Фондация „Елизабет Костова“

Изкуството на превода, интервю с Любомир Николов, носител на специалната награда "Кръстан Дянков", 2012 г.

Lyubomir Nikolov was awarded for the translation of "The Sense of an Ending" by British author Julian Barnes.

When did you start translating?
I started translating in 1986.

What was the first literary work you translated? 
The first novel I translated was "The City and the Stars" by Arthur C. Clarke.

What are the most common difficulties in your work as a translator?
The main problem in my work has always been with words and idioms that are hard to find in the dictionaries, but now Internet offers help with that in 99% of the cases.

Could you tell us something about the influence an author, an editor or a publisher can exert over your translation?
I will always be grateful to editor and publisher Dimitrina Kondeva for the help she offered me in the beginning. And of course translator Valeri Petrov has always been the Northern Star I follow in my work.

What were your greatest challenges with the translation(s) which won the award?
The greatest challenge in every translation is the merging of two different (often VERY different) cultures, and the translator’s task is to do that as imperceptibly as possible. The second great challenge for the translator is to reach the author’s intellectual level which is not always easy, especially with authors as Julian Barnes.

Do you consider yourself as a co-author?
Yes, no doubt about that. It is impossible to make a good translation without "entering under the skin" of the author. You must in some degree "become" the author, or you will never manage to reveal all the richness of his thoughts and ideas.

Does translating inspire you to write yourself?
Yes. Translating is a very good exercise for the writer – it teaches you to think over every word, it shows you ways to develop your own ideas… and territories where to find these ideas.

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