Translations from Ukrainian into Serbian Language between 1991 and 2012

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Translations from Ukrainian into Serbian Language between 1991 and 2012

a study by the Next Page Foundation in the framework of the Book Platform project

conducted by Alla Tatarenko1, translated into English by Anna Ivanchenko2
bibliography by Tanya Gaev and Alla Tatarenko

February 2013


1. Introduction

Ukrainian-Serbian cultural relations have a long-standing tradition, their roots reaching times long gone; however, direct literary contacts have developed in the most active way during the last three centuries. Cultural ties among Serbians, Montenegrians and Ukrainians have evolved in waves, growing stronger and weaker depending on specific historical circumstances.3 The arrival in 1733 of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy teachers to Sremski Karlovtsi to lay down the basis of modern education there served as one of the milestones. During his four years in Voevodina Manuil Kozachynsky did not only work on developing local education but also wrote the first Serbian play, “A Tragicomedy, or a Sad Tale about the Death of Last Serbian Tsar Urosh the Fifth and the Fall of Serbian Kingdom”. That is why Manuil (Mykhaylo) Kozachynsky is considered both a Ukrainian and a Serbian writer, and his personality is usually the first one mentioned when reviewing history of Ukrainian-Serbian cultural relations.

Research by M. Golberg, Yu. Guts, I. Luchuk, D. Aidacic. L. Popovych and other scholars is dedicated to certain periods and aspects of Ukrainian-Serbian literary contacts4. A professor at Ukrainian language department in Belgrad University, Tanya Gaev works on Ph.D. thesis “Reception of Ukrainian Literature in Serbian Culture” encompassing a period from early 18th century till 2007. Certain provisions of this work are laid out in her article under the same name published in Ukrainian-Serbian almanac “UKRAS: History, Culture, Art” [issue 1(6), 2011, pp. 192-216]. In our research, we’ll use some results from the work by this Serbian researcher, including division into periods she uses in her paper. We also adopt her statement that “one literature being represented in a foreign language is subject to different-level factors, availability of translators among those; it is a result of mutual cultural ties tradition and established exchange of cultural values, translators’ awareness of literature range and their choice of texts for translation according to certain aesthetic criteria.”5 In our research we’ll also stop on some trends of publishing translations of Ukrainian literature into Serbian language between 1993 and 2012, these traditions associated in some way with certain institutions, personalities and presence of Ukrainian national component in the culture of modern Serbia as well as with general processes taking place in modern culture.

Most researchers start studying literary contacts between Serbs and Ukrainians from the age of barocco. “Ukrainian barocco and Russian edit of Old Slavonic language left deep traces in Serbian culture. During this period, Serbs were visited by Ukrainian artists to teach the former a new, barocco method of painting frescoes and icons, and Serbs left their country for Kyiv to study.”6 Another climax of Serbian-Ukrainian literary connections was observed in the second half of the 19th century.7 “The period between 1830s and 1860s is the first period of growing interest among Serbian translators in Ukrainian literature, which was motivated by development of Ukrainian-Serbian literary connections (personal relations between Stojan Novakovich and Osyp Barvinsky, Taras Shevchenko and Vuk Karadzic, Ivan Franko and Tihomir Ostojic)”8 In 1837, in a “Srpski narodni list” journal a translation from German of an article by Antoniy Nazarevych («Литература русинска») appears. In “Danitsa” journal, in 1860s translations by Stojan Novakovich are published (Ukrainian folk songs, short stories by Yuriy Fedkovich)9. The pages of “Vyla” journal in 1868 saw translations from “Rusynska” and “Malorosiyska” languages; they included works by Marko Vovchok, Mykola Kostomarov, Yuriy Fedkovich, Taras Shevchenko translated by Aleksandr M. Radovanovic, Milan Dzordzevic, M.S. Miloevic, Vladimir N. Ilic, Stojan Novakovic, and Vladimir Nikolic. It is from these publications that Serbian readership first learned about short stories by Marko Vovchok, which were well received by leading Serbian prose writers of the time, and about Taras Shevchenko’s poetry, which became the most translated Ukrainian works in Serbia and stay so now.

Translations of Shevchenko’s poems and folk songs are published by such journals as “Zora” (1869)”, “Javor” (1876, 1877, etc.), “Gusle” (1886), “Bosanska vila” (1890), “Brankovo kolo” (1896). Zarko Radonjic, Jovan Grcic, Dragutyn Ilic also start translating Shevchenko’s poetry.

A new stage of interest in Ukrainian literature is marked in the beginning of the 20th century. Apart from translations of writers already known to Serbian readership, literary journals publish for the first time the works by Olga Kobylyanska, Ivan Tobilevich, Vasyl Gorlenko, Volodymyr Vynnychenko, Bogdan Lepky, Panteleymon Kulish, Mykhaylo Kotsubynsky, and Vasyl Stefanyk. The works of these writers are still published after the end of World War II, in the times of socialist Yugoslavia («Fata morgana» by Kotsubynsky translated by Vladan Nedic in 1955, “Zakhar Berkut” by Ivan Franko translated by Aleksandr Dzuric in 1949).

Ukrainian classical writers of the early 20th century are complemented by modern writers in late 1940s and early 1950s: Yuriy Yanovsky (“Land of Fathers” – 1945, translated by Nana Bogdanovic), Oles Gonchar (“Flag Bearers”, translated by Nikola Nikolic, 1948). If in mid-19th century Ukrainian writers were often viewed in the context of Russian literature, after World War II they were included in the one of Soviet literature.

