History of translation and translators — timeline

By Marie Lebert, 25 March 2020.

We use translated works all the time. But how about the translators themselves, and their influence on shaping languages and cultures? They were highly regarded alongside authors, scholars and scientists for two millennia, and they played a major role in society. They also had fascinating lives. Here is a timeline — with the help of Wikipedia.


[If you would like to read this timeline in another format (pdf, epub, kindle, daisy), it is also available in “Timeline”, the last chapter of the book History of translation and translators in the Community Texts of the Internet Archive.]


Please see also:
* A short history of translation and translators
* Some famous women translators of the past
* Dictionary of famous translators through the ages
* Translators in the 19th century


2nd century BCE > Terence, a Roman playwright, translated and adapted Greek comedies into Latin. He discussed the translator’s role as a bridge for “carrying across” values between cultures.

55 BCE > Cicero, a Roman statesman, orator, lawyer and philosopher, was a translator from Greek into Latin. In his dialogue “On the Orator” (“De Oratore”, 55 BCE), he cautioned against translating “word for word” (“verbum pro verbo”): “I did not think I ought to count them [the words] out to the reader like coins, but to pay them by weight, as it were.”

405 > Jerome, a Roman theologian and historian also known as St. Jerome, completed in 405 the translation of the Bible from the original Hebrew into Latin, a translation known as the “Vulgate”. In his “Letter to Pammachius” (396), Jerome stated that a translation should be “not word for word but sense for sense” (“non verbum e verbo sed sensum de sensu”). After stirring controversy, his “Vulgate” was widely adopted and became the most used Latin Bible in the 13th century. The Council of Trent named it the official Bible of the Roman Catholic Church in 1546.

425 > The Holy Translators — a group of Armenian scholars (Mesrop Mashtots, Isaac of Armenia, Movses Khorenatsi, Yeghishe and others) — completed in 425 the translation of the Bible from Greek and Syriac into Armenian. They also translated Greek and Syriac literature into Armenian, for example works by Athanasius of Alexandria, Cyril of Jerusalem, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa, John Chrysostom and Ephrem the Syrian. The Holy Translators’ Bible is still used today in the liturgy of the Armenian Church, and a Feast of the Holy Translators is celebrated each year in October.

735 > Bede, an English monk, writer and scholar, translated the Gospel of St. John into Old English during the last forty days of his life in 735, after producing many translations from Greek into Latin. Latin was still the main language in England. Bede is believed to have said: “All is finished” before dying. He made Greek works by the early Church Fathers more accessible to his fellow Anglo-Saxons, contributing significantly to the development of English Christianity.

840-873 > Hunayn ibn Ishaq, a Nestorian (Christian) physician and scientist, was the chief translator of the Graeco-Arabic Translation Movement in the House of Wisdom, a major intellectual center in Baghdad, from 840 to 873. Greek works of philosophy, mathematics, natural science and medicine were translated into Arabic, for them to be available to scholars throughout the Islamic world. Hunayn ibn Ishaq translated 116 works himself (Old Testament and many works by Plato, Aristotle, Galen of Pergamon and others) while supervising the work of other translators. Another major translator was Qusta ibn Luqa for works of astronomy and mechanics. A third major translator was Thābit ibn Qurra for works by Ptolemy, Archimedes and Euclides. All these translations brought Greek knowledge to the Arab civilisation.

880? > Alfred the Great, King of Wessex in England, started an ambitious programme circa 880 to translate from Latin into English the books he deemed “most necessary for all men to know”, while promoting primary education in English at a time when Latin was still the standard language. Alfred the Great translated several works into English himself, including Pope Gregory I’s “Pastoral Care”, philosopher Boethius’ “Consolation of Philosophy”, theologian Augustine’s “Soliloquies”, the Psalter’s first fifty psalms, and the Vulgate’s “Book of Exodus”. All these translations contributed to improve the English prose.

1040-90 > The Tanguts translated all Buddhist works from Chinese into the Tangut language and produced 3,700 fascicles in a collective effort over a span of fifty years (1040-90). Contemporary sources described the Emperor of the Tangut Empire and his mother personally contributing to the translation, alongside sages of various nationalities.

1125-1284? > The Toledo School of Translators was founded around 1125 as a meeting point for scholars from all over Europe. Many scholars settled in Toledo to translate all major scientific and medical works from Arabic and Greek into Latin (in the 12th century) and Castilian (in the 13th century), and made Arab and Greek knowledge available to their colleagues in Europe. Some translations were not based on the Greek originals but on their Arabic editions, which was common at that time. All these translations influenced the development of medieval science, astronomy and medicine in Europe, and were used to produce new works in modern languages.

1136-38 > Plato of Tivoli (also known as Plato Tiburtinus), an Italian mathematician and astronomer, produced two major translations from Arabic into Latin: Arab astrologer Albohali’s “Book of Birth” (1136) and (from its Arabic version) Greek astronomer and astrologer Ptolemy’s “Tetrabiblos” (1138), an authoritative work on the philosophy and practice of astrology.

1138 > Abraham bar Hiyya, a Jewish scientist and philosopher, translated Ptolemy’s “Tetrabiblos” from Arabic into Hebrew in 1138.

1138-43 > Herman of Carinthia, an Eastern European philosopher and scientist, translated Arab and Greek astronomical works into Latin, for example Sahl ibn Bishr’s “Liber sextus astronomie” (1138), Abu Ma’shar’s “Liber introductorius ad astronomiam” (1140), Euclid’s “Elements” (1140) (possibly with Robert of Ketton), and Ptolemy’s “Planisphaerium” and “Canon of Kings” (1143). His translations popularized Arab and Greek knowledge in Europe, and influenced the development of medieval European astronomy. Herman of Carinthia also translated religious texts on Islam from Arabic into Latin, including “De generatione Muhamet et nutritura eius” and “Doctrina Muhamet”, with the help of other translators. These translations were produced at the request of Peter the Venerable, abbot of the Benedictine Abbey of Cluny, France, during his visit in the Iberian Peninsula in 1142.

1140? > English philosopher Adelard of Bath translated Greek mathematician Euclid’s “Elements” — a treatise consisting of 13 books — from Arabic into Latin circa 1140. His translation was later used by Italian mathematician Campanus of Novara to produce one of the first printed mathematical books in 1482, that became the main textbook in European mathematical schools in the 16th century.

