Pranger Translat

5th Translation Pranger 2023
October 2023 – December 2023
Maribor and online
Languages in focus: Slavic and Romance languages, English, German.








Translation Pranger

Translation Pranger is the only festival of translation in Slovenia and celebrates its fifth anniversary this year.

During the last five years the festival has established and developed a stimulating environment for discussing the quality and background of literary and humanistic translations as well as highlighting the work of other language and literary professions involved in the creation of literary, theatrical, film and other genres that involve translations. It has put the spotlight on the many elements of translation in selected contexts or receptive groups.

It has established itself as one of the key spaces for reflection, analysis and criticism of literary and humanistic translations in Slovenia.

This year the Translation Pranger will once again present a wonderful selection of translation discussions and for the first time it will focus on translation as an adaptation of literary texts – spiritually recreating folk tales from other cultural contexts in the Slovene language.

The festival will open with this topic, continuing with three discussions focussing on the translation of youth literature, short and longer prose, translation and editorial work originating from the Carinthian area across the Slovene border and new translations of contemporary Slovene literature into English. In recent years, Slovene literature has been vigorously promoted on the international stage and this stresses the need to reflect on this growing practice.

The Translation Pranger festival will take place from October to December 2023 in the Small Hall of the Maribor Puppet Theatre and online.

All events will be recorded and published on the festival’s website.

You are invited to listen to our distinguished and most excellent guests and to contribute your insights to the discussions!


World Folk Tales
Opening of Translation Pranger 2023
Wednesday, 11 October 2023 at 6 p.m.
Small Hall, Maribor Puppet Theatre


Debaters: Anja Štefan and Špela Frlic
Moderator: Liljana Klemenčič
Historical introduction: Dr. Oliver Currie


In a conversation with the skilful fairy tale writer Liljana Klemenčič, two fantastic folktale experts, authors and children’s storytellers, Anja Štefan and Špela Frlic – the latter being a recent recipient of the Večernica Award – will share their experiences of recreating foreign folktales in the Slovene language. Is it a translation or an adaptation of story material? How do they spiritually transplant stories from different folk traditions around the world? Where is the line between an author and an adaptor? And last but not least, how do they discover the storytelling material which they later present to enthusiastic Slovene readers and listeners?

Dr. Oliver Currie, researching the history of folklore studies, will first specify the challenges of the appropriation of oral literature in French and British culture since the beginning of the 19th century, when fairy tales became a literary genre.

The opening of the festival will conclude with a buffet and social gathering.


British Evening
Monday, 13 November 2023 at 6 p.m.
Small Hall, Maribor Puppet Theatre


Selector: Dr. Simon Zupan
Selected translator: Dušanka Zabukovec
Moderator: Dr. Nada Grošelj


Selected works:

  • Ian McEwan: The Children Act (London: Jonathan Cape, 2014) / V imenu otroka (Cankarjeva založba, 2015)
  • Hilary Mantel: Wolf Hall (London: HarperCollins UK, 2009) / Wolf (Cankarjeva založba, 2022)


Two great novels will be highlighted from the extensive body of work by the excellent Slovene translator Dušanka Zabukovec, which includes more than 200 titles and many subtitles.


A Visit From Austria: Translating Young Adult Prose
Tuesday, 21 November 2023 at 6 p.m.
Small Hall, Maribor Puppet Theatre


Selector: Dr. Alja Lipavic Oštir
Selected translators: Ana Grmek and Stanislav M. Maršič
Moderator: Urška P. Černe


Selected works by Christine Nöstlinger:

  • Lumpenloretta (St. Pölten et al.: Nilpferd im Residenz, 2010) / Capasta Loreta (Mohorjeva Celovec, 2011), novel
  • Als mein Vater die Mutter der Anna Lachs heiraten wollte (Hamburg: Oetinger, 2013) / Ko se je moj oče hotel poročiti z materjo Anne Lachs (Mohorjeva Celovec, 2015), short novel

Christine Nöstlinger, the popular young adult literature author, has come closer to her Slovene readers with Slovene translations of her works originating from various translation workshops. We will take a closer look at Ana Grmek’s and Stanislav M. Maršič’s excellent translations, selected for discussion by Dr. Alja Lipavic Oštir, and consider the work and the environment in which these translations were produced: on the other side of the Slovene border, in Carinthia, Austria, where the exchange between the Slovene and the German culture has been consistently maintained by the Hermagoras Society publishing house in Klagenfurt. The discussion will be moderated by Urška P. Černe, and the evening will also be dedicated to the memory of the late translator and editor Lučka Jenčič.

