Foreign literature and Translation issues at the TBF

The multicultural spirit which governs the international character of the TIBF is supported in this year’s Fair by the participation of 24 foreign writers and a Translation festival which poses and treats the issues of language and communicating ideas through translators.

In particular, the foreign writers who are participating and meeting their audience at the 13th TIBF are: 3 from England (Rob Davis, Daniel Hahn, Philip Kerr), 2 from France (Marc Boutavant, Laurent Binet), 1 from Germany (Carmen-Francesca Banciu), 5 from Israel (Yishai Sharid, Orly Castel-Bloom, Avirama Golan, Alon Hilu, Yael Dayan), 2 from Italy (Diego Marani, Luigi Ballerini), 4 from Canada (Rawi Hage, Madeleine Thien, Joseph Kertes from the Toronto International Festival of Authors, as well as Denis Thériault), 1 from Croatia (Ivan Srsen), 2 from Romania (Rostas Zoltan, Monica Savulescu Voudouri), 3 from FYROM (Vladimir Martinovski, Stojcevska Antik Vera, Vlada Urosevic) and 1 from Basque Country (Katixa Agirre Miguélez).

In this year’s Fair, 20 countries are participating with their own stands: Albania, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, FYROM, Germany, Israel, Italy, Korea, Romania, Russia (Guest of Honour), Serbia, Slovakia, Turkey and Ukraine.

“BABEL, in the world of Translation”

At a central part of Pavilion 15, this year’s Fair is hosting the Translation Festival and the foreign writers events, in the specially arranged room “BABEL, in the world of Translation” bringing into focus the important role of our “worldwide language”, translation, and accentuating its contribution to multiculturalism, via a complete four-day program of happenings, events, workshops and discussions. To mention a few:

  • discussion about the role of Greek literature in cultural diplomacy, organized by the Hellenic Foundation for Culture, prompted by the publication of two poetry anthologies and a collection of essays which circulated in England and the USA, concerning literature during the economic crisis. The topic will be discussed and commented by Angela Dimitrakaki, writer and Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Art History and Theory at the University of Edinburgh; Eleni Papargyriou, doctor of Oxford University – literary critic; Mikela Chartoulari, journalist – book critic; and Thodoris Chiotis, poet – translator – project manager for the Cavafy Archive/Onassis Foundation.
  • Translation: language of the world. Discussion-intervention about the problems and issues regarding the translation into Greek of books written in foreign languages, organized by the electronic magazine Anagnostis, with the participation of: Ioanna Avramidou, translator; Efi Kallifatidou, translator; Vasilis Tomanas, translator; and, as coordinator, Elena Chouzouri, writer – literary critic.
  • The famous, and particularly active internationally, Daniel Hahn, writer, translator, editor, the mind behind the Translation Slam, will share with the audience his remarkable experience in translation, which ranges from the Nobel laureate Portuguese writer José Saramago to the Brazilian football player Pelé, as well as the promotion of translated literature in the book markets.
  • Translation Slam – A fight using words and phrases as weapons and The Transparent Translator – The translator as a performer. An initiative by The Language Project (, which aims to show the way a translator functions, posing the unanswerable question: Is there a right and a wrong translation? Supported by the French Institute of Thessaloniki, the Goethe Institute of Thessaloniki as well as the Hellenic Foundation for Culture.

In addition, in the room “BABEL, in the world of Translation”, as well as at the Congress Center ‘Nikolaos Germanos’ a series of events, workshops, discussions, and more, will be hosted, co-organized by the Hellenic Foundation for Culture and the translator and interpreter associations ‘Panhellenic Association of Professional Translators Graduates of the Ionian University’, ‘Panhellenic Association of Translators’, ‘Hellenic Association of Conference Interpreters’, the translation departments of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the Ionian University and the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens,

under the aegis of the Hellenic Society of Translation Studies, as well as the Goethe Institute of Thessaloniki, the French Institute of Thessaloniki and the Italian Educational Institute.

  • translation workshops in English, French, Spanish, Russian,
  • book presentations of foreign writers participating in the Fair by Greek translators, journalists and academics,
  • presentations of emblematic bilingual publications,
  • discussions and interventions about topics regarding translation and the issues -problems one may come across in the process of its creation, film subtitling, theater translation, interpreting,
  • discussion about the problems and the issues regarding the translation or the rendition of books into the Greek language in the past and today, as well as the role of the translator,
  • meeting – discussion of young Greek and foreign writers which will attempt to accentuate the elective affinities, as well as the differences of the authors nowadays,
  • presentations of translation programs, Greek and foreign (training program for foreign Greek-speaking translators and the Language Project Translation Slam),
  • professionals’ meetings for translators and publishers
  • presentation about the prizes and awards of the International Federation of Translators (FIT).

The Greek translators under the aegis of the Hellenic Society of Translation Studies are hosted at the Translation stand ‘Steki tis Metafrasis’ (which roughly translates as ‘Translation Hangout’)

The Department of European Union, of the Directorate of International Relations and European Union of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, also participates, in order to present and inform about the new programs, ‘Literary translations’, by the European Commission, supporting literary translation, in the framework of the ‘Creative Europe 2014-2020’ program.

All the above – and a lot more – are taking place with the participation of the translation departments of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the Ionian University, the Goethe Institute of Thessaloniki, the French Institute of Thessaloniki and the Italian Educational Institute, the Hellenic American University, Greek magazines and publishers.

The 13th Thessaloniki International Book Fair aims to offer its visitors a creative Babel of presentations, meetings, discussions, as well as an exchange of opinions among those who contribute to the international contemporary literary reality.