1140? > John of Seville, a baptised Jewish scholar, joined the Toledo School of Translators during its early days circa 1140, with Dominicus Gundissalinus and other scholars, and translated major Arab works of astrology, astronomy, philosophy and medicine from Arabic into Latin, for example Arab philosopher Qusta ibn Luqa’s “De differentia spiritus et animae”, and several works by astronomer Al-Farghani and by astrologers Abu Ma’shar al-Balkhi and Albohali. John of Seville also translated (from its Arabic version) “Secretum secretorum”, a letter written by Greek philosopher Aristotle to his student Alexander the Great.

1143 > Robert of Ketton, an English theologian and astronomer, translated “Lex Mahumet pseudoprophete”, the first known translation of the Quran from Arabic into Latin in 1143, with the help of Herman of Carinthia and other translators. The translation was produced at the request of Peter the Venerable, abbot of the Benedictine Abbey of Cluny, France, during his visit in the Iberian Peninsula in 1142, and remained the standard Latin edition of the Quran until the 18th century.

1160? > Spanish philosopher Dominicus Gundissalinus translated Persian philosopher Avicenna’s “Liber de philosophia prima” and “De anima” from Arabic into Latin circa 1160, contributing to the spread of Avicenna’s doctrines in the 13th century.

1175 > Italian scholar Gerard of Cremona translated Greek astronomer Ptolemy’s “Almagest” — a treatise on the apparent motions of the stars and planetary paths — from Arabic into Latin in 1175, after travelling to Toledo to read the Arabic version. After joining the Toledo School of Translators, he translated 87 major works from Arabic and Greek into Latin throughout his life — works originally written in Arabic (by al-Khwarizmi and Jabir ibn Aflah), Greek editions of Arabic works (by Alfraganus) and works originally written in Greek (by Archimedes, Euclid and Aristotle).

1220? > Samuel ibn Tibbon, a Jewish philosopher and physician, translated Jewish philosopher Maimonides’ “The Guide for the Perplexed” from its Arabic original version into Hebrew circa 1220. Maimonides himself sent instructions for the translation, and praised the translator’s ability and knowledge. Samuel ibn Tibbon also translated other works by Maimonides, as well as works by Muslim philosopher Averroes and by Greek philosopher Aristotle.

1225? > Michael Scot, a Scottish mathematician and scholar, supervised — along with Hermannus Alemannus — the translation of Greek philosopher Aristotle’s works from Arabic into Latin at the request of King of Sicily Frederick II. Scot translated himself three works (“Historia animalium”, “De anima” and “De coelo”) circa 1125, as well as Muslim philosopher Averroes’ commentaries on these works.

1267? > William of Moerbeke, a Flemish Dominican, translated Aristotle’s works directly from the Byzantine Greek manuscripts (that were lost later on) into Latin, at the request of philosopher Thomas Aquinas. Until then, most Latin translations of Aristotle’s works were based on Syriac or Arabic editions. William of Moerbeke translated “De anima”, “Rhetoric” (as a new Latin translation) and “Politics” (available in Latin for the first time) circa 1267. These literal translations (“de verbo en verbo”), faithful to Aristotle’s spirit, became standard classics, and are still respected by modern scholars.

1382-84 > John Wycliffe, an English philosopher and theologian, directed in 1382-84 the first English edition of the Bible translated from English into Latin, based on the Latin “Vulgate” and named “Wycliffe’s Bible”. Wycliffe probably translated himself the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and may be the entire New Testament, while his friend Nicholas of Hereford translated the Old Testament. The translation contributed to improve the still underdeveloped English prose of that time. After Wycliffe’s death, the “Wycliffe’s Bible” was revised in 1388 by Wycliffe’s assistant John Purvey. A second revised edition followed in 1395. To this day there are still 150 complete or partial manuscripts of the “Wycliffe’s Bible” in its revised form.

1385? > Geoffrey Chaucer, an English poet and philosopher famous for his “Canterbury Tales”, translated Roman philosopher Boethius’ “Consolation of Philosophy” from Latin into English, and French poet Guillaume de Lorris’ “The Romance of the Rose” (“Le Roman de la rose”) from French into English circa 1385. Chaucer also produced loose translations and adaptations of some works, for example works by Italian poet Giovanni Boccaccio that became the base for Chaucer’s own “Knight’s Tale” and “Troilus and Criseyde”. As a genius translator and adapter, Chaucer founded an English poetic tradition based on translations and adaptations of Latin and French literary works, and promoted the literary use of Middle English at a time when the dominant literary languages in England were still Latin and French.

1440? > After the founding of the Platonic Academic, Italian scholar Marsilio Ficino translated or supervised the translation from Greek or Arabic into Latin of all Plato’s works, Plotinus’ “Enneads”, and other Neoplatonist works circa 1440. Ficino’s work — and Erasmus’ Latin edition of the New Testament — led to a new attitude to translation. For the first time, readers demanded rigour in rendering the exact words of Plato and Jesus (and Aristotle and others) as the ground for their philosophical or religious beliefs.

1471-85 > William Caxton, an English merchant and printer, translated into English the “Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye”, a French courtly romance written in 1464 by Raoul Lefèvre, chaplain to Philip III, duke of Burgundy. Caxton’s translation was completed in 1471 and printed in Bruges, Belgium, in 1473. The English edition became a best-seller in the Burgundian court. In the wake of this success, Caxton set up a printing press in 1476 in the almonry of Westminster Abbey, to print English poet Geoffrey Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales” and his own translation of the “Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye”. Caxton translated other works, for example Italian chronicler Jacobus da Varagine’s “Golden Legend” (printed in 1483, 1487 and 1493), French nobleman Geoffroy IV de la Tour Landry’s “The Book of the Knight in the Tower” (printed in 1484), Greek fabulist Aesop’s “Fables” (printed in 1484), Roman poet Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” (printed in 1484), and English author Thomas Malory’s “Le Morte d’Arthur” (printed in 1485). Caxton’s translations helped standardise the regional English dialects into a “London dialect” that became the standard English language.

1485 > English author Thomas Malory produced in 1485 “Le Morte d’Arthur”, a free translation and adaptation of Arthurian romances, with legendary King Arthur and his literary companions Guinevere, Lancelot, Merlin and the Knights of the Round Table. Malory adapted existing French and English stories while adding original material, for example the “Gareth” story as one of the stories of the Knights of the Round Table. “Le Morte d’Arthur” was a milestone in English literature, and introduced the Great Age of English prose.

