2011 translation prizes


The 2011 Translation Prizes

Five translators received prizes totalling over £14,000 at the Society of Authors’ Translation Prizes and readings event, held at Kings Place, London on 6 February 2012. The prizes were presented by Sir Peter Stothard of the TLS to the winning translators at the special readings event, held in conjunction with the Sebald Lecture, given by Sean O'Brien.

  • Listen to the prize-giving, special readings and Sebald Lecture.

The 2011 winners

The Saif Ghobash-Banipal Prize (Arabic)

The £3,000 Saif Ghobash-Banipal Prize, first awarded in 2006, is presented annually. The prize was

established by Banipal, the magazine of modern Arab literature, and the Banipal Trust for Arab Literature.

Winner: Khaled Mattawa for his translation of Selected Poems by Adonis (Yale University Press).

Runner-up: Barbara Romaine for her translation of Spectres by Radwa Ashour (Arabia Books).

Commended: Maia Tabet for her translation of White Masks by Elias Khoury (Archipelago Books).

Sponsors: Omar Saif Ghobash and the Ghobash family and the Banipal Trust for Arab Literature.

Judges: Sarah Churchwell, Christina Phillips, Samuel Shimon and Joan Smith.

Click here to read a report from the Banipal (UK) Magazine of Modern Arab Literature.

Click here to watch the prize-giving.

The Schlegel-Tieck Prize (German)

The Schlegel-Tieck Prize (£3,000) has been awarded annually since 1965 and takes its name from two great poets of the Romantic Period, August Wilhelm Schlegel (1767-1845) and his friend Ludwig Tieck (1773-1853), also a noted translator.

Winner: Damion Searls for his translation of Comedy in a Minor Key by Hans Keilson (Hesperus).

Runner-up: Michael Hofmann for his translation of Angina Days – Selected Poems by Günter Eich (Princeton University Press).

Sponsors: The Goethe-Institut, The German Embassy and Arts Council England.

Judges: Philip Hensher, Emily Jeremiah and Ben Schofield.

Click here to watch the prize-giving.

The Scott Moncrieff Prize (French)

The Scott Moncrieff Prize of £2,000 has been awarded annually since 1965 and is named for Scott Moncrieff, the celebrated translator of Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past.

Winner: Adriana Hunter for her translation of Beside the Sea by Véronique Olmi (Peirene).

Runners-up: Sarah Ardizzone for her translation of Daniel Pennac’s School Blues (Maclehose Press) and Frank Wynne for his translation of Boualem Sansal’s An Unfinished Business (Bloomsbury).

Sponsors: The French Ministry of Culture, The French Embassy, The Society of Authors, Arts Council England.

Judges: Michèle Roberts, Jacob Ross and Martin Sorrell.

Click here to watch the prize-giving.

The Premio Valle Inclán (Spanish)

The Premio Valle Inclán of £2,000 is given annually, and was first awarded in 1997.

Winner: Frank Wynne for his translation of Kamchatka by Marcelo Figueras (Atlantic).

Runner-up: Margaret Jull Costa for her translation of The Sickness by Alberto Barrera Tyszka (Maclehose Press).

Sponsors: The Cultural Office of the Spanish Embassy, The Instituto Cervantes in London, Arts Council


Judges: John King, Jeremy Munday and Jason Wilson.

Click here to watch the prize-giving.

The Vondel Prize (Dutch or Flemish)

The Vondel Prize of £2,000 was established in 1996 and is now awarded biennially.

Winner: Paul Vincent for his translation of My Little War by Louis Paul Boon (Dalkey Archive Press).

Runner-up: David Colmer for his translation of Willem Jan Otten’s The Portrait (Scribe Publications).

Sponsors: The Dutch Foundation for Literature and the Flemish Literature Fund.

Judges: Paul Binding, Sam Garrett and Ina Rilke.

Click here to watch the prize-giving.