Translator of the Month for December – Sara Culeddu

December’s translator of the month is Sara Culeddu, who translates from Norwegian and Swedish into Italian. She has studied Norwegian language and literature in Florence and spent a few years living in Oslo after university; now she is an associate professor of Scandinavian studies at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and is also a translator. She collaborates with many Italian publishers and has translated Knut Hamsun, Hanne Ørstavik, Erika Fatland, Line Baugstø, Monica Kristensen, Erling Kagge and Halldis Moren Vesaas, among others.

Sara culeddu
Sara Culeddu

In our interview with Sara, one of our questions was:

What is the best thing about being a translator?

There are three aspects I particularly like about being a literary translator. The first, which is more practical, is that it is a relatively self-directed job which means you don’t have fixed working hours and are therefore able to respect your own needs and inspiration far more than with other types of jobs (yes, we all know this can also be a disadvantage if you’re not very good at planning and discipline, but still, I wouldn’t trade it for a nine-to-five job). Being self-directed also means you can work wherever you want – and I normally like to move a lot and travel around.
The second aspect is that translation is a creative job that allows you to balance instinct and craft; between freedom, play and self-expression on the one hand, and eternal refinement and improvement on the other.
The third and final aspect: I think translation is the art that most of all forces you to develop empathy. It is super difficult becoming or getting as close as possible to another person (i.e., the author) without learning to listen, understand and feel like the other person. We need more empathetic people – more translators!

Kollasj saras oversettelser
Three of Sara's translations

Read more

Those of you who understand Norwegian can read Sara’s Translators of the Month interview in full here

Learn more about Sara on Books from Norway

Other translators interviewed in our Translator of the Month series