About us

About the translation process

It’s very rare to find someone who is both fluent in a non-European language and who’s also capable of producing translations that function as new poems in English. This is why our translations are collaborations. They’re produced either by poet-translator pairings, or as a result of discussions in our poetry translation workshops.

The translation process has three stages. First we look at the original poem: even if most of us can’t understand a word, it’s always important to hear its music, and to look at how the poet has placed it on the page. Secondly, the language expert produces a literal translation that’s as close to the original as possible. And finally, there’s the long and detailed negotiation that ends with the translated poem.

The Poetry Translation Centre is grateful to the following organisations for their support:

  • Fondation Jan Michalski
  • Arts Council UK