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15.10.2015 13:16

Our alumna translates Svetlana Alexievich's books into German

Every university is proud of its alumni who have managed to achieve considerable success in their career. One such VSU alumna is Anna Maria Braungardt. For many years she has been translating into German literary works created by Svetlana Alexievich (Belarus) who received the Nobel Prize in Literature this year. Frau Braungardt kindly agreed to share the reminiscences of her university years at VSU and talk about her further career.

"I graduated from the Faculty of Philology in 1980, and I still gladly recall the days spent there although sometimes it was hard, especially when it concerned everyday life. However, the knowledge that I acquired at the Faculty of Philology still serves as a firm basis for my work. I was the only foreigner in our group No 4 but I managed to blend into this friendly company and became part of it. After a very short period of time at the Academy of Sciences of the German Democratic Republic I started working as an editor at the Department of Soviet Literature in the Volk und Welt publishing house, so my specialisation at the Department of Soviet Literature appeared to be very useful. I am grateful to the VSU lecturers in Russian, Soviet, and Foreign Literature for their interesting lectures. With great warmth I recollect Irina Khlebostroeva, Alla Botnikova, Tatyana Gurina, and Anatoliy Abramov. Thanks to the Historical Grammar lessons which were also unforgettable I have some understanding of ancient texts now. In the late 1980’s I started doing literary translation, and after the publishing house had closed down I became a freelance translator. Now the books that I have translated occupy a large shelf. My major authors are Lyudmila Ulitskaya whose books I have been translating since 1993 and Svetlana Alexievich whose books I have been translating for almost the same period of time. I have also translated some works by Daniil Granin, Sergey Kaledin (he was my first author), Boris Akunin, Polina Dashkova, Natan Dubovitskiy, Vladimir Zhabotinskiy, Grigoriy Kanovich... I do some interpreting as well, mostly at literary soirées, especially when the authors meet with their German audience."

It is great that the alumni of the Faculty of Philology find success in their careers and warmly recall VSU after so many years. Frau Braungardt's experience can serve as a good example both for students and those who are going to enter VSU.

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