Itzultzaile Berriak (New Translators)

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Image: Juan Azpeitia

The Itzultzaile Berriak (New Translators) project, was created by DSS2016EU and the Etxepare Basque Institute with the support of EIZIE with the aim of highlighting the importance of translation in the development of Basque culture, promoting our culture abroad and training new translators.

For this purpose, the Etxepare Basque Institute organised a public call for proposals by which eight literary translators from the international sphere were selected to learn the Basque language. Four of those selected, complete non-Basque-speakers, followed an intensive course at a live-in Basque language school, the Barnetegi of Zornotza, during six months. The remaining four, who joined the initiative with little or intermediate knowledge of Basque, resided in the Basque Country for a month to improve their level.

The programme also aims to promote the production of literary works. The four translators taking the longer course will receive funding to translate a piece of Basque literature into a language other than Spanish and to find a publisher willing to print it. This will achieve the ultimate goal of the initiative: to disseminate Basque creation in Europe and facilitate its access by foreign publics. Furthermore, thanks to these residencies, the idea was that the eight translators achieved sufficient language skills to use Basque as a source or intermediary language in their future translations.


  • For the six month’s residence: Laura Liubinavicivte (Lithuania), Mariya Petrova (Bulgaria), Barbara Pregelj (Slovenia) and Katarzyna Sosnowska (Poland).
  • For the month’s residence: Merilin Kotta (Estonia), Karina Mishchenkova (Russia), Lenka Niznanska (Czech Republic) and Matylda Figlerowicz (Poland).


At the end of June 2016, EIZIE organised a three-day literary translation workshop with all the translators participating in the programme, and it took place in Tabakalera. On the last day of the seminar, they organised a roundtable presentation of the fruits of these three days, including a multilingual reading that will feature the sounds of eight different languages.

Other activities

EIZIE also encouraged meetings with Basque writers and translators with the purpose of establishing networks between them. In addition, the association organised a specific programme of activities in collaboration with schools, cultural centres, the university…