Daniel Hahn - Translating contemporary novels from French and Portuguese


11 September 2013

Timothy Mathews talks with Daniel Hahn about the linguistic, cultural and personal experiences of translating literary works into English, and the discussion turns in particular to 'The Book of Chameleons', by the Angolan writer José Eduardo Agualusa, and 'The Piano Cemetery' by the Portuguese writer José Luís Peixoto.

Daniel Hahn is a writer, editor and translator, with some thirty books to his name. His translations from Portuguese, Spanish and French include fiction from Europe, Africa and the Americas, and non-fiction by writers ranging from Portuguese Nobel Laureate José Saramago to Brazilian footballer Pelé. His books have won him both the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (a prize he has also judged) and the Blue Peter Book Award. 

A former chair of the UK Translators Association, he is currently national programme director of the British Centre for Literary Translation. Among other projects he is currently writing the new Oxford Companion to Children's Literature.