ViceVersa: German-Hebrew Translation Workshop

A poem, novel or short story does not live from words and sentences alone, but rather from a wealth of stylistic nuances and semantic associations. Grasping these in one language and transferring them into another is the high art of literary translation, forming in the process an indispensable basis for cultural exchange in general. With this in mind, the ViceVersa project offers 12-14 previously published German and Israeli translators the opportunity to discuss their current, yet to be appear works in a highly professional setting. After Berlin formed the scene for this bilateral workshop in 2011, this year the journey leads to Jerusalem. Here, in addition to attending joint seminars, the participants will first and foremost have the opportunity to make important contacts, both with their colleagues within the group as well as with publishing professionals and authors.  

In this way, a range of different perspectives is brought together, including those on the fundamental questions of translating from German into Hebrew and the other way round. The audience also plays a decisive role in the process, with one of the project’s highlights being the public event that brings the translation workshop to a close. Another important part of the shared working process is the different ages of the participants, enabling routine and experience to rub shoulders with new questions and points of view. Important impulses for the various points of intersection between the literary businesses in Germany and Israel are thus created, with the scope of these impulses extending far beyond the ViceVersa project itself. 

The translation workshop ViceVersa is a project by the Deutsche Übersetzerfonds e.V. Berlin in collaboration with the Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature, Ramat Gan. The project takes place from November 1 to November 30, 2012 and includes a one week working residency in Jerusalem involving six to seven participants from Germany and Israel respectively who are selected in advance as well as with the bilateral project organizers. The program consists of seminars, presentations and a public event. There are plans to continue the exchange on a one or two year cycle.