Upcoming March 2022 Hungarian to English Literary Translation Course:
People interested in pursuing the art of literary translation as a hobby or as a potential career are encouraged to apply for this course. Only a love for Hungarian literature and an advanced English proficiency are required for attendance. Students need not be native speakers of either language. This course will cover classical and contemporary authors, both household names and newly emerging talent. Translators should expect to work with Sándor Weöres, Géza Csáth, Ilka Papp Zakor, Kornélia Deres, Dóra Gimesi, and Ferenc Molnár. A few of these authors are scheduled to make an appearance for the class to answer translation questions. Through our reading and translation practice, we will explore questions of genre, form, meaning, faithfulness to the original text, artistic liberties, localization, and more. Students should be prepared to translate a passage of prose, poetry, or drama each week and provide helpful feedback to their classmates. Finally, toward the end of the course, I will provide students with the tools and knowledge necessary to publish their translations in English-language literary journals and with publishing houses. Editor of Hungarian Literarure Online, Owen Good, and long-time translator Judith Sollosy will join us for these conversations.
Write to me at email@example.com to sign up.
From February 16th to May 25th 2021, I had the pleasure of leading an online Hungarian to English literary translation workshop of five students. We gathered on Zoom every Tuesday evening for an hour and a half from all across the globe—Budapest, Berlin, Paris, London, and Bloomington, Indiana. Together, we tackled a carefully curated selection of texts from classical and contemporary, male and female Hungarian authors, including poets, dramatists, and fiction writers. We discussed the nuances of both languages (like, does együttérzés translate as compassion or empathy? And what is the difference between the two?), compared the intricacies of the two cultures (what an American or British sanatorium entails vs. a Hungarian one); and asked difficult questions (like, just what exactly is in a gyros?). We also had the opportunity to pose our questions to some of the authors themselves, namely Lajos Parti Nagy, Panni Puskás, and Márton Simon. It was a thrill and an absolute delight to have discussions like these with such sharp minds, and to guide the work of such skilled rising translators. I can rightly claim to have learned as much over the course of these months as they did. At the end of our course, Hungarian Literature Online published a translation of each student.
Those works can be found here:
“The Fat Girl Inside Me”, a story by Panni Puskás, translated by Anna Polonyi
The second act of the play Atriumchloride by Lajos Parti Nagy, translated by Charles Hebbert
“MaIDENHair”, a poem by Kinga Tóth, translated by Alina Williams
“Lovers”, a story by Áron Tamási, translated by Katharina Seyfert
On our first day, we puzzled over the subtle difference between ‘süt’ in Hungarian and ‘bake’ in English: this was how I knew I was in the right place. What a treat to think collectively about the many quirks, mysteries and possibilities of both the English and Hungarian literary traditions. I couldn’t have been in better hands!
–Anna Polonyi, MFA Iowa Writers’ Workshop, author of Wayword
Timea brought a wide variety of texts to class, encouraging students to push themselves and tackle texts that pose unique challenges for translation, allowing students to learn in a welcoming, collaborative environment. Throughout the course, she shared her knowledge about writing, translation, and the realities of publication, setting students up to emerge from the course with polished translations and a practical skillset for publishing their work.
–Alina Bessenyey Williams, Hungarian studies program, Central Eurasian Studies, Indiana University.
Timea’s feedback on our individual translations was always invaluable, and the camaraderie engendered by the course format added much to the experience. And let us not forget the occasions that Timea organized for us to personally consult with the contemporary writers we were translating simply irreplaceable opportunities.
One-on-one private consultations
Some examples of the kind of help I offer:
- You are a translator from any language into English and would like a second pair of eyes on your final draft.
- You are a Hungarian to English translator and have questions about your source text or are uncertain how to translate common Hungarian sayings, what to do with long Hungarian sentences, etc.
- You have translated a collection of selected works and want help ordering the pieces.
- You want guidance on where and how to publish your translations.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org about the work in question and what kind of help you are looking for.