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Is it still the same language? Translating under conditions of aggressive war and dictatorship

In the summer of 2020, the non-violent protest movement in Belarus was brutally suppressed, in February 2022, Russia invaded the whole of Ukraine with a barbaric war accompanied by inhuman propaganda.
What does war do to language, what is language capable of in war? How does one translate literature under conditions of censorship and repression in the country of the source language? How do sanctions affect the working conditions of translators, what do calls for a cultural boycott mean? Three translators discuss the shifting perspectives, terms and accents in their work and the meaning of translation in times of war and totalitarianism.

For this event, people with hearing aids or cochlear implants can borrow portable induction loops that connect to the translation system receivers. Translation will be provided into English and German. The induction slings are available at the particular stage without prior registration.



Ludwig-Erhard-Anlage 1
60327 Frankfurt am Main

VdÜ (Verband deutschsprachiger Übersetzer/innen literarischer und wissenschaftlicher Werke)
Free access


Christiane Körner

moderator; literary translator

Claudia Dathe

moderator; literary translator, translit e.V.

Olga Radetzkaja

literary translator

Thomas Weiler

literary translator