Translating Anne Frank

Daniel Hahn, Shaun Whiteside, Sam Garrett

04/03/2011 3:30 pm

Most of Anne Frank’s readers come to her diary through a translation. How much has this affected our experience of this iconic piece of writing? How much is the voice we feel we know so well really the creation of her translators? Two prize-winning Dutch-English translators produced independent versions of a passage of Anne’s diary (without consulting one another!), and presented, compared, discussed and defended their rival versions in front of a JBW audience.

Daniel Hahn

Daniel Hahn is a writer, editor and translator. His translations include novels by José Eduardo Agualusa and José Luís Peixoto, and non-fiction ranging from Portuguese Nobel literature laureate José Saramago to Brazilian footballer Pelé. He has been a judge of The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (a prize he won in 2007) and is currently chair of the Translators Association and interim director of the British Centre for Literary Translation.

Shaun Whiteside

A former Chair of the Translators Association, Shaun Whiteside has translated from French, German, Italian and Dutch for over twenty years. His translations include works of fiction, philosophy and art criticism, as well as classics by authors such as Freud, Musil and Nietzsche. His most recent translations from Dutch are the fictionalised memoirs Love Life and The Widower by Ray Kluun, and the novel In a Dark Wood by Marcel Möring. He lives in London.

Sam Garrett

Sam Garrett has translated more than 25 novels and works of non-fiction by some of Holland’s most popular writers. He has been shortlisted for such prestigious prizes as the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Award, and is also the only translator to have twice won the Vondel Prize for Dutch-English translation.