Annette Lindegaard, Copenhagen | On Translating a Region

Fr 14.09.2018 | 11:00 Uhr | Rathaus Rostock

On Translating a Region

More and more people in the Nordic countries are perfectly capable of reading literature in English. Why then does the Baltic Sea Library insist on translating into Danish, Estonian, Icelandic, and other languages spoken by relatively few people? This presentation will discuss why literary translation into a multiplicity of languages is important and how each translation into a new language is a unique work in its own right.

The Ancient Romans referred to the Mediterranean as MARE NOSTRUM – ‘our sea’. In this part of Northern Europe, we are likewise joined together by the waters of an enclosed sea, and our ‘mare nostrum’ may be perceived as a smaller, darker reflection of the traditional image of the much larger, ‘crystal-clear’ Southern-European sea. In literature, film and painting, the Baltic Sea is often depicted as murky, stormy, cold – even frozen. Although the languages of the Baltic region differ significantly, they perhaps share an aptitude for recreating this atmosphere more vividly than do other languages – thereby bringing us closer to the literatures of the other countries in the region when reading them in translation.

In this presentation, I will consider specific texts in the Baltic Sea Library and study their translations into English and other languages to discover how and why they differ.


Annette Lindegaard


  • Born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1957
  • Novelist, translator and head of Translation Centre, University of Copenhagen
  • MA in Italian and English Studies, University of Copenhagen
  • Novels include: Vestalinderoman (German: Am letzten Tag der Ewigkeit), Simos Passion and Lobotomisten



Contact: lindegaard (at)

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