Language connects
John Farndon

    John Farndon (born in 1960) is a British writer of books, plays, and music.
    He studied Earth sciences and English literature at Jesus College, Cambridge University, a Fellow of the 'Royal Literary Fund' at City and Guilds (London).
    John Farndon is also known for his translations of literature from Eurasia, including plays for the Worldwide Ukrainian Play Readings (2022).
    He has written over a thousand of works on science, nature, and other topics, which were translated into many languages and shortlisted five times for the Junior Science Book Prize.
    He was a co-winner of the “2019 EBRD Literature Prize” for translating the poetry by the Uzbek writer Hamid Ismailov - The Devil’s Dance, and a finalist for the “2020 US PEN translation award” for his translation of the Kazakh writer Rollan Seysenbaev’s “The Dead Wander in the Desert”.

Hanna Komar

    Hanna Komar is an award-winning poet, translator, and civic activist from Belarus, a member of the PEN Belarus and the Union of Belarusan Writers, an honorary member of the English PEN. She has published three poetry collections. Some of her works have been translated into Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, Swedish, Norwegian, German, Czech, and English.
    In 2020-2022, Hanna participated in the Belarusan protests and wrote about it extensively; her texts were strongly political, but remained emotional and honest. She received the “Freedom of Speech 2020 Prize” from the Norwegian Authors’ Union (together with Dmitry Strotsev, a Belarusan poet).
    Hanna is currently taking an MA in Creative Writing: Writing the City at the University of Westminster in London.

Ángela Espinosa Ruiz

    Ángela Espinosa Ruiz is a translator, poet, and researcher. She was born in Málaga and graduated the University of Granada; she has a master’s degree in Belarusan Philology from the University of Warsaw. She also has a music diploma (Professional Degree in Piano Interpretation).
    Nowadays, Angela is a lecturer at the University of Warsaw, teaching courses in the Belarusan language and literature, the Spanish language, and world literature.
    Ángela is an active participant of international conferences and congresses in the humanities and an honorary member of the Union of Belarusan Writers, having published four literary anthologies in the Belarusan language and a bilingual (Spanish-Belarusan) poetry anthology of selected works by Maksim Bahdanovič, as well as several translations and literary works in collective anthologies.
    She obtained a PhD in Literary Studies at the Complutense University in Madrid, having graduated summa cum laude after the defense of her dissertation, “Folklore-Inspired Symbolism in the Prose of J. Barščeŭski and G. A. Bécquer” on September 4th, 2019.


    Raman Abramchuk was born in Minsk in 1981. He graduated from Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts: Bachelor degree in Librarianship, MA in culturology, finished PhD program in theory and history of culture (all but thesis defense). Since 2010 Raman has been working as a professional guide-interpreter of English, Polish and French languages, studying Arabic for professional purposes, getting acquainted with Ukrainian through the regular reading of the original works of Ukrainian writers.
    As an award of writing competition of the Union of Belarusian Writers, in 2013 Raman was selected for studying at the School of the Young Writers of the organisation and finished its Poetry Department. Raman translated works of Dmitry Strotsev, Nassim Soleimanpour, Andrey Moskvin, Joe Cocker.
    As a Belarusian-speaking writer Raman has been publishing his essays, poems, travel notes in the main Belarusain media outlets. In 2021-2022 some of his literary works were selected for translation and publishing in anthologies, dedicated to the protests and repressions in Belarus. Since 2021 Raman has been living in Warsaw.


    Christine Bilore was born in Cannes, France, in 1974. She graduated from the University of Nice in Applied foreign languages (English/Spanish) and from the University of Toulouse in Russian. She also owns a Phd in Linguistics from the university of Nice. She started a career as a freelance translator in 2004, focusing on legal and financial translation. Over the years, she got the opportunity to take part in various projects such as translating a book about the Holocaust in Latvia or working as a volunteer translator for NGOs such as WWf, Translators without borders or Respond Crisis Translation. Passionate about foreign languages, she keeps on learning new ones such as Chinese and started to translate more books in 2019.


    Diana Corober was born in Republic of Moldova in 1988. She has a Bachelor and Master Degree in Finance and is a certified Romanian – Russian translator. Has worked mostly in the pharmaceutical industry, providing medical translations in three languages – Romanian, Russian and English.
    Worked pro bono for projects like Khan Academy, translating various articles.
    Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, provided assistance and guidance for Ukrainian refugees, volunteering as a translator and facilitator.


    Vytautas Dekšnys was born in Vilnius in 1972. He graduated from Vilnius University, MA studies in philosophy, and obtained a PhD from the Institute for Philosophy and Sociology at the Polish Academy of Sciences.
    Has translated more than 20 books and numerous minor publications from Polish, Ukrainian, and other Central-Eastern European languages. A member of the Lithuanian Writers' Union. Has worked as an international programs coordinator at the Lithuanian Writers’ Union, coordinated several translation workshops with Lithuanian, Ukrainian, and Belarusan authors and translators.
    His poetry book “Iszimtys” (“Exceptions”) was awarded with the Young Yotvingian Prize at the international Druskininkai Poetry Autumn Festival in 2006.
    photo by Laura Vansevičienė


    Jim Dingley was born in northern England in 1942. He has worked as a translator/interpreter in The Netherlands, and lectured in the Russian language and Literature, first at the University of Reading and subsequently at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies of University College London.
    Jim Dingley has been involved with the study of Belarus and its language, history and culture since 1965. Now retired, he has been able to devote himself more fully to translation from Belarusan. The books he has so far translated include the illustrated histories of Belarus by Uładzimir Arłoŭ and essays by Tania Skarynkina. The most recent translation is of “Alindarka’s Children” by Alhierd Bacharevič; it was published by Scotland Street Press in Edinburgh in 2020, and republished earlier in 2022 by New Directions in New York.


