About us

This website does not address the great, the extraordinary Romanian translators from other languages. We plan to place here, in this “cavern”, in their well deserved place, those ‘retroversionists’ of Romanian literature, those who have labored – without illusions of striking it rich or aspirations for glory – to translate from Romanian into other languages. If we have gazillions of translators, fewer are the Romanian retroversionists of excellence. Romania, may I remind you, was for a long time a camp tightly bound with a barbed wire topped with briers, guarded at the border with seven-language and Russian speaking Kalashnikovs and with German Shepherd dogs ready to maul the “enemies of the people.” During this time the Romanians lived captives in the murderous subconscious of one communist dictator after another. Those professionals who could have linguistically developed, overmastered a language, and produced miracles of retroversion, were not allowed to peregrinate, and could not settle in foreign lands. And a good retroversion – Lord, forgive us – can only be done by one who lives in the middle of the language he translates into.
Two things are therefore needed to enter this pantheon, this hall of fame of retroversionists. First, you have to be a Romanian who translates to another language. Then, it’s indeed vital to have done an astonishing job. And, saying that, we have to immediately agree that both benchmarks are the causes for creating agonizing head-scratching…

Cristian Săileanu