The Slovenia Times

Janina Kos picks up French Institute translation prize

Slovenian translation of L'Anomalie by Herve Le Tellier.
Photo: STA

The French Institute in Slovenia has presented its Charles Nodier Award to Janina Kos for her translation into Slovenian of The Anomaly by Herve Le Tellier. The winner was announced by the French Ambassador Florence Levy at a ceremony in Ljubljana's Cankarjev Dom on 21 April.

The judging panel said that the translation is faithful in style and content to the French original and simultaneously sturdy and precise in Slovenian.

Kos gave Slovenian readers a book that will amaze and confuse them just as the original text amazed and confused French readers, the judging panel said.

The Anomaly has brought the Goncourt prize and literary acclaim to Le Tellier. It is a turbulent novel, not only for its protagonists but also for translators, said Kos, adding that she was ready for some tough nuts to crack when translating.

In April 2021 Kos attended a one-week workshop in Arles, dedicated to translating The Anomaly. She was able to meet the author and discuss translation challenges with him and other translators from across Europe.

Her "translating journey" was far from over as "every sentence has to be weighed and thoroughly checked when translating such novels full of literary and other references," Kos said.

Janina Kos, who translates from French and Spanish, has already tackled works from authors like the Booker Prize winner David Diop and Goncourt laureate Jean-Paul Dubois.

The award is named after author Charles Nodier (1780-1844), who lived in Ljubljana during the Illyrian Provinces and whose name the institute carried for a while.


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