    Elena Drăgușin-Richard translates memoirs, evolutionary biology, philosophical works, personal development and theater in various languages: Romanian, Russian, and English. With a degree in Foreign Languages, she has worked as a teacher, translator, and editor, as well as in business development and sales in Romania, Russia, the United States, and Germany. She has a MA in Russian Linguistics from Bucharest State University. She is a member of ARTLIT (Romanian Literary Translators Association).


    Will Firth was born in 1965 in Newcastle, Australia. He studied German and Slavic languages in Canberra, Zagreb, and Moscow. He lives in Berlin and translates from Russian, Macedonian, and all variants of Serbo-Croatian. His best-received translations of recent years have been Aleksandar Gatalica’s “The Great War”, Faruk Šehić’s “Quiet Flows the Una”, and Tatjana Gromača’s “Divine Child”.


    Christine Hengevoss was born in Frankfurt/Oder in 1956 and grew up in Frankfurt/Oder and Moscow. She studied Russian and English languages and literatures at the Potsdam University of Education and worked as a foreign language teacher. She has been working as a freelance literary translator from Russian since 2012.


    Lotte Jansen is a translator. Her interest in language and translation goes way back – to living abroad as a child (Italian), studying languages at school (English, German, Latin, Russian) and eventually ending up with an MA in foreign languages (Russian and Italian) focusing on text and translation and a PhD in ‘Linguistics and Foreign Languages’ on the role of grammatical structures in narrative texts. She left the field for a while, but since 2016 has worked full time as a translator of mainly fiction from Russian, Italian and English into Danish. She has translated modern classics and contemporary authors.


    Harald Hartvig Jepsen is a translator from Ukrainian, Russian and Belarusan into Danish. He has a M.A in Russian and Czech Philology from Aarhus University and studied language, history and literature in Moscow, Charles University in Prague and at the Ivan Franko University in Lviv and the National University Mohyla Academy in Kyiv. He translated several Russian detective stories, Russian literary manifestos from the 1910s and 1920s, as well as a monograph with central texts of Mikhail Bakhtin from Russian.
    Harald Hartvig Jepsen taught Ukrainian grammar, language efficiency and translation for military interpreters at the Danish Military College. Qua his work as an election expert with more than 8 years of in-country experience in Ukraine, he translated the Ukrainian election laws and codices into English since 2004. He understands and reads Belarusan, but has no documented translation experience from that language. He worked with Belarusan activists and in Belarus as a program manager at the Danish Institute for Human Rights, and also as a leading member of OSCE election observation missions.
    In Harald’s current position as a senior election expert (until February based in Kyiv), he works daily with and in Ukrainian and qua his job with IFES Ukraine, he also takes regular part in expert discussions (arranged by the OST research unit) on developing the Constitution and a new Electoral Code for a future free Belarus.


    Arja Pikkupeura is an Authorized Translator from Russian into Finnish, MA.
    Studied Russian philology and World literature in Jyväskylä University, Finland 1976-1984, MA 1984. Member of The Finnish Association of Translators and Interpreters (SKTL).
    Arja Pikkupeura has more than 30 published translations from Russian into Finnish, including 4 novels by Valeria Narbikova, 5 novels by Viktor Pelevin, 5 novels and 4 short story collections by Ludmila Ulitskaya.
    Received Mikael Agricola award from The Finnish Association of Translators and Interpreters (SKTL) and The Finnish Book Foundation in the year 2019 for translation of Ludmila Ulitskaya’s short story collection “The people of our Czar”.
    The latest translation, the novel by Kira Yarmysh “The Incredible Events in Women's Cell Number Three” will be published in October 2022.


    Tatyana was born in Ukraine, her father is Ukrainian and mother is Belarusian, she lives in Finland since 1996. Tatyana feels as a bridge between cultures and has a passion for translating poems and songs.
    Tatyana has a Master of Arts degree from the University of Tampere (Multilingual Communication &Translation) and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in logistics.
    She is an expert of international trade and intercultural relations and gained long-term experience in sales management, marketing management and general management positions. Presently, Tatyana is working as COO of Finnish EcoCoaching Academy in green transformation education, and she is an entrepreneur in B2B Trade Ambassador that offers consulting and translation services.
    In June 2022, Tatyana with her two fellow sisters Ritva-Liisa Luomaranta and Ira Hammerman established Suomenoja Ukraine Aid help center in Espoo, Finland. Tatyana is a member of the Finnish Association of Translators and Interpreters and of the Finnish Management Consultants Association.


    Trine Søndergaard translates fiction from Russian into Danish. She has worked more or less full time as a literary translator for the past 8-10 years. She translates contemporary as well as classical Russian literature.
    Trine Søndergaard has succeeded in pitching some titles for Danish publishers, for instance Anna Kozlova's "F20", Vladimir Makanin's "The man hole", a collection of short stories by Ivan Bunin. She has, among others, translated Dostoyevsky's “White nights”, Tolstoy's “Khadzji-Murat”, Petrushevskaya's “We were stolen” and two collections of her short stories.
    Picture credits to Anne Steen