You are also warmly invited to join us for a social evening with a selection of Austrian wine.

The event is sponsored by the Austrian Cultural Forum Ljubljana / Österreichisches Kulturforum Laibach.


News from Slovenia: Slovene Contemporary Prose into English
Wednesday, 6 December at 7 p.m.
Event is postponed to January 17 2024 due to illness.
Online event in English
Selector: Dr. Melita Koletnik
Discussant: Dr. Oliver Currie
Selected translator: Olivia Hellewell (Nottingham)


Selected works:

  • Ana Svetel from Take six: six Balkan women writers (Sawtry : Dedalus, 2023), Silk Road, The Notebook, Encounter, The Ten Commandments, How does a cat feel when stroked? / Svilna pot, The Notebook, Srečanje, Dekalog, Kaj čuti mačka med božanjem? (Dobra družba: zgodbe o prevozih, LUD Literatura, 2019)
  • Goran Vojnović: The Fig Tree (London : Istros, 2020) / Figa (Beletrina, 2016)

Translating works of Slovene authors into foreign languages is becoming more and more successful, but there is also a growing need for reflection on translation practices. The evening’s selector Dr. Melita Koletnik and discussant Dr. Oliver Currie will discuss how contemporary Slovene prose is being read in English while focussing on the translations of Olivia Hellewell, who has brought Ana Svetel’s stories and Goran Vojnović’s novel into the English literary space. Where is the line between the translator and the literary agent? Is it even possible to translate minority literature such as Slovene literature without capturing the translator’s great and genuine enthusiasm?

The event will be recorded in English, subtitled in Slovene and published on our website at a later date.

The evening is organised in cooperation with the Slovenian Association of Literary Translators (DSKP).

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Tickets for Translation Pranger are available online and at the Maribor Puppet Theatre box office for €8 (€5 for seniors). Students and unemployed persons with a certificate can enter free of charge. Proceeds will be donated to translation activities.


A free ride from Ljubljana

We also organise a free shuttle service from Ljubljana to Maribor departing at 3:15 p.m. from the GoOpti stop in front of the railway station and arriving back in Ljubljana around 11:00 p.m. Please write to to secure your seat in the van.


Face to face

Translation Pranger festival management select a foreign language for each talk and a selector who focusses the evening on two books, journals or radio publications by a translator that he or she feels should be highlighted. The selector uses his/her independent judgement, but takes into account the manageability of the material in terms of scope (including for the audience, for whom it is preferable to read the material before the event) and uses a variety of selection approaches. He or she comments on the selection and argumentation of the translation solutions by projecting selected excerpts from the original and the translation. The selector and the discussant(s) come face to face to explain their opinions to the creator of the translation, who has the opportunity to peek into his/her own translation workshop and to reveal lesser-known facts or textual passages that may have remained hidden from the eyes of the readers.


Recordings of discussions

All festival events are recorded in high quality. These audio recordings of the debates are published on our website.


Translation Pranger is organised by KUD Pranger with the support of the Municipality of Maribor and the Slovenian Book Agency (JAK), and in cooperation with the following partners: Minoriti Cultural Quarter of the Maribor Puppet Theatre, the Department of Translation Studies at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Maribor, Slovenian Association of Literary Translators (DSKP), the Austrian Cultural Forum / Österreichisches Kulturforum Laibach, the Maribor Library, the institute Dve luni – zavod za poetizacijo sveta, restaurant Tri babe – Hiša kruha.

The festival is part of the reading culture co-financed by the Slovenian Book Agency JAK.


Want to know more about the 4th Pranger 2022?

Discover the programme and listen to the recordings of the discussions.