70 years old | The hallmarks of Finnish translator Juhani Lindholm are a fast way of working and a high-quality translation: “I want to raise the bar so that I can still survive that”

“All things have to be done as well as they can,” Juhani Lindholm says to the motto after more than a hundred translations.

“Crippling I don’t feel any horror, the challenges inspire me even more, ”translates Juhani Lindholm answers the question about the difficulty of translation.

“After I survived one of the translation it to require a multi-layer, so the next job I would prefer to raise the bar, that selviäisinköhän even that.”

There have indeed been challenges, and tough ones. Lindholm calculates that he has translated about a hundred works, both fiction and non-fiction, into Finnish, mostly from English and some important ones from Sweden as well. His hallmark is not only a fast way of working but also a high-quality translation. Suomentaja’s Prize Cabinet is full.

Before however, his writing career was youth. The boy from Herttoniemi spent summers in Kivinoka in a family cottage and in very seaside landscapes.

“Somehow that sea was always present. My father had served as a radio operator in the navy during the war, and our family often hiked along the Helsinki archipelago in a motorboat – still not further from Söderskär. ”

The direction was given by the fact that at the age of 13 Lindholm got a typewriter. “I enjoyed myself, read a lot and started writing many things: wilderness and nature stories, comics, novel premiums, language-playing poems…”

Teenage the strongest milestone was the summer of 1967, Summer of Love.

“The hippie movement and the idea of ​​love, the excitement of ecological consciousness, folk music, all that pounded with miraculous power. Also Freud was an important radical source, ”Lindholm says enthusiastically.

“And, of course, came Vietnam, the U.S. military-moral fiasco, as part of the collapse of colonialism.”

Lindholm was the first generation of students in the family. Studies in literary studies and aesthetics corresponded to the young man’s interests. “Participate in a world event by writing,” he sums up his motive.

Lindholm became involved in student activism, soon led a subject organization and edited Hämäläis-Osakunta’s cultural magazine, Hällepyörä. The 1970s were his leftist decade. “Between radicalism but long hair on the tube,” Lindholm recalls.

“The most essential feeling was that nothing happens by itself. It was necessary to act on current, if not incomplete, information without definite certainty of correctness. Because if I turn my back, someone else will take care of the stuff on their placard. ”

“Respect for the entire history of humanism flowed deeper.”

Lindholm was and will be an eternal student – the concept of lifelong learning was later launched.

As a translator, he slipped the legendary Erkki Haglundin and thanks to this Otava contacts. “The work immediately felt natural and pleasant, and I found my own area and industry. After one detective, I attacked high literature. ”

Lindholm has translated classics like Shakespeare, Daniel Defoen Robinson Crusoen and JL Runeberg Lieutenant Stool’s stories, and newer peaks for example Jeffrey Eugenides and Thomas Pynchonin novels. His number one favorite guild From Ian McEwan he has already translated ten books.

“Usually a publisher is looking for an author for a translation job, but Lieutenant Stool I traded for WSOY itself. ”

Translators my position in the job market is almost as weak as at the beginning of my career, Lindholm points out. And at the same time, taxi-fisting fist workshops have infiltrated the industry. Fortunately, translator grant and loan compensation systems have improved.

Over the decades, literature itself has not faltered. “Nothing changes at the core – as long as the desire and fire of written expression remain the motive of the writers – even if things change,” Juhani Lindholm estimates.

Does the enchantment of translation then remain similar?

“Yes. I experience it every time I suddenly realize that something that seems extremely complex can be said in a simple and natural Finland. ”

Juhani Lindholm

Born in 1951 in Helsinki, lives in Järvenpää.

Student 1970, Herttoniemi Co-educational School. Bachelor of Arts 1981, University of Helsinki.

Freelance translator since 1982. Translates from English and Swedish.

Chairman of the Eino Leino Society (2008–), event director of the Lahti International Writers’ Conference LIWRE (2009–). Parnasson columnist (2016–).

Written expert assignments.

Otava Translator Award 1990. Translator Bear 2007. State Literature Award 2009. AND Hollo Award 2009. Mikael Agricola Award 2015. Pro Finlandia Medal 2015.

Married, two children.

Turns 70 on Tuesday 16 March, when Lindholm’s selection of texts and translations will appear in Kala at Sea of ​​Language (Aporia).

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