Finnish State Award for Foreign Translators goes to Birgita Bonde Hansen of Denmark

The recipient of the 2018 Finnish State Award for Foreign Translators is Birgita Bonde Hansen, who has translated literature by numerous internationally renowned Finnish authors including Sofi Oksanen, Laura Lindstedt and Antti Tuomainen into Danish. Her output as a literary translator so far encompasses some 40 works of contemporary Finnish literature.

Birgita Bonde Hansen, who was born in 1977 and studied Finnish at the University of Copenhagen, came to translation via dramatic works. Her first translations of novels, by Kari Hotakainen and Sofi Oksanen, were published in 2011. Her career has progressed in tandem with both of these authors, and she now has four translations of works by Hotakainen and four of Oksanen’s novels to her name. She also translates Estonian literature into Danish.

Birgita Bonde Hansen enjoys linguistic challenges in her translation work. She relies on solid language skills and her training in linguistics. She is also skilled at translating works by stylistically challenging authors, such as Katja Kettu and Rosa Liksom. The depth of Birgita Bonde Hansen’s professional skill is evident in her dedication and passion for her work.

Danish has been one of the major destination languages for Finnish literature in translation in recent years. The success of Finnish books in Denmark is due in no small part to Birgita Bonde Hansen’s excellent translations. Earlier this year she was the recipient of the Blixen Award, given by the Danish Translators’ Association.

The Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture has granted the State Award for Foreign Translators since 1975. The prize sum is 15,000 euros, which is sourced from the profits of Veikkaus, the state-owned gaming company. The prize is awarded each year to a distinguished translator of Finnish literature on the recommendation of FILI – Finnish Literature Exchange.

As Sampo Terho, Finland’s Minister for European Affairs, Culture and Sport, who presented the award to Birgita Bonde Hansen, pointed out, the prize is a special mark of honour for the translators who make Finnish literature a part of world literature.

For more information, contact Communications Manager Johanna Sillanpää at FILI: , tel. +358 (0)50 4300 119



Translator meeting and Guadalajara International Book Fair

FILI will be present at the Guadalajara International Book Fair during the week 48. The visit begins with FILI’s translator meeting hosted by the Embassy of Finland in Mexico City on Saturday 24 November. During the day, 13 students of Finnish and Swedish will learn more about Finnish literature and FILI’s actions for translators.

FILI has two professional panels in Guadalajara. FILI’s director Tiia Strandén participates in the conversation Support Programs for Translation and Publication on Monday 26 November. On Tuesday, Tiia interviews Foreign Rights Manager Leenastiina Kakko (Rights&Brands) and Literary Agent, CEO Urpu Strellman (Helsinki Literary Agency) on Presentations on the Publishing Market: Formula One, Bad Moods and much more about literature from Finland. Find out more about FILI’s panel discussions here.


Non-Fiction Editors’ Week 12–14 Nov

FILI’s Non-Fiction Editors’ Week takes place 12–14 November in Helsinki. Visiting us are four international publishers and non-fiction experts:

Diana Hernandez Aldana, Diana Hernández Literary Scouting, Barcelona, Mikhail Kotomin, Ad Marginem Press, Moscow, Sabine Niemeier, Bastei Lübbe, Cologne and Melanie Tortoroli, W. W. Norton & Company, New York.
During the visit they will learn about Finnish publishing industry and non-fiction with local experts.