What do translation at a war crimes tribunal and translating fiction have in common and what distinguishes them? I worked at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. I also translated novels on weekends and vacations. I found the two activities complementary and contradictory in interesting ways.
Our speaker, Ellen Elias-Bursac, has been translating fiction and non-fiction from Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian for thirty years. Her translation of David Albahari's novel Götz and Meyer was given the ALTA National Translation Award in 22006. She taught for ten years in the Harvard University Slavic Department, worked for six years as a language reviser at the Interantional Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, and is a contributing editor to the online journal Asymptote. Her book Translating Evidence and Interpreting Testimony at a War Crimes Tribunal: Working in a Tug-of-War was given the Mary Zinn Prize in 2015.