nora’s action was as exotic then as it is now, not to say immoral.
But what about Helmer? Did he just sit in a corner feeling ashamed for the next hundred years or did he become a happier, wilder and greedier man after Nora left – and did he, in reality, end up being a free man rather than a forsaken one?
Helmer Hardcore is the modern-day story of how Helmer went amok once the door had shut behind Nora.’

Jakob Weis, 2007

After discovering Helmer Hardcore in 2012 while translating A Doll’s House for [Foreign Affairs], an international theatre company based in London, I tracked down a copy of the play and contacted the author, Jakob Weis. With his permission, I began translating the play during my BCLT mentorship with Barbara Haveland, who at the time was working on translating the new Penguin Ibsen series. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect as her expertise and passion for Ibsen proved to be a wonderful asset. Ibsen’s influence on Weis quickly became obvious, evidenced not only by the subtle touches scattered throughout the play, but also by the echoes of Ibsen’s voice found in the language, rhythm and structure of this modern-day sequel to A Doll’s House.

Jakob Weis is a highly productive writer in Denmark, having produced over thirty works since his debut in 1992. He has twice been awarded the coveted Reumert Prize for Best Danish Dramatist, winning in 2007 and 2011, and has also taken home a number of Reumerts for Best Manuscript over the years, including for Helmer Hardcore. Few Danish dramatists get the opportunity to see their work performed in the UK and this event will be an important step towards that goal, with The Helmer Project scheduled for production in the spring of 2015, a project which will see [Foreign Affairs] performing A Doll’s House and Helmer Hardcore in repertory in London. More details on the November event and the upcoming production can be found at

As part of 5 Days of [Foreign Affairs], a festival of theatre in the heart of London, 13 – 14 November are dedicated to Helmer Hardcore, featuring a rehearsed reading of the play, a live trailer for The Helmer Project, followed by talks with the author, translator and an impressive group of speakers. Special thanks to Danske Dramatikere for supporting the translation of Helmer Hardcore and to the Danish Arts Foundation for supporting Jakob Weis’ trip to London for the purpose of this event.