When did you start translating?
When I was in high school, 10th and 11th grade.
What was the first literary work you translated?
A comic short story by Hector Hugh Munro (Saki).
What are the most common difficulties in your work as a translator?
Translation has never been well-paid and one has to be able to afford it as a luxury.
Could you tell us something about the influence an author, an editor or a publisher can exert over your translation?
In the case of Olivia Manning, Muriel Spark, and Gore Vidal among others, I have had the opportunity to ask the authors specific questions. There are different kinds of editors and since I too am an editor, I prefer to work with people who are similar in their “style” of work, which is not always possible. With a number of intelligent editors I have had the chance to talk extensively about the publishing of many interesting authors.
What makes a good translation?
People don’t really care about the translator; they need to be able to read the text as if it was originally written in Bulgarian.
What were your greatest challenges with the translation which won the award? (The Messiah of Stockholm by Cynthia Ozick)
The complex non-linear time frame, the necessary knowledge about cultural life in Scandinavian countries, and the countries in Middle Europe.
Does translating inspire you to write yourself?
No. I was writing before I learned any foreign languages, which I did in order to be able to translate. Also, I care about my own writing and even if I admire foreign works, I never wished myself in another author’s shoes, whether Bulgarian or foreign.