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The Susanna Roth Translation Competition - Winner Announcement

We are pleased to announce that JAMES SALDANHA is the winner of The Susanna Roth Translation Competition organised by the Czech Centre London in collaboration with the Czech Literary Centre. The jury has also awarded a special mention to MARTIN DIXON. In its 6th year, the competition was aimed at young translators up to 40 years of age with permanent residency in the UK who haven’t yet published a complete work of literature. Applicants were required to translate into English an extract from Vytěženej kraj by Veronika Bendová (FRA, 2019).



James Saldanha was born in 1997 in London where he grew up and went to school. In 2017, while in his 2nd year of the bachelor’s programme in German and Russian at the University of Bristol in England, he also began studying Czech. He was awarded the 2018 School of Modern Languages Award and in 2019, he was granted a scholarship by the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports to attend the Summer School of Slavonic Studies at the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice. James is now finishing his studies at Bristol where he also acts as co-chairman of a local section of the Erasmus Student Network, the biggest student association in Europe. He is expected to graduate in the Summer of 2020. This is his first translation competition.

(Photo: Christoph Klawitter, 2019)



Dr Julia Sutton-Mattocks is a Lecturer in the Department of Russian and Czech at the University of Bristol, where she teaches translation up to Masters level, and Russian and Czech history, literature and culture. Her own research focuses on Czech and Russian literature and cinema of the 1920s and 1930s. She was the 2017 winner of the Susanna Roth Translation Award, and translates from both Czech and Russian into English. When not researching, writing or translating, Julia spends every spare moment singing in choirs.

Jury statement: This was an excellent translation. It was both very sensitive to the nuances of the Czech and read extremely fluently in English. The translator used some really lovely turns of phrase and caught the atmosphere of the text very well. A worthy winner!’

The Susanna Roth Translation Competition is run by the Czech Centres in a number of European countries and languages. The winners of the national competitions will be invited to visit the Czech Republic and take part in a Czech studies seminar.