The next important period is associated with late 1950s and early 1960s, a period of “cultural destalinization’ marked by strengthening of Ukrainian-Serbian literary contacts and literary exchange influencing all fields of cultural reception, i.e. translation, literary criticism, and scientific research10. Literary periodics publish poems by M. Rylsky (translated by B. Kitanovic). Translations of Mykhaylo Stelmakh’s novels also appear, namely “Human Blood Is Not Water” (translated by D. Gruic and V. Dimitriev, 1963) and “Geese Flying” (translated by I. Samokovic-Krstanovic, 1967) as well as translations of “Riders” by Yu. Yanovsky (translated by S. Subotin, 1965), “Man and Weapon” by Oles Gonchar (translated by D. Gruic, 1967). A well-known Slavic linguist from Serbia, Bogdan Terzic translates a collection of Ukrainian folk fairy tales published in 1963 and their second edition in 1988.

1970s were marked by publication of numerous translations of Ukrainian poetry, starting from works by G. Skovoroda to modern Ukrainian poetry, mostly works of the “sixties” poets. Translations by Petro Mytropan, Mykhaylo Kovac, Srdzan Radkovic, Todor Dutyna, and Radoslav Pajkovic of poetry by P. Tychyna, D. Pavlychko, B. Oliynyk, V. Symonenko, M. Vingranovsky, I. Drach, L. Kostenko, and V. Goloborodko are published in literary journals.

In 1969, “Kobzar” by Taras Shevchenko was published as a separate book thanks to a well-known Slavic linguist Petro Mytropan. The second edition of this book was published in 1980.

An important event for reception of Ukrainian culture in Serbia was the publication of selected poems by Lesya Ukrainka in a “Lomykamen” collection (1971). It was made possible by Milan Nikolic, Javanka Hrvacanin and the most famous Serbian poet of the 20th century Desanka Maksimovic, first laureate of Ivan Franko International Literary Prize.

In 1979, the first antology of Ukrainian poetry was published; the works were translated and compiled by Radoslav Pajkovic. It included poets of a wide chronology – starting from Skovoroda and Kotlyarevsky to Oleksandr Oles and Vasyl Ellan-Blakytny, from Pavlo Grabovsky and Lesya Ukrainka to Borys Oliynyk and Roman Lubkivsky. R. Pajkovic also translated a collection of poems by Dmytro Pavlychko (“Moram” meaning “I Must”, 1979) as well as poems by P. Tychyna, D. Pavlychko, V. Symonenko, I. Drach, and B. Oliynyk, which were published in literary journals.

Literary journals published translations by M. Nikolic (poems by G. Skovoroda, B. Oliynyk) and B. Shekularats (poems by I. Drach). Therefore, we can draw a conclusion that in 1970-80s Serbian translators paid special attention to translations of Ukrainian poetry (both classical and modern).

ІІ. Review of book publishing and translations market

To get an idea of the situation with publishing in Serbia, we used statistical data from the website of Serbia National Library, a research work by Mladen Veskovich, council of the Ministry of Culture and Information11 (which, apart from the mentioned sources, is also based on research conducted by “Most” media and book shop in 2001 upon request of Serbia National Library as well as on data from Serbian Chamber of Industry), and our own research.

The review of Serbian publishing houses products between 2000 and 2011 is presented in the form of graphs on the following web pages:

Review of publishing products by regions:


Humanitarian sciences:


Social sciences:

Art and sport:

Children’s literature:


A table of the most active publishers of translated literature (as of 2011):

According to the data of Serbia National Library in 2010, out of 4,237 fiction books 3,101 were works by local writers and 1,136 were translations. The total number of books published the same year amounts to 14,391.

According to the data of Serbian Chamber of Industry, the number of economic subjects registered as publishers is about 400, but it is believed that only about 200 of those can be considered professional publishers. The ISBN database for 2008 (maintained by Serbia National Library) contains 9,500 active publishers, out of which about 4,500 are authors and publishers who publish about one book per year. Addresses of 798 publishing houses can be found in a database on the website According to the conclusion drawn by M. Veskovic, who provides the abovementioned data in his research, we can state that there are about 300 active publishers in Serbia, but only 50 of those consider publishing activities as their first priority. He also provides the following data: in 2010 in Serbia 4,327 fiction books were published out of which over 1,500 were published by four professional pubishing houses. According to his calculations, 30 to 50 publishers issue ¾ of books.

Most publishing houses are privatized. 61 per cent of publishing houses were founded during the last 15 years. Most of them are small – only 36.5 per cent employ more than 10 people. About a half of publishers print only 500-1,000 copies of a book. Most book shops in Serbia (53%) belong to publishers (some of them own 30 book shops). Apart from the biggest cities (Belgrad, Novi Sad, Nis, Subotitsa), there are almost no real book shops, books are often hard to access. Average book price is six to eight euros.12

Serbia has 174 public libraries thirty of which are central. Serbian Ministry of Culture buys books for them once a year. Therefore, one book can be bought for libraries in the amount between 30 and 174 copies13. Library funds are also replenished at the expense of “obligatory copies” sent by publishers.

Some libraries engage in publishing activities. Libraries often found and publish literary journals which normally have sections of foreign literature. It is in these publications that new translations are tested and foreign authors are presented for the first time. Libraries are centers of city cultural life hosting literary evenings, presentations, and competitions. Libraries actively participate in organizing international literary festivals, resident programs for foreign authors, etc.

ІІІ. Translations from Ukrainian into Serbian language

ІІІ.1. General data and division by genres

During the analyzed period the situation with translation trends changed somewhat due to social and political changes in Serbia. During the previous period (1945-1991) it was a part of Yugoslavia Socialist Federal Republic where publishing houses belonged to the state, and cooperation with other socialist countries (including the USSR Ukraine had been a part of) was an ideological priority. With disintegration of this federation and wars in former Yugoslavian republics as well as economic sanctions applied to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia14 the situation in publishing has changed abruptly. Number of translations published as separate books dropped, so instead it was periodicals that became a place for Serbian readership to get to know Ukrainian literature. NGOs made up of Ukrainians and Rusins living in Serbia intensified their activities in translation and publishing to popularize Ukrainian literature. As a rule, they are interested the most in Ukrainian classical literature as well as folklore. A portion of publications is represented by bilingual Ukrainian-Serbian publications to satisfy religious and cultural demand of Ukrainian minority in Serbia as well as to popularize Ukrainian cultural heritage. The share of contemporary Ukrainian literature grows with the beginning of the 21st century. Separate publications of Borys Oliynyk’s works (two poetry collections and one collection of essays) is complemented by translations of “Perversions” by Yuriy Andrukovych, “Antology of Ukrainian Postmodern Short Story” by Yuriy Vynnychuk, essays by Mykola Ryabchuk”, “Field Studies of Ukrainian Sex” by Oksana Zabuzhko, poetry and plays by Anna Bagryana. A significant spot is occupied by poetry antologies (“Poems About Love”, “Against the Winds”), separate publications of Ukrainian classical writers, e.g. Taras Shevchenko, Ivan Franko, Yevhen Malanyuk, Les Martovych, and Vasyl Stefanyk.