1516 > Dutch scholar and theologian Erasmus produced a Latin edition of the New Testament by collecting several manuscripts of the Latin “Vulgate” and by polishing the Latin texts to create a new critical edition in 1516. Erasmus synchronised, unified and updated simultaneously the Latin and Greek editions — both being part of the canonical tradition — and made the two editions “compatible”, meaning that he edited the Latin edition to reflect the Greek edition, and vice versa. For example, as the last six verses of the “Book of Revelation” were missing in the Greek manuscript, Erasmus translated these verses back into Greek from the “Vulgate”. Erasmus’ Latin and Greek editions of the New Testament were influential in the Protestant Reformation and in the Catholic Counter-Reformation.

1522-34 > German theologian Martin Luther, a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation, translated the Bible from Hebrew and Greek into German in his later years. He first translated the New Testament (1522) before translating the Old Testament and the Apocrypha (1534). The complete “Luther Bible” was not the first Bible available in German, but was regarded as the best. Previous translations were based on the Latin “Vulgate” and not on the original texts, and the German text was much poorer. The “Luther Bible” contributed to the development of the German language and to the creation of a German national identity. Luther was also the first European scholar to assess that one translates satisfactorily only towards his own language, a statement that became the norm in the 18th century.

1525 > English scholar William Tyndale produced a new English edition of the Bible translated directly from the Hebrew and Greek texts. The “Tyndale New Testament” (1525) was regarded as the first accurate translation of the New Testament into English. After translating the New Testament, Tyndale began translating the Old Testament, and translated half of it. He became a leading figure in Protestant Reformation before being sentenced to death for the unlicensed possession of the Scripture in English. After his death, his translation was completed by one of his assistants. With the recent invention of the printing press, the “Tyndale Bible” became the first mass-produced English Bible. It was replaced by the “Great Bible” in 1539.

1539 > Myles Coverdale, an English ecclesiastical reformer and preacher, produced the first complete English edition of the Bible, named the “Great Bible” (1539) and based on the “Tyndale Bible” (1525), at the request of Thomas Lord Cromwell, vicar general and secretary to King Henry VIII of England. Objectionable paragraphs of the “Tyndale Bible” were revised, and lacking parts (some books of the Old Testament and the Apocrypha) were added. The “Great Bible” was later followed by the “Bishops’ Bible” (1558) and the “King James Bible” (1604-11).

1559-65 > French Renaissance writer Jacques Amyot translated Greek biographer and essayist Plutarch’s “Parallel Lives” from Greek into French. His translation, named “Vies des hommes illustres” (1559-65), read like an original work, became very popular and influenced many French writers. French philosopher Montaigne wrote: “I give the palm to Jacques Amyot over all our French writers, not only for the simplicity and purity of his language in which he surpasses all others, not for his constancy to so long an undertaking, not for his profound learning (…) but I am grateful to him especially for his wisdom in choosing so valuable a work.” The French edition was translated into English by Thomas North in 1579.

1578 > Margaret Tyler, who was probably a servant to the Catholic Howard family, translated Diego Ortúñez de Calahorra’s Spanish romance “Espejo de príncipes y caballeros” into English under the title “The Mirrour of Princely Deeds and Knighthood” in 1578. Her translation closely followed the original text, with clarity preferred to the flowing elegance of the original. Her translation became a best-seller, despite some criticisms because its masculine and secular topic was considered inappropriate for a woman. Women translators were supposed to translate religious works, in line with the fact that female education should promote piety. In her “Letter to the reader”, Margaret Tyler protested against these restrictions, insisted on the seriousness and importance of literary work by women, and proposed that both women and men should be treated as equal rational beings.

1579-1603 > Thomas North, an English judicial and military officer, translated Greek biographer and essayist Plutarch’s “Parallel Lives” from Jacques Amyot’s French translation, and produced three editions (1579, 1595 and 1603). According to the “Encyclopaedia Britannica” (1911), “It is almost impossible to overestimate the influence of North’s vigorous English on contemporary writers, and some critics have called him the first master of English prose.” North’s translation of “Parallel Lives” was one of the sources of Shakespeare’s Roman plays “Julius Caesar”, “Coriolanus” and “Antony and Cleopatra”. In “Antony and Cleopatra”, Shakespeare copied or adapted many speeches translated by North, a common practice at that time because modern ideas of intellectual property didn’t exist in these days.

1593 > Polish Jesuit Jakub Wujek translated the Bible from the Latin “Vulgate” after being granted the official permission to undertake such work by Pope Gregory XIII and the Jesuit Order. The first edition of the “Jakub Wujek Bible” (“Biblia Jakuba Wujka”) was completed in 1593. The full authorised edition was completed in 1599, two years after Wujek’s death. The “Jakub Wujek Bible” replaced the “Leopolita’s Bible” (1561) as the main Bible used by the Roman Catholic Church in Poland. Wujek’s translation of the Bible was recognised as both an excellent translation and a major literary work, and contributed to the development of the Polish language. It became the official Polish Bible for four centuries, before being replaced by the “Millennium Bible” (1965).

1604-11 > 47 translators — all of them scholars and members of the Church of England — produced the “King James Bible” (1604-11), a major translation of the Bible into English, with 39 books for the Old Testament (translated from Greek), 27 books for the New Testament (translated from Greek and Latin) and 14 books for the Apocrypha (translated from Hebrew and Aramaic). The translators were given instructions to ensure that the new translation would conform to the ecclesiology and reflect the episcopal structure of the Church of England and its belief in an ordained clergy. The “King James Bible” was the third translation into English to be approved by the English Church, after the “Great Bible” (1539) and the “Bishops’ Bible” (1568). It was also regarded as a literary achievement, with lasting effects on the English language and culture.

1637-62 > Nicolas Perrot d’Ablancourt, a member of the Académie Française in Paris and a translator of Greek and Latin classics from 1637 to 1662, regularly modified or modernised original expressions for reasons of style. His method was based on the practice popularised by Valentin Conrart, the Académie Française’s founder. A disparaging remark by French author Gilles Ménage gave rise to the term “belle infidèle” (beautiful unfaithful). Ménage wrote that Perrot d’Ablancourt’s translations “remind me of a woman whom I greatly loved in Tours, who was beautiful but unfaithful” (cited in Amparo Hurtado Albir, “La notion de fidélité en traduction”, Didier Érudition, 1990). The term “belle infidèle” was later popularised by Voltaire.

