Facts and Figures

In the following paragraphs, some trends and evolutions in Dutch literature in Slovak translation are outlined. An overview of the evolution in numbers of translations, the most translated authors, titles and the most active translators are presented.

Dutch Literature in Slovakia (2000-)

Currently we can notice a modest rise in the amount of translations from Dutch into Slovak. There are after 2000 some recurrent events to be noticed. There are e.g. every year two, sometimes three translations published translated by Adam Bžoch. After 2015, the poetry festival Ars Poetica has also managed to invite each year a Dutch or a Flemish poet, leading also to a regular publication of their poetry anthology with some Dutch and Flemish poets (such as Michael Vandebril, Maria Barnas, Maud Vanhauwaert, etcetera). Some translations can be traced back to publications in the Slovak world literature review Revue svetovej literatúry a literary review that until 2018 provided a platform for young promising translators and publications of prose, poems, short stories of lesser diffused literatures. 

In recent years, there is also a rise in interest to be noticed of Dutch non-fiction or literary non-fiction, hence the titles of Eddy De Wind, Frank Westerman or Rutger Bregman. 

The most translated authors in Slovakia

As far as historic literature is concerned, there are two editions of the Diary of Anne Frank. The last edition, published by Slovart, is still widely distributed and probably the most accessible publication from Dutch literature in Slovakia. Due to the historic context, the legacy of Anne Frank is also taught at secondary schools throughout Slovakia.

Since Adam Bžoch is an expert in the works of historian Johan Huizinga, several translations and publications about him also rank high in the most translated authors.



On a side note, the more entertaining diaries of Hendrik Groen, the Dutch old age pensioner describing his daily perks of ageing, are also well distributed. The Dutch author Robert van Gulik, who originally wrote also quite some of his works in English, his novels mainly about Chinese stories, is also well-spread lowbrow literature from Holland.

The most translated titles in Slovakia

The appearance of the Diary of Anne Frank can be noticed, as well as two editions of the Emperor´s Pearl, in the series of Judge Ti, a series of novels by Robert van Gulik. The diaries of Hendrik Groen are also quite popular.

Then, there are the yearly anthologies of poems, published by the publishing house and poetry festival Ars Poetica. Yearly, a selection of Dutch and/or Flemish poetry is published, and performed on stage during the festival. Some of these poems appeared in free brochures to be found online (within the Versopolis network), other poems appeared in hard cover book publications only.

The most important publishers in Slovakia

After 2000, it is remarkable that without doubt the most important publisher providing a regular stream of publication of Dutch literature in Slovakia, is the Európa publishing house, hence the cluster with special attention devoted to their publishing activities. Each year, however, there are also some Dutch or Flemish poets being published through the poetry festival Ars Poetica, organised by the Slovak poet Martin Solotruk. In the editions of MM, a series of prestigious world literature, Slovart counts as a second publishing house publishing regularly prose of Dutch origin.

SSPUL (Slovenská spoločnosť prekladateľov umeleckej literatúry) is the society of literary translators in Slovakia. They are united to defend the rights of literary translators and one of their tasks is also to provide a fruitful environment for literary translators to thrive. They were responsible for the publishing of the review of world literature Revue svetovej literatúry, which had an annual range of four issues in the last decades. The review appeared up until 2018 and in their years of existence, several short stories, poems and fragments of prose from Dutch and Flemish literature were published. Verbarium is a rather small publishing house specialised in youth and children´s literature. 

The most important translators in Slovakia

It is clear that after the death of Júlia Májeková in 1991, professor Adam Bžoch is up to date the most active translator of Dutch literature in Slovakia. Bžoch translates usually one or two titles each year, being the editor of the Tulipán series within the publishing house Európa mostly one title at the end of the year (in 2021 it were essays of the famous Dutch painter Piet Mondriaan).

Lucia Matejková (Brezániová) engages in translating poetry, she traditionally provides the translations of the poets presented at the Ars Poetica Festival.

Zoran Oravec is a young translator, based in Amsterdam, his main translations were up to date the diaries of Hendrik Groen.

Marta Blašková - Maňáková studied Dutch language and literature in Olomouc and worked as a lecturer at the Catholic University of Ružomberok. She is currently also working as a translator and editor for three publishing houses.