Starting from 1990s, one of the most active promoters of Ukrainian culture has been the Ukrainian language department created in 2002 in Belgrad University Linguistics Department (officially it is a part of Slavic Languages Chair). It has been since then headed by professor Lyudmyla Popovych, Ukrainian, a graduate of Slavic Languages Chair of Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University. Even before official establishment of Ukrainian Language and Literature as specialization Lyudmyla Popovych encouraged gifted students studying other Slavic languages to study Ukrainian15 (Milena Ivanovic, Tanya Gaev); later they joined her as the first teachers of Ukrainian language department. In 1990s and early 2000s L. Popovych actively translated from Ukrainian into Serbian. She joined translation efforts of Belgrad University professor Dr. Miodrag Sibinovic, the most famous translator of Russian and Ukrainian poetry. They publish translations of Ukrainian poets in Serbian periodicals and then a substantial bilingual collection “Against the Winds”, an antology joining beautiful samples of Ukrainian poetry from the 16th on to the 20th century. The next generation of Ukrainian linguists also tries their hand at literary translation. During her stay at International Translation Workshop organized by Humanitarian Studies Center of Lviv National University named after Ivan Franko (2001) Milena Ivanovic translates a drama by V. Vynnychenko “The Law” and starts working, jointly with her Lviv University colleague Alla Tatarenko, on Serbian translation of “Perversions”, a novel by Yuriy Andrukhovych. This novel is issued in 2002 in Belgrad publishing house “Clio” and starts a series of joint translation projects of Serbian and Ukrainian linguists. The next one was translation of essays by Mykola Ryabchuk “From Malorossiya to Ukraine” (2003) made by L. Popovych, M. Ivanovic, and A. Tatarenko, and in 2005 a Serbian translation of “Antology of Ukrainian Postmodern Short Story” by Yuriy Vynnychuk was published (translated by M. Ivanovic, A. Tatarenko, D. Aidacic).

Dejan Aidacic, now teaching at Kyiv National University, popularized Ukrainian literature not only as a translator. Being the head of Internet project “Rastko: The Library of Serbian Culture” (, he initiated the creation of “Rastko-Kyiv-Lviv” library which has been publishing both original works and translations of Ukrainian authors for more than ten years now; among publications one can also find research of Serbian scholars on Ukrainian history and culture and respective research on Serbian history and culture from Ukrainian scholars. This website is an extremely rich source of information about Ukrainian-Serbian cultural ties of different periods, including modernity. It publishes works of famous translators as well as first translation attempts of young generation.

Publications calendar:

1994. – One book was published in Serbian translation, poetry collection of Borys Oliynyk „На линији тишине“ (“On Silence Line”) translated by Radoslav Pajkovic.

1999. – A collection of poems by three Ukrainian classical authors was published „Хучи Дњепар широки“ (the authors included Taras Shevchenko, Ivan Franko, and Yevgen Malanyuk), compiled and translated by Luka Haidukovic.

2000. – A book by Roman Myz was published, „Hrišćanstvo na pragu trećeg milenijuma“ (“Christianity on the Threshold of the Third Millennium”). Its author is a Ukrainian priest from Novi Sad who also translated his work. This bilingual publication is actually a double original.

2001. – This year was marked by publication of two Ukrainian translations:

- poetic antology „Pesme o ljubavi: ukrajinski pesnici“ (Poems About Love: Ukrainian Poets). Compiled by Miodrag Sibinovic, translated by Miodrag Sibinovic and Lyudmyla Popovych.

- selected short stories by Vasyl Stefanyk „Izabrane priče“ (translated by Stevan Konstantinovic).

2002. – This year was marked by three publications:

- fundamental bilingual antology „У инат ветровима: антологија украјинске поезије ХVI-ХХ века“ („Against the Winds: Antology of Ukrainian Poetry in the 16th – 20th Centuries) compiled by Slavic linguists from Belgrad Miodrag Sibinovic and Lyudmyla Popovych. The book was published in Srbska Respublika (Bosna i Herzegovina).

- “Perversions”, novel by Yuriy Andrukhovych (translated by Slavic linguist from Belgrad Milena Ivanovic and Slavic linguist from Lviv Alla Tatarenko)

- “The Law”, drama by Volodymyr Vynnychenko (translated by Milena Ivanovic). This translation was published in Ukraine among other products of International Translation Workshop where M. Ivanovic had participated.

2003 – this year five translations from Ukrainian were published:

- poetry collection of modern Ukrainian poet Viktor Kordun „Песме“ (“Solstice” in original). Translated by Slavic linguist from Belgrad M. Sibinovic, published in Srbska Respublika (Bosna i Herzegovina).

- poetry collection of modern Ukrainian poet Borys Oliynyk published under the title „Над стрехом јаблан“ (“Over Poplar Roof”). Translated by Luka Haidukovic and Dzura Latjak.

- collection of essays by Borys Oliynyk „Две године у Кремљу“ („Two Years in Kremlin”). Translated by Dzura Latjak.