1644 > Anna Hume, a Scottish writer and poet, translated Italian poet Petrarch’s “Trionfi” under the title “The Triumphs of Love, Chastitie, Death: Translated Out of Petrarch by Mrs. Anna Hulme”. Petrarch’s poems “tell of love’s triumph over the poet (Petrarch falls in love with Laura), superseded by the triumph of chastity over lust (in that Laura does not yield to Petrarch’s love), which is followed by the triumph of death over Laura (as Laura dies and reminds both author and reader of death’s power)” (Wikipedia). Anna Hulme’s translation was published by printer Evan Tyler in Edinburgh in 1644. A translation published by a woman belonging to a prominent family was very unusual at that time, but it was well received and her work was praised as faithful and spirited.

1688-89 > Aphra Behn, an English playwright, poet and novelist, devoted herself to prose genres and to translations after writing a prologue and an epilogue that brought her legal trouble during the Exclusion Crisis. Her last translations were the translation (from French to English) of French astronomer Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle’s “A Discovery of New Worlds” (“Entretiens sur la pluralité des mondes”) in 1688, and the translation (from English to French) of English poet Abraham Cowley’s “Six Books of Plants” in 1689. Plagued by a failing health, poverty and debt, Aphra Behn died in April 1689. In her essay “A Room of One’s Own” (1929), English feminist author Virginia Woolf wrote that “All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds.”

1693-97 > John Dryden, an English poet and playwright who became England’s first Poet Laureate in 1668, translated “The Works of Virgil” over four years (1693-97). Its publication in 1697 was a national event. Dryden then translated works by Ovid, Boccaccio and Chaucer, published in “Fables Ancient and Modern” (1700) with his own fables. Dryden described translation as the judicious blending of two modes of phrasing — metaphrase (literal translation) and paraphrase (restatement with other words) — when selecting equivalents for the phrases used in the original language. He wrote that, “When words appear literally graceful, it were an injury to the author that they should be changed. But since what is beautiful in one language is often barbarous, nay sometimes nonsense, in another, it would be unreasonable to limit a translator to the narrow compass of his author’s words: it is enough if he chooses out some expression which does not vitiate the sense” (cited in Christopher Kasparek, “The Translator’s Endless Toil”, 1983).

1699-1708 > French editor and translator Anne Dacier produced prose translations of Greek epic poet Homer’s “Iliad” (1699) and “Odyssey” (1708). Her translations introduced Homer to the French literary world. They were praised by her contemporaries, including English poet Alexander Pope, who translated Homer’s epic poems from French into English (1715-20 and 1725-26). Anne Dacier published an essay on Pope’s translation that gained her some fame in England as well.

1704-17 > French orientalist and archaeologist Antoine Galland translated “One Thousand and One Nights”, a collection of Middle Eastern folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age. His 12-volume French translation “Les Mille et une nuits” (1704-17) became a best-seller, and is still the standard French translation to this day. It popularised oriental tales in European literature and nascent Romanticism. “Les Mille et une nuits” was then translated from French into English (1706), German (1712), Italian (1722), Dutch (1732), Russian (1763) and Polish (1768).

1713-26 > English poet Alexander Pope, an avid reader of Homer’s works since his childhood, began translating the “Iliad” in 1713. He was paid 200 guineas a volume (the equivalent to £28,200 now) by publisher Bernard Linto, who released one volume per year over the course of six years (1715-20). Pope then translated the “Odyssey” with equivalent wages, and his translation was published in 1726. However Pope only translated twelve books of the “Odyssey” himself, and secretly enlisted the help of two other poets and translators, William Broome (who translated eight books) and Elijah Fenton (who translated four books). The secret leaked out and damaged Pope’s reputation for some time, as well as some criticisms on his translation reducing Homer’s “wild paradise” to “order”, with no incidence on the sales of his two best-selling translations.

1722 > Giuseppa Barbapiccola, an Italian natural philosopher and poet, translated French philosopher René Descartes’ “Principles of Philosophy” into Italian in 1722. Her goal was not only to convey Descartes’ philosophy to an Italian audience, but also to inspire women to educate and empower themselves. She demonstrated that Descartes created a philosophy that praised the female intellect, and her translation gave her the opportunity to express her own ideas. In the preface, she wrote that “Women should not be excluded from the study of the sciences, since their spirits are more elevated and they are not inferior to men in terms of the greatest virtues.” She defended the right for women’s learning, and was eager to persuade women to educate themselves. She asserted that women’s inherent nature, being the weaker sex, was not the cause of women’s ignorance. The cause for women’s ignorance was no education or bad education. Her claim was that women always had the ability and capacity to learn. Her translation included a history of women’s learning and a history of philosophy.

1735 > English scholar Samuel Johnson produced in 1735 an English edition of Portuguese Jesuit missionary Jerónimo Lobo’s “Itinerário”, a travelogue on his journey in Ethiopia, from the French edition “Voyage historique d’Abyssinie” (1728) translated by Joachim Le Grand. Johnson thought that a short edition translated from French could be “useful and profitable” to English readers. Instead of writing down the translation himself, Johnson dictated it to his friend Edmund Hector, who edited the text before bringing the manuscript to the printing house.

1750? > In the mid-18th century, “faithfulness” and “transparency” were better defined as dual ideals in translation, while often being at odds. “Faithfulness” is the extent to which a translation accurately renders the meaning of the source text, without distortion, by taking into account the text itself (subject, type and use), its literary qualities and its social or historical context. “Transparency” is the extent to which the end result of a translation stands as a text of its own that could have been originally been written in the language of the reader, and conforms to its grammar, syntax and idiom. A “transparent” translation is often qualified as “idiomatic” (source: Wikipedia).

1772-1803 > Polish poet Ignacy Krasicki, often named Poland’s La Fontaine after the publication of his own “Fables and Parables” (1779), was also a translator and translation theorist. Krasicki’s first essay “On the Translation of Books” (“O przekładaniu ksiąg”) was published in 1772, and his second essay “On Translating Books” (“O tłumaczeniu ksiąg”) was published posthumously in 1803. In his second essay, he wrote that “Translation is in fact an art both estimable and very difficult, and therefore is not the labour and portion of common minds; it should be practiced by those who are themselves capable of being actors, when they see greater use in translating the works of others than in their own works, and hold higher than their own glory the service that they render their country.”

1772-1805 > Johann Gottfried Herder, a German literary critic and language theorist, published his “Treatise on the Origin of Language” (1772), that established the foundations of comparative philology. According to Herder, a translator should translate towards (and not from) his own language, a statement already expressed two centuries earlier by Martin Luther, who was the first European scholar to assess that one translates satisfactorily only towards his own language. Herder became a translator later in life. His two main translations were “Terpsichore” (1795-96), a translation and adaptation of German latinist Jakob Balde’s poems, and “The Cid” (1805), a free translation of “El Cantar de Mio Cid”, the oldest preserved Castilian epic poem.

