Saturday, 6 June 2009

Salongen interviews translator Jan Henrik Swahn

Salongen, as already introduced, is a Swedish blogsite that occasionally interviews translators. It has already interviewed Jyrki Kiiskinen (Swedish-Finnish), Margareta Zetterström, Kristina Rotkirch, Janina Orlov, Katarina Warfinge, Lev Hrytsyuk (Swedish-Ukrainian) and Hans Blomqvist.

This time it's the turn of the Swedish author Jan Henrik Swahn who spent the first decade of his life living in Denmark and later even translated his own work into Danish. But Swahn has moved on and now translates into Swedish from an impressive number of languages: English, Greek, Polish, Slovene and Arabic. This suggests that if you are brought up with two languages, you curiosity can reach out to more. Swahn himself says:

"Danska och svenska har jag från barndomen. Kan man då säga att jag valde dem? Denna tidiga dubbla språkerfarenhet har gett upphov till ett tomrum (eller längtan) i mig som jag försökt fylla med andra språk. Jag har sedan länge insett att inte ens all världens språk skulle kunna fylla det tomrummet men det är så dags nu, jag kan inte sluta."

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