- collection of essays by Mykola Ryabchuk „Од Малорусије до Украјине“ (“From Malorossiya to Ukraine”). Translated by Lyudmyla Popovych, Milena Ivanovic, Alla Tatarenko.

- history work by Olga Posunko „Istorija Nove Serbije i Slavenoserbije“ („History of New Serbia and Slav Serbia”). Translated by Yevgen Kuleba.

2005 – one publication:

„Антологија украјинске постмодерне приповетке“ („Antology of Ukrainian Postmodern Short Story”). Compiled by Yuriy Vynnychuk. Translated by Milena Ivanovic, Alla Tatarenko, Dejan Aidacic.

2006 – four publications:

- „Монографија парохије и манастира отаца Василијана у Кули“(«Monography of Vasyliyan Parish and Monestery in Kula”) by Rev. Vitaliy Lotosky, translated by Yevgen Kuleba and Yaroslav Kuleba

- new publication of Taras Shevchenko poetry in “Kobzar” (translated by M. Sibinovic, L. Simovic, D. Maksimovic, L. Haidukovic, J. Hrvacanin, S. Slastikov, M. Glisic, T. Dutyna)

- „Стрибогов поклон“ („Strybog’s Gift“) by Les Martovych. Translated by Andriya Lavrek.

- „Ukrajina u plamenu: іzbor iz stvaralaštva і života O.P.Dovženka“. The book contains a range of works by O. Dovzhenko, including excerpts from his “Diary” (translated by Janko Sabados) and also translation of film script “Ukraine in Fire” performed by a group of Ukrainian language students from Belgrad University (Zdravka Drljaca, Duska Zdravkovic, Ivana Matic, Elena Mijalkovic, Elena Pavlov, Emena Simic).

2007 – two publications:

-translation of selected poems by Ivan Franko „Песме“ („Poems“). Translated by Luka Haidukovic.

-bilingual publication of Ukrainian fairy tales „Украјинске бајке на украјинском и српском језику“ translated by Ukrainian language students of Belgrad university (Ivana Matic, Snedzana Culibrk, Marijana Dzivulski, Milica Begovic, Sanja Lazic, Marko Stanisavlevic, Ana Swab, Violeta Stevic, Vesna Zlatanovic, Yelena Mijalkovic, Katarina Jovanovic). Edited by Milena Ivanovic.

2008. – two publications:

- history work by Arkadiy Zhukovsky and Orest Subtelny „Kratka istorija Ukrajine“ (“Outline of Ukrainian History”). Translated by Janko Ramac and Anamarija Ramac.

- „Ukrajinske narodne pesme“ (“Ukrainian Folk Songs”) – compiled and translated by Petar Hevka.The book was published in Srbska Respublika (Bosna i Herzegovina).

2011.- three publications:

- a publication on religious topic: „Почајевска чудотворна икона Мајке Божије: (житије, чуда и акатист)“ („Pochayiv Miracle-Working Icon of Holy Mother (Life, Miracles, Akathist)”). Translated by Olgiza Petronievic.

- academic publication: “Весели водич кроз украјински језик“ („Fun Phrasebook of Ukrainian Language”). Authors: Oksana Stetsyuk, Yaroslav Kuleba, translated by Natasa Pjekni.

- children’s literature: „Азбука храбрости“ („Bravery Alphabet”) by Nataliya Chub. Translated from Russian by Ljubica Milicevic and Fatima Ivaz.

2012. – six publications:

- history work by Olena Apanovych „Istorija zaporoških kozaka“ (“Tales About Zaporizhzhya Cossacks”). Translated by Andriy Lavryk.

- in the framework of International Poetry Festival “Smeredevska Poetry Autumn”, a poetry collection of modern Ukrainian author Anna Bagryana is published under the title „Скитска дева“ (“Scythian Virgin“) translated by Vera Horvat.

- a novel by Oksana Zabuzhko „Terenska istraživanja ukrajinskog seksa“ (“Field Studies of Ukrainian Sex”) is published (translated by Yaroslav Kombil).

- translation of plays by modern Ukrainian author Anna Bagryana „Комади“ (translated by Risto Vasilevski with the help of author).

-two books by Natailya Chub: „Азбука бизниса“ (“Business Alphabet”) and „Азбука здравља“ (“Health Alphabet”)

ІІІ. 2. Publications by genres

  • religion and theology – two publications:

Roman Miz, Hrišćanstvo na pragu trećeg milenijuma Novi Sad, Ekumenska humanitarna služba, 2000

Виталиј Лотоцкиј, Монографија парохије и манастира отаца Василијана у Кули, Кула: Грекокатолицька парафія св.священномуч. Йосафата; Кула: Рідне слово, 2006

humanitarian and social sciences – four publications:

Olga Posunjko, Istorija Nove Serbije i Slavenoserbije, Novi Sad: Srpsko-ukrajinsko društvo, 2003

Arkadij Žukovski, Orest Subteljnji, Kratka istorija Ukrajine, Beograd: Dan Graf, 2008

Olena Apanovič, Istorija zaporoških kozaka, Beograd: Logos, 2012

Оксана Стећук, Јарослав Кулеба, Весели водич кроз украјински језик, Кула: Ридне слово, 2011.

poetry – nine publications


Тарас Шевченко, Иван Франко, Jeвген Малањук, Хучи Дњепар широки, Београд, Завод за уџбенике и наставна средства, 1999

Pesme o ljubavi: ukrajinski pesnici (антологія, упорядник Міодраг Сібінович) Beograd : Paideia, 2001

У инат ветровима, Антологија украјинске поезије ХVI-ХХ века (антологія, упорядник Людмила Попович), Бања Лука: Друштво српско-украјинског пријатељства Републике Српске; Српско Сарајево: Завод за уџбенике и наставна средства Републике Српске, 2002

Тарас Шевченко, Кобзар (избор) (упорядник Людмила Попович) Нови Сад, Савез Русина и Украјинаца Србије, 2006.

Иван Франко, Песме, Нови Сад: Српско-украјинско друштво, Алфаграф, 2007.


