A Summer of Virtual Activities

As lockdown and social distancing measures were suddenly put in place all over the world owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, so DELT’s plans for 2020 suddenly shifted. It soon became apparent that keeping in touch virtually would be the year’s key focus. Twice in May, members were invited to a ‘social’ Zoom meet-up in order to test the technology and gauge interest.

Following up on suggestions from those sessions, on 26 June 2020 DELT hosted a virtual sharing session on the topic Submitting to Magazines, Competitions and Grants. Committee member Lin Falk von Rooyen guided a conversation between a trio of award-winning Danish translators: Misha Hoekstra, Kyle Semmel and Katrina Øgaard Jensen. Lin has kindly put together a report on the top tips and links from this session, which members can read in the Members’ Area.

On 20 July 2020, perfectly timed to coincide with the first ever Danish workshop at the BCLT (British Centre for Literary Translation) Summer School, DELT hosted a Zoom session entitled In Conversation with Christina Hesselholdt.

Photo of Christina Hesselholdt by Robin Skjoldborg

On this occasion, Paul Russell Garrett (DELT Chair) took the reins, which started with readings in Danish by the author and in English by the BCLT Summer School participants. The panel was then joined by Christina’s publisher, Jacques Testard, and agent, Laurence Laluyaux, who had a wide-ranging discussion on the various stages of publishing a Danish book in the UK. Attendees had an opportunity to ask questions to the panel directly, moderated by DELT founder, Ellen Kythor. Many questions centred around breaking into the industry as a translator and promoting Danish authors abroad. The session was attended by around 35 invitees.

From 20-25 July 2020, ten Danish translators, including six DELT members, took part in the first ever virtual summer school at BCLT, increasing the possibility for participants from around the world to join. The group consisted of participants from the UK, Ireland, Belgium and Denmark, as well as one early riser dialling in from the east coast of America. Led by DELT Chair Paul Russell Garrett, and with the author Christine Hesselholdt ‘in the room’ to respond to any queries, the ten participants set about translating an article that was commissioned by Information, one of a series of articles focussing on Danish nature. The programme consisted of about thirteen hours of translation sessions, which included translation exercises and professional development advice, as well as talks, socials and plenaries with the entire summer school group. The week culminated in a reading of the translated text, however it seemed the group wasn’t content to end it there, and decided to continue meeting after the summer school to translate a second article by the author. They hope to be able to publish their translations and share some of their experiences from a remarkably social summer school, experienced from the comfort of their own homes.

A few of the BCLT Danish participants hard at work …

DELT In Conversation with Christina Hesselholdt

Photo by Robin Skjoldborg

Founder and editor of Fitzcarraldo Editions, Jacques Testard, literary agent, Laurence Laluyaux, and translator Paul Russell Garrett will join Christina Hesselholdt in discussing the publication of Danish literature in translation. Please contact DELT if you would like to participate in this private event for translators of Danish literature into English.

Training and Mentorship Opportunities

These are strange times we’re living in, but all is not lost! Our new virtual reality means there are opportunities to hone your translation craft wherever you call home!

Danish Arts Foundation funding for the BCLT (British Centre for Literary Translation) Summer School has been pushed back to 2021. Fortunately, BCLT has stepped in to support the Danish programme in 2020, meaning there will be two consecutive summers of Danish translation workshops with BCLT! The deadline for applications is Monday 18 May. Christina Hesselholdt will be joining the workshop sessions, and is hoping to have some new writing for us! More info here.

Foreign Affairs theatre company is now accepting applications for the fourth edition of their Theatre Translator Mentorship programme for translators wanting to translate for the stage. Extended deadline: Thursday 4 June, 17:00. Find all the details here.

And another exciting opportunity for Danish translators will be announced in the coming months, stay tuned for the official news!

Virtual DELT meetings 2020

On 1 May 2020, DELT members successfully had a first go at meeting via video online! While DELT committee meetings between its 5 committee members usually take place on Skype, this members’ meeting used Zoom. Members were invited to BYO wine, beer or hyldeblomst! 9 people participated and the vibe was convivial with the aim of being a pick-me-up for socially isolated translators. To start off, everyone took it in turns with a short ‘show and tell’ on something relating to Danish and/or translation (almost exclusively book-related in the end!), before most participants tried out the picture guessing game skribbl.io (using Danish words, of course).

scribbl screenshot
skribbl game screenshot

Following this first ‘trial run’, we are keen to organise another virtual get-together very soon! We will act on feedback – the next meeting will be publicised more prominently to DELT members via a Facebook event and email.