1781-93 > Johann Heinrich Voss, a German scholar and classicist, produced a translation of Homer’s “Odyssey” (1781) that introduced Homer to the German literary world. He then translated Roman poet Virgil’s “Bucolics” and “Georgics” (1789) before translating Homer’s “Iliad” (1793), published with a revised translation of the “Odyssey”. After retiring in 1802, Voss accepted a professorship of classical literature at the University of Heidelberg in 1805. His high wages allowed him to devote himself to translating Latin and Greek classics until his death.

1783 > Onufry Andrzej Kopczyński, a Polish poet and grammarian, emphasised in 1783 that assiduous reading in a foreign language and listening to the spoken language was more helpful than using dictionaries to produce good translations.

1791 > In his “Essay on the Principles of Translation” (1791), Scottish historian Alexander Tytler also emphasised that assiduous reading was more helpful than using dictionaries. There was still not much concern for accuracy, and the watchword was ease of reading. Dictionaries and thesauri were not regarded as adequate guides for translating into a foreign language.

1797-1810 > German poet and critic August Schlegel translated Shakespeare’s plays into German from 1797 to 1810, and his highly praised translations turned them into German classics. Young composer Felix Mendelssohn, at age 17, drew his inspiration from Schlegel’s translation of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to write his concert overture. Schlegel’s translation of Shakespeare’s plays was edited by fellow poet and translator Ludwig Tieck, and completed by Dorothea Tieck, Ludwig Tieck’s daughter, and by fellow poet and translator Wolf Heinrich Graf von Baudissin. Schlegel then translated into German works by Spanish dramatist Pedro Calderón de la Barca (1803-09), and works by Italian poet Dante and Portuguese poet Luís de Camões (1804). He translated into Latin the Sanskrit texts “Bhagavad Gita” (1823) and “Ramayana” (1829). According to the “Encyclopaedia Britannica” (1911), “As an original poet Schlegel is unimportant, but as a poetical translator he has rarely been excelled.”

1799-1804 > Ludwig Tieck, a German poet and critic, translated Spanish novelist Cervantes’ novel “Don Quixote” into German with his daughter Dorothea Tick from 1799 to 1804. He translated Elizabethan dramas in the two-volume “Altenglisches Theater” (1811). He edited August Schlegel’s translation of Shakespeare’s plays.

1800-99 > New standards were implemented for accuracy and style throughout the 19th century. For accuracy, the policy became “the text, the whole text, and nothing but the text (except for bawdy passages), with the addition of extensive explanatory footnotes” (in J.M. Cohen’s “Translation” entry, “Encyclopedia Americana”, 1986, vol. 27). For style, the aim was to constantly remind readers that they were reading a foreign classic.

1804-26 > Friedrich Schleiermacher, a German theologian and philosopher, produced a 6-volume translation of Plato’s works (vol. 1-5 in 1804-10, vol. 6 in 1826) that was influential during German Romanticism. In his seminal lecture “On the Different Methods of Translating” (1813), Schleiermacher opposed translation methods that moved the writer towards the reader, i.e. transparency, and translation methods that moved the reader towards the author, i.e. an extreme fidelity to the foreignness of the source text. Schleiermacher favoured the latter approach. His distinction between “domestication” (bringing the author to the reader) and “foreignisation” (taking the reader to the author) later inspired the “non-transparent” theories developed in the 20th century.

1808-13 > Russian poet Vasily Zhukovsky’s melodious translations of German and English ballads, especially the ballads “Ludmila” (1808) and “Svetlana” (1813), became landmarks in Russian poetry. Both were free translations of German poet Gottfried August Bürger’s ballad “Lenore”. Zhukovsky later translated “Leonore” a third time, as part of his lifelong effort to develop a natural-sounding Russian dactylic hexameter. His translations of Friedrich Schiller’s poems became Russian classics, and were considered to be of equal if not higher quality than the originals. Zhukovsky also produced a verse translation of German writer Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué’s prose novella “Undine”. Written in a waltzing hexameter, Zhukovsky’s version inspired an opera libretto by Russian composer Tchaikovsky. After been criticised for its distortions from the original text, Zhukovsky’s translation of Homer’s “Odyssey” (1849) became a classic in its own right in the history of Russian poetry.

1818 > French writer Louise Swanton Belloc translated Irish poet and novelist Adelaide O’Keeffe’s “Patriarchal Times; or, the Land of Canaan: a Figurate History”, a retelling of the first five books of the Bible published in 1818. She befriended many literary figures, including French writers Victor Hugo, Emile Souvestre and Alphonse de Lamartine, English writer Charles Dickens, Anglo-Irish writer Maria Edgeworth and American writer Harriet Beecher Stowe. She translated Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, a book depicting the harsh living conditions of enslaved African-Americans. She also translated Scottish writer Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel “Cranford”, Irish writer Oliver Goldsmith’s novel “The Vicar of Wakefield”, Irish poet Thomas Moore’s “Irish Melodies”, English poet Lord Byron’s memoirs, and works by Charles Dickens, Maria Edgeworth and Scottish writer Walter Scott.

1822-26 > Therese Albertine Louise Robinson, a German-American writer and linguist, translated Scottish writer Walter Scott’s novels “Old Mortality” and “The Black Dwarf” from English into German in 1822 under the pseudonym Ernst Berthold. She learned Serbian after reading German philologist Jacob Grimm’s translations and comments on Serbian folk songs. She translated Serbian folk songs herself with Goethe’s support and encouragement. Her translation “Volkslieder der Serben” (Folk Songs of the Serbs) appeared in 1826, and was praised by Goethe and the German literary world. She later translated American linguist John Pickering’s seminal article “On Indian languages of North America” published in “Encyclopedia Americana” (1830-31), under the title “Über die Indianischen Sprachen Amerikas” (1834).

1833-67 > American scholar and poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow translated medieval Castilian poet Jorge Manrique’s funeral eulogy “Verses on the Death of his Father” (“Coplas a la muerte de su padre”) into English in 1833. He edited “The Poets and Poetry of Europe” (1845), an 800-page compilation of translated poems, including poems translated by his colleague and friend Cornelius Conway Felton. The anthology was meant “to bring together, into a compact and convenient form, as large an amount as possible of those English translations which are scattered through many volumes, and not accessible to the general reader.” Longfellow spent several years translating Italian poet Dante’s “Divine Comedy”. He organised weekly meetings with a group of friends named the Dante Club to help him perfect the translation and to review proofs. The 3-volume translation was published in 1867, and went through four printings in its first year. Longfellow’s last years were spent translating Italian artist Michelangelo’s poetry, with a posthumous edition published in 1883.