Борис Олијник, На линији тишине, Ниш: Просвета, 1994

У инат ветровима, Антологија украјинске поезије ХVI-ХХ века (антологія, упорядник Людмила Попович), Бања Лука: Друштво српско-украјинског пријатељства Републике Српске; Српско Сарајево: Завод за уџбенике и наставна средства Републике Српске, 2002

Борис Олијник, Над стрехом јаблан, Нови Сад: Прометеј, Српско-украјинско друштво, 2003

Виктор Кордун, Песме, Градишка: Српско просвјетно и културно друштво „Просвјета“; Бања Лука: Друштво Српско-украјинског пријатељства Републике Српске, 2003

Ана Багрјана, Скитска дева, Смедерево: Међународни фестивал поезије „Смедеревска песничка јесен“, 2012

Fiction prose and essays, 2+3+3 = 8 проза та есе 2+3+3 = 8

Classical prose:

Vasilj Stefanik, Izabrane priče, Novi Sad: KZ „Ljubitelji knjige“, , 2001

Les Martovič, Stribogov poklon, Beograd: Narodna knjiga –Alfa, 2006

Modern prose:

Јуриј Андрухович, Перверзија, Београд: Clio, 2002

Антологија украјинске постмодерне приповетке (уклав Юрій Винничук), Novi Sad: Stylos, 2005.

Oksana Zabužko, Terenska istraživanja ukrajinskog seksa, Beograd: PLATO, 2012

Essays: three publications

Микола Рјабчук, Од Малорусије до Украјине, Београд: Библиотека града Београда, Универзитетска библиотека „Светозар Марковић“, Чигоја штампа, 2003.

Борис Олијник, Две године у Кремљу, Нови Сад, Прометеј, 2003.

Oleksandаr Dovženko, Ukrajina u plamenu: Izbor iz stvaralaštva і života O.P.Dovženka, Novi Sad: Savez Rusina і Ukrajinaca Srbije і Crne Gore, Beograd: ТІА Janus, 2006.

Children’s literature: three publications

Наталија Чуб ,Азбука храбрости, Београд: JRJ, 2011.

Наталија Чуб, Азбука здравља, Београд: JRJ, 2012

Наталија Чуб ,Азбука бизниса, Београд: JRJ, 2012

Dramas: two publications

Володимир Виниченко, Закон, Львів-Дрогобич: Коло, 2002

Ана Багрјана, Комади, Смедерево: Арка, 2012

Folklore: two publications

Украјинске бајке на украјинском и српском језику, (упорядник Мілена Іванович), Нови Сад: Савез Русина и Украјинаца Србије, 2007

Ukrajinske narodne pesme (зібрав Петар Хевка), Banja Luka: Art print, 2008.

ІІІ.3. Other publications

During the analyzed period, many translations from Ukrainian into Serbian language were published in various periodicals. E.g., in 1993 Miodrag Sibinovic published a big collection of translations of Ukrainian poetry in «Српски књижевни гласник» journal, starting from anonymous author of the 16th century and to Viktor Kordun (15 poems in total). The same year the translator continued familiarizing Serbian readership with creative works of well-known Ukrainian poets opening up the period of “shot Renaissance” and “sixties” poets without leaving behind young Ukrainian poets16: «Савременик плюс» journal published his translations of Mykhayl Semenko, Mykola Rudenko, Bogdan Boychuk, Bogdan Rubchak, Mykola Vingranovsky, Ivan Drach, Borys Oliynyk, Vasyl Stus, Hanna Svitlychna, Nina Kyryan Ivan Malkovych. The same journal published poetry translations of Lyudmyla Popovych (poems by Mykola Vorobyov, Vasyl Goloborodko, Igor Rymaruk, Yuriy Andrukhovych).

In 1994, literary publication «Књижевни лист» presents a collection of poems by Ivan Franko translated by Miodrag Sibinovic, with foreward by Lyudmyla Popovych. The same year, literary newspaper «Књижевне новине» publishes translations of Taras Shevchenko’s poems with a foreward by Miodrag Sibinovic, their translator.

In 1996, Luka Haidukovic publishes his translations in «Мостови» journal. A big chunk of translations from Ukrainian appears in 2001 in «Градина» journal: an excerpt from “Perversions” by Yuriy Andrukhovych (translated by Larysa Rasic), short stories by Kost Moskalets (translated by Tatyana Mazevko-Savzyn). Even though we first came across translations of modern Ukrainian prose in this journal in early 1990s, central spot in this issue is occupied by poetry (L. Kostenko, I. Drach, V. Stus, Yu. Zavgorodniy, V. Goloborodko, V. Kordun – translated by M. Sibinovic; V. Stus, M. Vorobyov, V. Makhno, B. Schavursky – translated by L. Popovych). In 2005, «Књижевни магазин» journal publishes a collection of translations by Milena Ivanovic and Alla Tatarenko who familiarize readers with the younger generation of poets (Yu. Andrukhovych, V. Neborak – translated by M. Ivanovic; A. Bondar, S. Zhadan, M. Kiyanovska, O. Slyvynsky – translated by A. Tatarenko). In 2006, «Mons Aureus» journal publishes poems by Yu. Andrukhovych, S. Zhadan, G. Kruk, and O. Slyvynsky translated by A. Tatarenko. The same year of 2006 «Писмо» journal publishes a collection of modern Ukrainian poets translated by M. Sibinovic (Lina Kostenko, Vasyl Stus, Vasyl Goloborodko, Grygoriy Chubay, Yurko Pozayak, Ivan Malkovych, Ivan Luchuk, Nazar Gonchar, Nazar Fedorak), and in «Развитак» journal this most famous Serbian translator of Ukrainian poetry presents poems by Volodymyr Svidzinsky, Yakiv Savchenko, Pavlo Tychyna, Klym Polishchuk, Oleksa Slisarenko, Mykhayl Semenko, Maksym Rylsky, Yevgen Malanyuk, Dmytro Falkivsky, Stepan Ben, Lina Kostenko, Vasyl Symonenko, Ivan Drach, Vasyl Stus, Vasyl Goloborodko, Viktor Kordun, Grygoriy Chubay, Oleksandr Irvanets, Volodymyr Tsybulko.

