Katja Šaponjić wins French Institute translation prize for comics

Ljubljana – The French Institute in Slovenia has presented its Charles Nodier Award to Katja Šaponjić for her translations of graphic novels and comic strips from French.

The award, recognising best translation of a French book into Slovenian, was first presented in 2018. This time it celebrates the year of comics.

The judging panel recognised Šaponjić’s entire body of work in translating comics between 2015 and 2020, but it in particular noted her translation of Pénélope Bagieu’s graphic novel Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World and Catharsis by Renald Luzier Luz, a Charlie Hebdo staffer.

The panel also noted the winner’s translations of Marc-Antoine Mathieu’s Otto, l’homme réécrit and of Manu Larcenet’s Le Rapport de Brodeca and her participation in translation of the comics series Ariol by Emmanuel Guibert and Marc Boutavant.

The panel praised Šaponjić for her mastery of the finest details of both French and Slovenian, her sovereignty in shifting between registers, and her application of translation strategies in a variety of genres catering to different groups of readers.

“The translator’s broadness of knowledge and skills, competence and linguistic virtuosity are exceptional,” the panel said as quoted in a release posted on the website of the French Institute.

The award entails a one-month residency at the College International des Traducteurs Littéraires in Arles, along with a compensation for travel costs and a bursary during the stay.

The ward 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.