1834 > English writer Sarah Austin translated from French into English in 1834 the “Report on the State of Public Instruction in Prussia” that French philosopher Victor Cousin wrote for the Count de Montalivet, then French Minister of Public Instruction. In the preface to the translation, Sarah Austin personally pleaded for the cause of national education. Her other translations included works by German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Carové, German historian Leopold von Ranke, German prince Hermann and French historian François Guizot. Sarah Austin always stood for her intellectual rights as a translator, writing that “It has been my invariable practice, as soon as I have engaged to translate a work, to write to the author to it, announcing my intention, and adding that if he has any correction, omission, or addition to make, he might depend on my paying attention to his suggestions.”

1838-45 > Charlotte Guest, an English scholar and liberal educator, translated the “Mabinogion” from Welsh into English from the manuscript transcription made by Welsh writer Tegid when he was a young scholar at Oxford University. The “Mabinogion” was a series of medieval stories compiled from 12th- and 13th-century oral traditions, and the earliest prose stories in Britain. Charlotte Guest’s 7-volume translation was published in 1838-45. A new 3-volume edition was published in 1849 by the Tonn Press in Wales and by Longmans in London. Both editions were bilingual (Welsh transcription and English translation), with many scholarly footnotes, full illustrations and gold-tooled leather covers. A new edition in one single volume was published in 1877 with the English translation only, and became the standard edition.

1842-51 > Matilda Hays, an English journalist and novelist, and her friend Elizabeth Ashurst, an English radical activist, teamed up to translate French novelist George Sand’s works into English from 1842 to 1851. George Sand’s free-love and independent lifestyle was still unusual in the 19th century, as well as the political and social issues tackled in her books. They translated George Sand’s “Spiridion” (“Spiridion”), “Letters of a Traveller” (“Lettres d’un voyageur”), “The Master Mosaic-Workers” (“Les maîtres mosaïstes”) and “André” (“André”). Matilda Hays translated “The Last Aldini” (“La dernière Aldini”) alone, before meeting with Elizabeth Ashurst, and also translated “Fadette” (“La petite Fadette”) alone after Elizabeth Ashurst’s death in childbirth.

1842-63 > Mary Howitt, an English poet and writer, translated Swedish writer Fredrika Bremer’s novels into English. Her 18-volume translation (1842-63) helped introduce Fredrika Bremer to English readers, including her ideas as a feminist reformer. Mary Howitt also translated Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales, for example “Only a Fiddler” (1845), “The Improvisators” (1845), “Wonderful Stories for Children” (1846) and “The True Story of Every Life” (1847). She translated German physician Joseph Ennemoser’s “History of Magic” (1854) in the same spirit, for his ideas to reach an English audience too.

1843-78 > English feminist writer Anna Swanwick translated works by German poets Goethe and Schiller, and published her translations as “Selections from the Dramas of Goethe and Schiller” (1843), with Goethe’s “Torquato Tasso” and “Iphigenia in Tauris”, and Schiller’s “Maid of Orleans”. She produced blank-verse translations of other works by Goethe (1850, 2nd edition in 1878). Her translation of Goethe’s “Faust” was highly praised and republished several times. She also translated Greek tragedian Aeschylus’ plays in 1873. She was interested in many social issues of her day, especially the education of women and the working classes. She helped extending the King’s College lectures to women. She advocated the study of English literature in universities, and gave private lectures to young working men and women.

1847-51 > Swedish linguist Carl August Hagberg translated Shakespeare’s plays into Swedish, published in a 12-volume edition (1847-51). Some of his work was based on a previous translation by Johan Henrik Thomander dated 1825. Hagberg was a member of the Swedish Academy from 1851 until his death.

1847-55 > American feminist Julia Evelina Smith produced her own translation of the Bible into English from 1847 to 1855, after reading the Bible in its original languages, with an emphasis on literalism. Her translation was published in 1876, before the publication of the “English Revised Version of the King James Bible” (1881-94), regarded as the official authorised English edition of the Bible.

1852-64 > French poet Charles Baudelaire translated American writer Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories “Extraordinary Stories” (“Histoires extraordinaires”, 1856) and “New Extraordinary Stories“ (“Nouvelles histoires extraordinaires”, 1857), his novel “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket” (“Les aventures d’Arthur Gordon Pym”, 1858), his prose poem “Eureka” (“Eureka”, 1864), and other short stories in “Grotesque and Serious Stories” (“Histoires grotesques et sérieuses”, 1864). Baudelaire was not the first to translate Poe’s works into French, but his scrupulous translations were highly praised and considered the best. He also wrote two essays on Poe’s poetry.

1859-89 > English poet Edward FitzGerald produced several editions of “Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám”, the first English translation and adaptation of the many poems written by Omar Khayyám, an 11th-century Persian mathematician, astronomer and philosopher. FitzGerald authorized four editions (1859, 1868, 1872, 1879) of his translation. A fifth posthumous edition (1889) was edited after his death on the basis of the revised manuscript he had left. It is now believed that a significant portion of the “Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám” was FitzGerald’s own creation, but it has stayed the most famous translation of Khayyám’s poems to this day, despite more recent and accurate translations.

1861-65 > Mary Louise Booth, an American writer and editor, translated major works of her time from French into English. When the American Civil War started in 1861, she translated French anti-slavery advocate Agénor de Gasparin’s “Uprising of a Great People” in a very short time by working twenty hours a day for one week. The English edition was published in a fortnight by American publisher Scribner’s. Mary Louise Booth then translated other books by anti-slavery advocates, including Agénor de Gasparin’s “America before Europe” in 1861, Pierre-Suzanne-Augustin Cochin’s “Results of Emancipation” and “Results of Slavery” in 1862, and Édouard René de Laboulaye’s “Paris in America” in 1865. She received praise and encouragement from president Abraham Lincoln, senator Charles Sumner and other statesmen. Sumner wrote her a letter stating that her translations had been of more value to the cause “than the Numidian cavalry to Hannibal”. Mary Louise Booth translated other French books by Gasparin, Laboulaye, educator Jean Macé, historian Henri Martin and philosopher Blaise Pascal.