Certain publications of Ukrainian prose are available in «Polja» journal (2006) (short stories by Irena Karpa translated by A. Tatarenko), «Кораци» journal (2007) (short stories by Yurko Izdrik translated by the same translator), in «Прича» journal (short stories by Sofiya Andrukhovych translated by M. Ivanovic). In «Мостови» journal translations by Yaroslav Kombil are published (poems by Vasyl Makhno and Oleksandr Gavrosh (2010)).

A platform for preparing young translators from Ukrainian and familiarizing youth with the works of Ukrainian authors was “Window” journal published by students of Ukrainian language department of Belgrad University (published since 2004). Apart from hard copies, it is also available in electronic form at This publication was supported by Embassy of Ukraine in Serbia. Presently five issues of this journal are available at the website. Except students, teachers of Ukrainian language departments also contribute their materials. In particular, Milena Ivanovic and Tanya Gaev also publish their translations on its pages. Issues published until now testify to serious attitude of translating youth towards their tasks as well as to active participation of their elder colleagues in preparing materials. It is interesting to know that among translations the reader comes across both modern Ukrainian literature and classical works. The most talented students of Ukrainian language department were involved in translating certain publications. For example, a collection of works dedicated to Oleksandr Dovzhenko “Ukraine in Fire” contains, apart from translations of Janko Sabados, an activist of Serbian-Ukrainian Friendship Union, translation of film script “Ukraine in Fire” performed by students of Ukrainian language department. Bilingual publication of Ukrainian fairy tales (2007) is also a result of work of young Belgrad students supervised by Milena Ivanovic, their professor and one of the most respected translators from Ukrainian in Serbia.

A relevant source of information about Ukrainian and Serbian culture, including translations of Ukrainian literature into Serbia, is the abovementioned Internet project “Rastko” ( In “Rastko-Kyiv-Lviv” library one can find electronic versions of certain publications - e.g., a fundamental antology “Against the Winds” („У инат ветровима“) as well as translations which have not yet been published but instead prepared for this publication.

ІV. Translations of Ukrainian authors into other languages

Out of publications provided in the list above only three are noted as translations from Russian (translations of books by Nataliya Chub). Other publications are translated directly from Ukrainian.

V. Translations from Ukrainian, conditions of work and professional development

As far as we know, work conditions for translators from Ukrainian in Serbia do not differ significantly from those for translators from other languages. Translations of fiction are normally paid worse than translations of legal documents (which is common practice and does not depend on the language). As the sum and form of payment often depends on several factors (availability of financial support, financial capacity of publishing house, literature type), it is hard to generalize payment rules, especially with regard to the fact that translator signing agreement with publishing house is bound by confidentiality clause (just as it is the case in Ukraine). There are cases of setting translation fees by page (1,800 characters without spaces) and signing contracts where translator receives a certain sales percentage. The lack of established fees is due to the small number of Ukrainian translators, their work volume is also small, so most of them have another job; translations from Ukrainian are but a source of additional income for them. A bigger pay can be expected by translators from any language if translation is supported financially, as a rule by the state the literature of which is popularized (as far as we know, Serbian publishers do not have experience of obtaining financial support for translations from Urkaine). Financial support of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine in case of Ukrainian classical literature being published (which is, as we know, non-commercial) was not allocated specifically for translation. The publishers were local NGOs (Savez Rusina і Ukrajinaca Srbije i Crne Gore); translations had either been completed earlier or performed by students of Ukrainian language department (an exception would be translations of J. Sabados). Therefore, these examples of financial support do not relate to professional translators.

The biggest contribution in translations of Ukrainian poetry in 1991-2012 was made by professor of Belgrad University, Dr. Miodrag Sibinović. Popularization of Ukrainian literature, including through translations, is also due to active work of the head of Ukrainian Language department in Belgrad University, Dr. Ljudmila Popović. The early 1990s saw the activities of a very active translator of the previous period, Radoslav Pajković. Classical Ukrainian poetry was very successfully popularized and translated by Luka Hajduković. Andrij Lavrik / Andrija Lavrek is also known as translator of Ukrainian literature of different genres, apart from being a translator from Russian and Rusyn languages. One poetry collection was translated by Vera Horvat, and short stories by V. Stefanyk, by Stevan Konstantinović.

During the analyzed period we have to note successful translation activities of ethnical Ukrainians and Rusyns from Voevodina: Janko Ramač, Anamarija Ramač, Eugen Kuleba, Jaroslav Kuleba, Đura Laćak), Jaroslav Kombilj.

In the beginning of the 21st century, Dr. Milena Ivanović becomes one of the most active translators, mostly of contemporary literature. During this period, professor of Lviv Univerity Dr. Alla Tatarenko and professor of Kyiv University Dr. Dejan Aidacić also publish their translations of contemporary Ukrainian literature. We hope that at least someone from former students of Ukrainian language department who participated in collective translations for “Window“ journal will become a professional translator from Ukrainian. According to the catalogue of Association of Literary Translators of Serbia, its only member translating from Ukrainian (as well as from Russian, Belarusian, Bulgarian, and Czech languages) is Miodrag Sibinović17.

Professional training of Serbian translators from Ukrainian language took place in 2000-2001 in the framework of Translation Workshop organized by Institute of Humanitarian Studies of Lviv National University named after Ivan Franko (the head of workshop was a famous Ukrainian translator Maria Gablevich). Its participants were Janko Ramać (by correspondence) and Milena Ivanović. Their translations were published in Almanac of Translation Workshop (translation by Janko Ramać was performed from Ukrainian translation of Polish publication, so it was not accounted for in our research). It is hard to overestimate the significance of such events. Too bad that they are not frequent. Ukrainian translators are able to exchange their experience with their Serbian colleagues during annual International Translators Meetings (Belgrad). Translation is traditionally discussed during annual International Publishers Forum (Lviv) where meetings with translators, roundtable discussions on translation issues, etc. are held.

