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Nation-State Sponsored Translation Awards

April 24, 2013

This month has seen the announcements of two different sets of state sponsored translation awards.

One set of awards has been established to strengthen relations between peoples of the Republic of Estonia and the Republic of Lativia, the two Baltic nations that share much already including close geographic proximity.  The Baltic Course online offers these details on the reasons for the translation prizes:

With the translation prize, the Estonian and Latvian foreign ministers hope to inspire the translation of Estonian-language literature into Latvian and vice versa. The Estonian-Latvian and Latvian-Estonian translation award emphasizes the importance of the Estonian and Latvian languages as well as cultural exchange in order to advance the professionalism of translators of literature as well as political, popular science, historical, sociological, memoirs and other texts.

The jury will contain representatives from the foreign ministries of the two countries and the director of each nation’s literature information center. The monetary value of the award is 3 000 euros, to which both sides are contributing equally.

The agreement that established the Estonian-Latvian and Latvian-Estonian translation award was signed by Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and Latvian Foreign Minister Maris Riekstins on February 18, 2009. The idea for the creation of the award came from Estonian Ambassador to Latvia Jaak Joeruut and Latvian Ambassador to Estonia Karlis Eihenbaums, who presented a joint letter proposing the implementation of the idea to the foreign ministries of both countries at the end of 2008.

The other set of awards is more international in scope.  The Saudi Gazette online gives a few notes on the goals of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia sponsored translation prizes:

Prince Abdulaziz said that translation opens windows to other cultures and civilizations. He said that the Translation Award achieved a great success within a few years of its institution by King Abdulaziz Public Library in implementation of the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.

It is associated with historical initiatives for dialogue among followers of religions and cultures, including the King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue in Vienna, Prince Abdulaziz said.

He stressed that this Award delivered a clear message from the Kingdom that Islam encourages and supports positive dialogue and cooperation, away from the defamation of religions and detests attempts to blur the identity of civilizations and cultures.

The full articles here (“Winner of Estonian-Latvian translation prize announced“) and here (“8 individuals, one institution win translation award“) name the winning translators and the works of various authors translated.

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