Croatian Literature in Translation

Course title: Croatian Literature in Translation
Course coordinator:
  Dr. Ellen Elias-Bursać
 Dr. Ellen Elias-Bursać

ECTS credits: 4
 English and Croatian
 1 semester (summer)
Form of instruction:
 two contact hours of seminar
Enrollment requirements:
  Students must be enrolled in the 2nd or higher semester of one of the following graduate study programs: English Language and Literature – Translation Track, Comparative Linguistics, Croatian Language and Literature, South Slavic Languages and Literatures.
 final written exam
Course description: 
Students will analyze excerpts from Croatian literature in English translations dating from the 1920s to the present day, and in parallel, discuss recent readings in Translation Studies. Discussion will focus on the strategies employed by the translators, with attention to domestication, foreignization, cultural reference, glossing, the translator’s introduction, humor, and the challenges related to syntax, word choice and translation of names that face the translator, and how these strategies relate to those discussed in the Translation Studies readings.
Objectives:  By the end of the course the students will have read from a wide range of translations of Croatian literature and learned to identify the practical application of theoretical approaches described in Translation Studies.
Course requirements: Regular course attendance, participation in classroom discussion, an in-class seminar presentation on one of the translations under discussion. Final written exam.


Session Topic
1, 2, 3 Introduction. Translations of Petar Hektorović and Marin Držić. Strategies for academic translation, editing.
4, 5 Translations of August Šenoa and Vjenceslav Novak. Strategies of literal vs. free translation, foreignness in translation.
6, 7 Translations of Ivana Brlić Mažuranić and Miroslav Krleža. Stategies for translation of sentence and context.
8, 9 Translations of Antun Šoljan and Ivan Kušan. Strategies for publishing English translations of Croatian literature.
10, 11 Translations of Ivo Brešan and Dubravka Ugrešić.  Strategies for translating  humor and dialect. Glossing.
12, 13 Translations of Robert Perišić and Mima Simić. Strategies for gender and political translation.

Required reading will be available at Omega (


Esther Allen and Susan Bernofsky, eds. 2013. In Translation. New York: Columbia University Press.

Additional readings:

L. Borges. 1999. “Pierre Menard, Author of Don Quixote.” Collected Fictions. Penguin. Tr. Andrew Hurley.

Ann Pasternak Slater. 5 November 2010. “Rereading Dr. Zhivago.” The Guardian.

Orlando Figes. 22 November 2007. “Tolstoy’s Real Hero.” New York Review of Books.

Tony Beckwith. July 2013. “Two Translators with a Swedish Tattoo.” The ATA Chronicle

Anthony Gardener. 2010. “The Champion of Translated Fiction.” Interviews. Web.

Martin Fackler. 2 November 2012. “Lifelong Scholar of Japanese Becomes One of Them.” NY Times.

Daniel Kehlmann. 25 February 2013. “In Praise of My Translator”. Publishing Perspectives. Web.

Robert Lowell. 1990. “Foreword.” Imitations. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.