VІ. Intermediaries

A leading role in popularizing works of Ukrainian literature and translations belongs to translators. Not infrequently they are not only authors but also initiators of translation and later its active promoters. The role of translators has especially grown during the analyzed period, when their initiative became essential due to lack of state orders for translations and privatization of publishing houses. They often look for a publisher for the chosen work, help to organize a trip to Serbia for the writer, translate their interviews, interpret them at literary gatherings, etc.

Publication of a major part of translations from Ukrainian into Serbian is due to activities of organizations aiming to preserve and develop cultures of national minorities living on the territory of Serbia. In particular, Union of Rusyns and Ukrainians in Serbia as well as Ukrainian-Serbian Friendship Union numerously initiated translations and published books translated from Ukrainian; its active members engaged in translations into Serbian. It is necessary to note the role of certain works, in particular a monography of acad. Julian Tamas “Ukrainian Literature between the East and the West”, 1995) for popularization of Ukrainian literature in Serbia. Existence of a significant Ukrainian minority in Voevodina encourages interest in Ukrainian literature, culture, and history. Though these organizations are not publishers in a classic sense, their book publications (often in cooperation with professional publishers, e.g. «Прометеј», «ТІА Јанус») provide very successful results.

Though most Serbian publishers included Ukrainian literature in their publication plans in a sporadic fashion (as a rule, one book each, except «ЈRЈ» (Belgrad), which published three books by Nataliya Chub), well-known houses engaged in publishing translations from Ukrainian («Clio», „Завод за уџбенике и наставна средства“, „Народна књига Алфа“, «PLATO», «Прометеj», «Просвета“, «Stylos») is a positive sign.

An important role in popularizing Ukrainian literature in Serbia, including its translation, belongs to Ukrainian language department of Belgrad University. It is the place where young Ukrainian linguists are trained and new translators are prepared. Department professors are themselves extremely active translators of Ukrainian literature (Lyudmyla Popovych, Milena Ivanovic, Tanya Gaev) as well as organizers and participants of translation projects. Thanks to Belgrad Ukrainian language department, numerous meetings with Ukrainian writers were organized. These linguists are among the main organizers of Ukrainian Culture Days and other events associated with the arrival of Ukrainian writers to Serbia. In all these important initiatives, Ukrainian language department closely cooperates with the Embassy of Ukraine in Serbia, which actively suppors these events to popularize Ukrainian culture.

Ministry of Culture and Information in the Republic of Serbia plays a significant role at the book market, both through buying books for public libraries and through Secretariats for Cultural Affairs in Belgrad, Voevodina autonomous region, and Novi Sad. Publication of Serbian translation of “Antology of Ukrainian Postmodern Short Story” by Yu. Vynnychuk (2005) was gfinancially supported by Secretariat for Cultural and Educational affairs in Voevodina. Serbia has over 60 literary manifestations and prizes, which are more or less supported by the Ministry of Culture as well as local self-governance. Serbia hosts three serious publishers’ fairs: in Novi Sad, Belgrad and Nis. Belgrad fair is international. It is here that a campaign to popularize Ukrainian literature by Ukrainian publishers, the only one for the moment, took place. In 2008, Ukrainian “Kalvariya” publishing house participated in this large-scale event at the invitatation of Ministry of Culture of Serbia and conducted a presentation of works by Ukrainian writers from this publishing house. The presentation was attended by Serbian publishers, translators, writesr, and Ukrainian linguists. This successful trip was supported by «OPEN UKRAINE» fund.

An important role in initiating new translations is played by Ukrainian Culture Days where writers traditionally participate, as well as by various festivals, meetings with writers and other events. For example, Ukrainian Culture Days in Serbia hosted I. Drach, V. Shklyar, I. Luchuk, M. Ryabchuk, etc. Serbia also saw presentations of A. Kokotyukha, S. Povalyayeva, L. Bagirova, N. Fedorak, S. Pantyuk. Mykola Ruyabchuk participated in International Danube Culture Studies Conference (Belgrad 2003); Yuriy Vynnychuk, Ivan Luchuk, Taras Luchuk, Volodymyr Tsybulko and other Ukrainian writers, in annual International Writers Meetings (Belgrad); Irena Karpa participated in Prose Fest literary festival (Novi Sad, 2007); Lyubko Deresh took part in Writers in Focus festival (Subotitsa, 2010). Popularization of book translations, first of all with participation of their writers, is also encouraged (among the most successful we can mention literary meetings and presentations with participation of I. Drach, Yu. Andrukhovych, M. Ryabchuk, Yu. Vynnychuk).

Ukraine also encourages publication and popularization of Ukrainian translations, most often through Embassy of Ukraine in Serbia. For example, the newest edition of “Kobzar” (2006) and a new bilingual collection of Ukrainian fairy tales (2007) were published thanks to support of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine; selected works of Oleksandr Dovzhenko „Ukrajina u plamenu“, thanks to support of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and Secretariat for Cultural Affairs in Voevodina autonomous region.