1862-82 > Clémence Royer, a self-taught French scholar, translated English naturalist Charles Darwin’s 1859 book “On the Origin of Species”. In the first French edition (1862), based on the third English edition, Clémence Royer went beyond her role as a translator, with a 60-page preface expressing her own views and detailed explanatory footnotes that made Darwin unhappy. The translation’s second edition (1866) included some changes made at Darwin’s request to correct some errors and inaccuracies. The translation’s third edition (1873) was produced without Darwin’s consent, with a second preface that also made Darwin unhappy, and with no mention of the additions to the fourth and fifth English editions. The translation only included an appendix stating the additions to the sixth English edition published in 1872. The three French editions were published by Guillaumin. The translation’s fourth edition (1882) was published by Flammarion, and stayed popular until 1932.

1876-90 > Socialist activist Eleanor Marx translated part of her father Karl Marx’s “Capital” from German into English (published in 1887). She translated French revolutionary socialist Prosper-Olivier Lissagaray’s “History of the Paris Commune of 1871” (“L’histoire de la Commune de 1871”) into English (published in 1876). She also translated literary works into English, for example French novelist Gustave Flaubert’s “Madame Bovary” in 1886, and Norwegian author Henrik Ibsen’s plays “An Enemy of the People” (“En folkefiende”) in 1888 and “The Lady from the Sea” (“Fruen fra havet”) in 1890.

1883-97 > Katherine Prescott Wormeley, an American nurse working in the U.S. Sanitary Commission during the American Civil War, was also a writer and translator. She translated many French literary classics into English, for example all Honoré de Balzac’s novels with a 40-volume translation published in 1883-97, Moliere’s plays, with a 6-volume translation published in 1892, as well as Henri de Saint-Simon’s memoirs and novels by Alexandre Dumas and Alphonse Daudet. She also wrote a “Life of Balzac” in 1892.

1883-1900 > Francesca Alexander, an American writer and illustrator, collected folk songs, tales and customs in Tuscany, Italy, and translated them into English with her own drawings. In 1882, she met English art critic John Ruskin, who became a close friend and correspondent until his death. Ruskin purchased her two manuscripts, and published “The Story of Ida” (1883) and “Roadside Songs of Tuscany” (1884-85), before publishing her third manuscript “Christ’s Folk in the Apennines” (1887-89). After Ruskin’s death, Francesca Alexander published herself “Tuscan Songs” (1897) and “The Hidden Servants and Other Very Old Stories Told Over” (1900).

1898 > Chinese scholar Yan Fu, who translated many works in social sciences from English into Chinese, developed his three-facet theory of translation in 1898: faithfulness, i.e. be true to the original in spirit; expressiveness, i.e. be accessible to the target reader; and elegance, i.e. be written in an “educated” language. Of the three facets, he considered the second as the most important. If the meaning of the translated text was not accessible to the reader, there was no difference between having translated the text and not having translated the text at all. In order to facilitate comprehension, the word order could be changed, Chinese examples could replace English ones, and people’s names could be rendered Chinese. His theory had much impact worldwide, but was sometimes wrongly extended to the translation of literary works.

1898-1904 > French physician Joseph Charles Mardrus translated “One Thousand and One Nights” into French under the title “Le Livre des mille et une nuits”. His 12-volume translation (1898-1904) was published by Henri Piazza, before being translated from French to English by English poet Edward Powys Mathers. Mardrus published a second edition of the French translation in 1926-32. Mardrus’ elegant translation was mentioned by French novelist Marcel Proust in “Remembrance of Things Past” (“À la recherche du temps perdu”). Mardrus inserted some material of his own to satisfy the tastes of his time, and is not entirely authentic translation is now less praised than other translations.

1903-09 > Russian poet and novelist Ivan Bunin was awarded the Pushkin Prize twice, first in 1903 for his collection of poetry “Falling Leaves” (1901) and his translation of American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “The Song of Hiawatha”, and then in 1909 for his collection of poetry “Poems 1903-1906” and his two translations of Longfellow’s “The Golden Legend” and of English poet Byron’s “Cain”. Bunin also translated some works by English Poet Laureate Alfred Tennyson and by French poets François Musset and François Coppée.

1922-30 > Charles Kenneth Scott Moncrieff was a Scottish writer who earned his living as a translator of French literary works. His main translation was the translation of French writer Marcel Proust’s 7-volume novel “Remembrance of Things Past” (“À la recherche du temps perdu”) from 1922 to 1930. The translation of the seventh volume was left unfinished because of his death. He chose the second verse of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 30 as a non-literal translation of the novel’s title, that was later replaced by “In Search of Lost Time” in other translations. Scott Moncrieff’s translation contributed to the fame of Proust in the English literary sphere. However Proust wrote that he was not happy with some translation choices, offending his translator who replied with irony. On the contrary, Polish-English novelist Joseph Conrad thought that Scott Moncrieff’s translation was of higher quality than the original novel. Scott Moncrieff translated French medieval classics before translating Proust, and later translated French novels by Stendhal and Italian plays by Luigi Pirandello.

1923-39 > Polish translator Aniela Zagórska translated into Polish from 1923 to 1939 most works written by her uncle Joseph Conrad, a Polish-British novelist who wrote in English. In Conrad’s view, translation, like other arts, inescapably involved choice, and choice implied interpretation. Conrad would later advise his niece: “Don’t trouble to be too scrupulous. I may tell you that in my opinion it is better to interpret than to translate. It is, then, a question of finding the equivalent expressions. And there, my dear, I beg you to let yourself be guided more by your temperament than by a strict conscience” (cited in Zdzisław Najder, “Joseph Conrad: A Life”, 2007).

1939-45 > Russian poet Mikhail Lozinsky translated Italian poet Dante’s “Divine Comedy” into Russian. Completed in seven years (1939-45) despite his poor health, his translation earned him the Stalin Prize in 1946. Russian modernist poet Anna Akhmatova wrote in her book “My Half-Century” that, “In the difficult and noble art of translation, Lozinsky was for the twentieth century what Zhukovsky was for the nineteenth”. Russian lyrical poet Alexander Blok credited Lozinsky’s translations as superior to Zhukovsky’s translations. Lozinsky also translated Shakespeare’s plays, but his translations were less popular than contemporary translations by Pasternak and Marshak. Some critics found Lozinsky’s translations “obscure, heavy and unintelligible” because they did not try to modernise Shakespeare’s style by stripping it of some details and puns. However Anna Akhmatova thought that Lozinsky brilliantly achieved his aim of “conveying the age of Shakespeare’s language and the complexity about which even the English complain.”

