What goes into the judging of translated literary works? Issues about the work’s merit in its original language and the judges' knowledge of the source language inevitably arise. Dive into this conundrum with the speakers as they discuss how the merit of translated works is decided and how to ensure the fairness of the judging process.
Judging Translated Literary Works
About Speakers and Moderator
[Moderator] Christina Ng
Christina Ng is a Singaporean writer, journalist and translator based in Berlin. Her Chinese to English translations include poetry by Singaporean poets 梁文福 (Liang Wern Fook), 郑景祥 (Ting Kheng Siong), 淡莹 (Dan Ying) and Chinese poet Hua Qing. Her translation of 梁文福 (Liang Wern Fook)'s short story collection Joy of Being a Left-hander (tentative title) is forthcoming early next year from Balestier Press. She writes about travel, arts and culture in both English and Chinese.
Ann Morgan is an author, Royal Literary Fund advisory fellow and editor based in Folkestone, UK. In 2012, she set herself the challenge of reading a book from every country in a year, recording her quest at ayearofreadingtheworld.com. This led to her non-fiction book Reading the World: How I Read a Book from Every Country. Ann continues to blog, write and speak about international literature, as well as building a career as a novelist. Her debut novel is the international bestseller Beside Myself. Her second is Crossing Over.
Elnathan John is a Nigerian lawyer, novelist, voice actor and satirist. His short stories have been shortlisted twice for the Caine Prize for African Writing. His novel, Born on a Tuesday won a Betty Trask Award and was shortlisted for the Nigeria Prize for Literature. It has been translated into German and French. His graphic novel On Ajayi Crowther Street was also published 2019 and translated into German in 2022 by Avant Verlag under the title Lagos: Leben in Suburbia. Elnathan was on the jury of the 2019 Man Booker International Prize. He lives in Berlin.
Photo credit: Ali Ghandtschi
Khademul Islam is a writer, translator and editor based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He was the literary editor of two dailies (Dhaka Tribune and Daily Star), where he encouraged English translations in Bangladesh. He is the Director of publishing house Bengal Lights Books, a board member of Dhaka Translation Centre, and the editor of the literary journal Bengal Lights. He has published two books of English translations of Bengali short fiction and poems. His short stories have been included in anthologies, and he is a frequent contributor to national and international publications.
Photo credit: Shahidul Alam
Shash Trevett is a poet and a translator of Tamil poetry into English. Her poetry has appeared in journals and anthologies (including POETRY, Poetry London and The North). She has co-edited Out of Sri Lanka: Tamil, Sinhala and English Poetry from Sri Lanka and its Diasporas (Bloodaxe 2023). Shash has been on judging panels for the PEN Translates awards and the London Book Fair, and was a Visible Communities Translator in Residence at the National Centre for Writing. Shash is a Ledbury Critic and is a Board Member of Modern Poetry in Translation.