VІІ. Reaction to translation

Reception of translations from Ukrainian in Serbia is very different. A successful example in this field would be a novel “Perversions” by Andrukhovych. During his promotion tour in Serbia the writer gave several interviews to leading periodicals (some of them can be seen at: After his departure interviews continued via Internet (e.g., interview with V. Ognenonich for Montenegro publication). During television broadcasts dedicated to their own creative works leading Serbian writers Dragan Velikic and Mileta Prodanovic brought up “Perversions” in this context. After publication of the novel its translators received several invitations to tell readers about this novel. M. Ivanovic spole at a Belgrad library, and A. Tatarenko, at literary gathering presenting “Perversions” in Novi Sad Cultural Center (together with a well-known Serbian writer and literary scholar Sava Damjanov; the evening was hosted by Radoslav Jerakovic), in Podzeg gallery (at the initiative of a well-knkown Serbian poet Dragan Jovanovic Danilov), at the opening of literary colony in Sicevo, at a round table on translations (Nis cultural center). The publication of this novel triggered a range of lectures on contemporary Ukrainian literature. The first was delivered by Yu. Andrukhovych before Ukrainian language students in Belgrad University. A. Tatarenko also delivered lectures on contemporary Ukrainian literature in Novi Sad and Nis universities. A range of articles dedicated to “Perversions” also appeared. The interest of Serbian intellectuals in the novel and its literary context was also manifested by the fact that literary journals such as «Књижевност», «Наслеђе“, „Mons Aureus» published reviews of the newest Ukrainian literature written upon request of their editors, and the Second program of Belgrad Radio started including Ukrainian culture and literature news in its programs every two weeks (2004-2010).

VІІІ. Final provisions and recommendations

The activities of Serbian translators from Ukrainian were highly acclaimed in Ukraine. Miodrag Sibinovic and Luka Haidukovic received literary prizes18, Lyudmyla Popovych, an order of Princess Olga of the 3rd degree for services in development of Ukrainian language, literature and culture beyond Ukrainain borders. One can also note more active reception of Ukrainian literature in Serbia, growth in the amount of Ukrainian linguists, positive results of cooperation between Ukrainian linguists in Serbia and Serbian linguists in Ukraine in the field of translation. Instead, to further improve the results we can offer to pay attention to the following fields of work:

- Preparation of a sufficient number of highly qualified translators from Ukrainian language who would have respective theoretical and practical training.

- Possibilities of internships in Ukraine for young translators (positive experience of 2000-2001 Translators Workshop). Organization of translation summer schools for translators from Ukrainian language.

- Popularizing Ukrainian cultural heritage in the world. Publishing reviews about contemporary stage of literature development, famous writers, important works in periodicals (printed and electronic media) of foreign countries. Issuing newsletters (digests) of Ukrainian literature novelties (in English, German, Russian).

- Arrangements with editors of cultural radio and TV programs of foreign countries about the possibility of highlighting relevant events of modern Ukrainian literature in their programs.

- Creation of joint publishing projects: a foreign publishing house issues a translation from Ukrainian, and a Ukrainian publishing house, from foreign language. It might have a special effect when translating two poetically close authors representating different literatures.

- Ukraine’s participation in “One Hundred Slavic Novels” project (ten best novels of each participating country are translated into nine languages).

- Arranging book exchange among the biggest libraries of Serbia and Ukraine, which would provide access for Ukrainian linguists in Serbia to the novelties of Ukrainian publishing. For example, Serbia National Library (Belgrad) and Matitsa Serbska library (Novi Sad) regularly send out novelties of Serbian literature to libraries of the world as well as to Slavic language centers where Serbian is studied. A similar step should be taken by Ukraine.

- Providing financial support of translations from Ukrainian language (e.g., every year Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia announces competition for financial support of translations for best works of Serbian literature into foreign languages). Financial support of participation for Ukrainian writers and publishers in foreign book fairs, festivals, etc.

- Stimulating translation activities of the best translators from Ukrainian language: recognition by the state, invitations to literary events in Ukraine, other promotion activities.

- Creation of international association for translators of Ukrainian literature. Establishing cooperation among translators from Ukrainian into foreign languages and from foreign languages into Ukrainian to provide information, translation assistance and possible consulting.

1 Alla Tatarenko – Ukrainian linguist specializing in Slavic languages, translator, literature historian and literary critic. Professor at the Chair of Slavic Linguistics in Lviv National University named after Ivan Franko.

2 Anna Ivanchenko is translator and interpreter

3 Айдачич Д. Передмова //Сербські фольклор і література в українських перекладах і дослідженнях. 1837-2004: Матеріали до бібліографії. – К.: Нац. бібліотека України ім.. В.І.Вернадського, 2005. – С. 12.

4 See more details in: Сербські фольклор і література в українських перекладах і дослідженнях. 1837-2004: Матеріали до бібліографії. – К.: Нац. бібліотека України ім.. В.І.Вернадського, 2005

5 Гаев Т. Рецепція української літератури в сербській культурі// УКРАС: історія, культура, мистецтво. - Вип.1(6). - 2011. – С.193-194.

6 Айдачич Д. Історична спорідненість і перспективи розвитку української і сербської національної культур// Українсько-сербські історико-культурні взаємозв’язки. Каталог книжкової виставки. К.: Нац. бібліотека України імені В.І.Вернадського, 2005, С.6.

7 Гаев Т., op.cit, p.197.

8 Гаев Т., op.cit, p.199. See also : Поповић Љ. Фокусна перспектива украјинске књижевности. Београд: Филолошки факултет Универзитета у Београду, 2007.

9 See more detailed list of translations of Ukrainian writers’ works published in Serbian starting from the second half of the 19th century till 2007 in Гаев Т., op.cit.

10 Гаев Т. Цит.праця, С. 200. Див.також: Поповић Љ. Цит. праця, С.77.

11 Vesković M. Izdavaštvo u Srbiji. Opšti statistički pregled //Međunarodna radionica Izdavaštvo danas, Zagreb: Goethe Institut, 30-1- 1.2.2012.

12 Vesković, op.cit.

13 Vesković, op.cit.

14 The years of existence of this state union are 1992-2003. Between 2003 and 2006 Serbia was a part of Serbia and Montenegro state union.

15 Ukrainian as second language has been taught in Belgrad University since 1991. Apart from Belgrad, Ukrainian-related disciplines are also taught in Novi Sad University.

16 See article by L. Popovych about the role of Sibinovic’s translations:


18 Гаев Т., op.cit., С.210.

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