1942-51 > Russian writer Samuil Marshak’s main translation was the translation of Shakespeare’s sonnets into Russian in 1948. The translated sonnets inspired several Russian classical, pop and rock musicians over the years. Marshak translated many other poets (William Blake, William Wordsworth, Robert Burns, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats, Alfred Tennyson, Robert Browning, William Butler Yeats, Edward Lear and others). His poetic translations are now so entrenched in Russian culture that their translator is regarded more as a co-author than a translator. Over his career, Marshak won four Stalin Prizes (1942, 1946, 1949 and 1951). His third Stalin Prize was awarded for his translation of Shakespeare’s sonnets.

1943 > Cesare Pavese, an Italian poet, novelist and literary critic, translated English and American writers who were then new to the Italian literary sphere, including American poet Edgar Lee Masters’ “Spoon River Anthology”, a collection of free verse poems. His translation was published by Einaudi in 1943. During his years in Turin, Italy, Pavese was the mentor of Fernanda Pivano, who later became a writer and translator herself. He gave Fernanda Pivano both editions (English and Italian) of “Spoon River Anthology” for her to better understand the difference between an original work and a translated work.

1947-57 > Boris Vian, a French poet, novelist and musician, translated American crime fiction and science fiction. He translated Kenneth Fearing’s crime novel “The Big Clock” (“Le grand horloger”) in 1947, and Raymond Chandler’s crime novels “The Big Sleep” (“Le grand sommeil”) and “The Lady in the Lake” (“La dame du lac”) in 1948. He also translated A.E. van Vogt’s science fiction novels “The World of Null-A” (“Le monde des Å”) in 1953 and “The Players of Null-A” (“Les joueurs du Å”) in 1957.

1949 > Fernanda Pivano, an Italian writer, journalist and literary critic, translated Ernest Hemingway’s novel “A Farewell to Arms” into Italian in 1949. She had met Ernest Hemingway the previous year, resulting in an intense collaboration and friendship. Fernanda Pivano’s many translations introduced American writers to an Italian audience, from the great icons of the Roaring Twenties (F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dorothy Parker and William Faulkner) through the writers of the 1960s (Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Gregory Corso and Lawrence Ferlinghetti) to a new generation of young writers (Jay McInerney, Bret Easton Ellis, David Foster Wallace, Chuck Palahniuk and Jonathan Safran Foer).

1956-60 > Russian poet and novelist Boris Pasternak — the acclaimed author of “Doctor Zhivago” (1957) — had to turn to translation from 1956 to 1960 in order to provide for his family. He produced translations of works by German poets Goethe, Rilke and Schiller, French poet Verlaine, Spanish dramatist Calderón de la Barca and English playwright Shakespeare. His translations of Shakespeare’s plays were popular with Russian audiences because of their colloquial and modernised dialogues. Pasternak also translated works by Hungarian poet Sándor Petőfi, Polish poet Juliusz Słowacki, Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko and Georgian poet Nikoloz Baratashvili. In a letter written in 1942 to Russian poet Olga Ivinskaya, who was his friend and lover, Pasternak stated: “I am completely opposed to contemporary ideas about translation. The work of Lozinski, Radlova, Marshak, and Chukovsky is alien to me, and seems artificial, soulless, and lacking in depth. I share the nineteenth century view of translation as a literary exercise demanding insight of a higher kind than that provided by a merely philological approach.”

1956-72 > James S. Holmes, an American-Dutch poet, also translated poetry from Dutch into English. He received in 1956 the Martinus Nijhoff Award, named after Dutch poet and essayist Nijhoff. When the literary magazine “Delta” was founded in 1958 to report on Dutch culture in the Netherlands and Belgium, Holmes became its poetry editor, and translated contemporary Dutch poetry for the magazine. Holmes was the first to coin the term “Translation Studies” in his paper “The Name and Nature of Translation Studies” (1972), that became the founding statement of the new discipline. He taught translation studies at the University of Amsterdam and wrote a number of influential articles about translation.

1960-80? > Jorge Luis Borges, an Argentine short-story writer, essayist and poet, translated a number of literary works from English, French, German, Old English or Old Norse into Spanish. Borges also wrote and lectured extensively on the art of translation, “holding that a translation may improve upon the original, may even be unfaithful to it, and that alternative and potentially contradictory renderings of the same work can be equally valid” (Wikipedia).

1961 > Albanian-American scholar and politician Fan Noli produced a translation of the New Testament from Albanian into English, published in 1961 under the title “The New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ from the approved Greek text of the Church of Constantinople and the Church of Greece”. Two days after Noli’s death in 1965, Albanian leader Enver Hoxha wrote in his diary: “Noli was one of the prominent political and literary figures of the beginning of this century. He today enjoys a great popularity in our country, deserved as a literary translator and music critic. He was a prominent promoter of the Albanian language. He was also respected as a realistic politician, and as a revolutionary democrat in ideology and politics.”

1961 > English writer Stanley Chapman translated French poet Raymond Queneau’s “A Hundred Thousand Billion Poems” (“Cent mille milliards de poèmes”) in 1961, a translation highly praised by Queneau himself. Chapman also translated French writer Boris Vian’s novels “Heartsnatcher” (“L’arrache-coeur”), published in 1965, “Froth on the Daydream” (“L’écume des jours”), published in 1967, and “Autumn in Peking” (“L’automne à Pékin”), unpublished at the time.

1964-67 > Russian-American novelist Vladimir Nabokov wrote his first nine novels in Russian, and translated them into English later on. His novel “Lolita” (1955), written in English, brought him international fame. On translating “Lolita” into Russian, Nabokov wrote: “I imagined that in some distant future somebody might produce a Russian version of ‘Lolita’. I trained my inner telescope upon that particular point in the distant future and I saw that every paragraph, pock-marked as it is with pitfalls, could lend itself to hideous mistranslation. In the hands of a harmful drudge, the Russian version of ‘Lolita’ would be entirely degraded and botched by vulgar paraphrases or blunders. So I decided to translate it myself.” The Russian edition was published by Phaedra Publishers in New York City in 1967. Nabokov also translated Russian poet Alexander Pushkin’s “Eugene Onegin” from Russian into English, and the 4-volume English edition was published in 1964.

1964-69 > Saiichi Maruya, a Japanese writer and literary critic, translated two works by Irish author James Joyce into Japanese, “Ulysses” (in collaboration with Takamatsu Yūichi and Nagai Reiji) in 1964, and “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” in 1969. Both works had a major influence on his own writing.


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2019-09-20 at 23:55

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