Poetic translation competition

Global Village Bard, in association with the Institute of International Relations in Ekaterinburg, Russia, is proud to hold the first ever competition to translate “rappable” verses from English into Russian.

  1. The competition will be launched at a special event held at the Kamerniy Teatr, Yekaterinburg, on 26th January, 2022
  2. The judging panel will be composed of:
    • Mikhail Feygin (President)
    • Thomas Beavitt
    • Julia Komissarova
    • Svetlana Remizova
    • Mikhail Brodsky
  3. All entries should be sent as attachments (.doc, .rtf or equivalent) by email to competition@globalvillagebard.org by 31st March, 2022
    • Entrance is free and unlimited (one translator may submit a maximum of five entries). No distinction is made between students, professional translators and amateur enthusiasts.
  4. The source material to be translated consists of five songs (“raps”), written and performed by Thomas Riffmatch, and presented as part of the new album ‘Heraclitus Flow’.
  5. The material should be translated into metrical, rhymed Russian, aiming to capture the rhythm of the source in such a way that it can be confidently “rapped” to the same backing track.
    • However, this does not necessarily imply a strict syllable-to-syllable correspondence; rather, translators are encouraged to make full use of the phraseological and rhythmic resources of the Russian language and not stick rigidly to English versification conventions.
    • While a successful translation will preserve the central meaning of the original text, as well as capture some of the key images, translators are encouraged to adapt the original metaphors to ones that will be closer to the target (Russian) audience’s experiences. Marks will be added for imaginative transformations!
    • While modern rap has some features not present in traditional verse, most of the principles of translation are the same as those set out in Korney Chukovsky’s ‘A High Art’ («Высокое искусство») and other classic works by Marshak, Gumilev, etc.
  6. Prizes will be awarded for the “most rappable”, “best literary composition” and runner-up categories. The prize for “most rappable” will be a professional studio production session recording the winner’s voice rapping his or her own translation to the composed backing track (or his or her nominee). Other prizes will be announced later.
  7. Summing up and announcement of the results of the competition will take place on 15th April, 2022.
  8. All copyrights, including source texts, translations, as well as musical compositions and arrangements, remain the property of their respective creators. However, the creators grant each other permission to make non-commercial use of the materials so long as full acknowledgement is provided (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial CC BY-NC). In the event of any commercial exploitation, permissions from the corresponding copyright holders will first be negotiated.

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